Your website acts as a portal
so customers can learn more about your company, as well as research product information and determine if they want to do business with you. If you’re a small business owner, you need to realize that a website isn’t an expensive luxury or a frivolous endeavor — it’s an affordable, fundamental tool that every company needs.
A website will act as an anchor for all of your advertising efforts. All business details, product information and promotions should live on your website first. Then, you can create marketing materials that fall in line with your domain name, which will drive customers to your website for additional information.
1. A website sells your products/services online.
Your website acts as a digital brochure, sharing up-to-date information about your offerings. A benefit of web publishing is that you can change information in real-time — no waiting or paying for new print materials.
Think of your website as a 24-hour sales staff. It provides answers to frequently asked questions and can even process sales. Websites with e-commerce and purchasing options allow users to make direct purchases online, thus simplifying sales for both your staff and your customers.
2. A website helps you connect with new customers.
While you might already have an established customer base, a website is a surefire way to connect with new customers who might be unfamiliar with your business.
More often than not, people turn to the internet when they have a problem. Searching for solutions is easy — but is your business a potential problem solver? With a professional website, you position your business as a solution for your customers’ needs. Plus, you can optimize your site with search terms related to your industry. This will expose your business to new customers on the prowl.
3. A website has big benefits for local businesses.
One misconception about websites is that they’re only for national companies or worldwide corporations with audiences around the globe. Actually, websites are just as, if not more, beneficial for small businesses. In fact, it’s a great way to connect with locals. Plus, search engines often rank results according to location. In other words, if you’re looking for “shoe stores near me,”
4. A website builds credibility.
Nothing is more important than the ability to be found. If you don’t have an established online identity, then customers can’t find you. Not showing up in the search engines (or on the Internet at all for that matter) is one of the fastest ways to lose credibility as a business. It makes you and your company look dated, out of touch and untrustworthy.
Even if you’re fantastic at word-of-mouth marketing, you could be missing out on a ton of referrals. Happy customers are quick to share what they think about your business, but what about their friends who haven’t experienced your services yet? They’ll take to the Internet. And when they come up empty-handed, you’ll have missed your chance for brand new customers.
5. Websites are simple and affordable to set up.
Many small business owners rely on using third-party platforms or avoid setting up their own website because they think it’s complicated or expensive. But building and maintaining a website is easier and cheaper than ever before. Even if you aren’t tech-savvy or creative, you can now use simple web publishing tools to build a website in a couple of hours. And the fees for hosting a website start at less than $10 per month — probably one of the cheapest marketing costs out there.
Take my advice, small business owners — there are no more excuses. If you’re putting off building a website, you’re hurting your business. It’s time to get started!