Some small businesses might question the reasoning behind having a website. They may not see having an online presence such as this as being of any use to them. However, even for people looking at small local business, they often like to know about these companies before they visit.
Most customers these days will now check out the website of a company before they make contact, so if you want to grow your company, a website is something you need to have.
Without one, you risk being invisible. Plus, you risk not having an authoritative voice, and consumers are little more distrusting of you.
Your Customers Expect it
Even if this were the only reason a list to have a website, it would still be more than enough. On average, 6 out of 10 customers now expect brands to provide some type of online content about their business.
This is because customers often don’t have time to go to the store to check out what they want or to find the information they need. For example, if they are looking to buy something from your store, they might want to find out what time you open or if you’re closed, so they don’t have to waste a trip to see you.
Even if your website has only basic information, this can often be more than enough to satisfy many customers.
Customers Are Impatient
It’s true to say that customers have now become used to having things when they need them. With online shopping now becoming more sophisticated, customers can do many more things online than ever before.
Unfortunately, this has meant that customers are becoming more impatient with what they expect from companies. They now want things to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and if they can’t get that from you, they will be more than happy to go to one of your competitors.
At the very least, you should be doing what your competitors are doing so that they cannot get ahead of you.
It Provides Social Proof
A study has shown that 90% of customers claim online reviews influence their buying decisions. This means that if you can have a website with reviews on it from your customers, you are on the way to achieving the proof they need to buy from you.
You could, of course, rely on sites such as Yelp to host reviews for you, but this means customers have to visit two websites to make the decision. If you can offer reviews on the same site as your products, then this will save your customers time and energy.
Gives You Control
It’s true to say that you cannot control what people say about you on social media or on their own website. However, you can’t control what you say and what your customers see on your own website.
Having a blog, for example, can give you the opportunity to set your own view of your company, its mission, and its personality. It is also something that you can do immediately and get your message out to your customers as soon as possible.
This is something that can take some time if you’re using traditional forms like print ads.
Set Your Own Targets
There is little point to having a website if no one knows is there. That’s why it’s important you have a good team on board you can set up your website in the correct way and have it running properly.
For example, SEO is now becoming hugely important in the realms of websites and online content. If your site does not meet the requirements of SEO, then you could find your website nowhere near the top of your search results. You can find out more about SEO and how it can affect your websites online.
Another way that you can set your own targets with the website is by analyzing who is visiting, and why. If you find a lot of people are coming to your site but not staying very long, then you will know that the content you’re producing is not good enough to hold their attention.
More for Your Money
Many businesses think that owning and running a website is expensive, but this isn’t the case.
There are now many free website building tools online that can help you create a website free. By using these, you can reach millions of potential customers, and all it will cost you is the price of the domain name.
It also means that you don’t have to be technically savvy to have a website, or to keep it running. Then while your business is growing, you can still take care of the websites yourself.
Once it becomes too big to handle, you can think about passing it on to a dedicated colleague or freelance agent.
Your Business is Open When You Aren’t
One of the best things about having a website is the fact that you can still be making sales even when you are not working.
If you have a store on your website where your customers can browse and purchase products, you can have this running day and night which makes it more convenient for your customers.
It also allows people from other countries to see your products and to make purchases when it’s convenient for them. Most of all, you are catering to those customers who simply want to check out your store even when you’re closed.
It Means More Than Only Internet Searches
Having your own website is a good idea for an online presence, but that’s not the only reason to have one.
Customers are now using their mobile phones not only to find companies online but also to search the general area for things that might interest them. For example, if someone is looking for a product like the ones you sell, then they may well ask Google or one of the other search engines to find these places in that location.
With an online presence, your company will show up.