Running your own business is no easy task, and your to-do-list is guaranteed to never end. With that said, you shouldn't use this as an excuse to take shortcuts when it comes to having online visibility. Beginning with your website, it's vital to position yourself online with a strong, professional destination that gives customers the impression you mean business and the motivation to want to engage more with your business. With this in mind, consider these five reasons why having a strong website is important.
First Impressions Count
Let's face it - we live in a world where people use search engines, like Google, before they shop, visit online review sites like Yelp before they buy and "check-in" via social media as they go about their days. Because of this, you want your first impression to be the best it can be. Beginning with your website, consumers are passing judgement and making decisions about whether or not they will even visit your store, restaurant or office. They're likely to dismiss you entirely, as well, should they believe your website doesn't reflect the kind of experience your business should offer.
Window Shopping Isn't What It Use to Be
Strolling down your local Main Street isn't the way people check out stores and other small businesses nowadays. With routine visits to Yahoo, Bing, Google, and Yelp, customers are constantly seeking where they plan to make their next purchases. Make sure your business is well represented on these sites by first and foremost, having a website, then by also being represented among each of the online search engines, review sites and other online spots your business may be considered for customer review. Beyond having your URL address available, also be sure your street address, phone number and email is easily visible. Social media links can't hurt, either, but only include these if you are actually active on social media. Remember being an active blogger, or posting to your company social media keep your content fresh and in the forefront of people's minds.
Having No Website Means Losing Business
By now it's clear that if you don't have a website, you're missing out on opportunities for customers to identify who you are, and if they want to spend money with you. Consider this, if you have a bad website it is better to have no website. While no website equals missed opportunities, a bad website can actually be worse since it literally makes your business look bad. I offer cost effective websites so there's really no excuse for you to not have a website, and I make sure your website looks amazing while suiting your needs. If you can't proudly promote the website you have currently live and available for the world to see online, then it's time for me to take a look. If you don't have a website, you're chance of ending up in customer online searches is significantly reduced.
You know exactly how much your website is going to cost you and it’s ongoings – a brick and mortar store, on the other hand, is susceptible to many out of the ordinary occurrences which could blow out the costs such as leaving the lights on, theft, damage, extra staff etc.
A strategically developed website and online presence solution provides tremendous benefits and costing outlines.
Accessible around the clock
Your website and social media accounts are accessible 24/7/365. Imagine that you want to buy from a store. You put in all the effort required to go to the store, but when you get there, it’s closed. We all know how irate we feel in that situation. You’ll think twice about going back given the bad taste it left you with (ok might have been your fault for not checking but hey, this is proving the point here!). You will just find another store that is more easily accessible.
Since your website is operational around the clock, from the convenience of the local coffee shop, their couch or their bed, your customers and clients can easily access your website and services.
What is more convenient: driving outside to look for different stores that are available to shop in, or sitting in the comfort of your own home and shopping for the products you’re looking for? Pretty obvious answer, unless you like aimlessly driving around. Smart businesses realise this and thus have their own website housing their products and services so that potential customers can browse online for the products they want to purchase.
By building a website you are giving your business the opportunity to tell consumers why they should trust you and the testimonials and facts to back up those opportunities. Believe it or not, most people will search the internet for a product or service before the purchase to check the credibility first. When you provide good service or product, positive word-of-mouth about your business is likely to spread. Which in turn, delivers more repeat and new business.
People tend to trust a business after they have done business with it. Using your website, you can continuously serve consumers online and increase your credibility as a business owner.
Without sales, or selling more than you spend, your business is doomed. By having an online presence you allow for the sale of your products or services around the clock to whoever whenever with no or hardly any limitations; Unless you run out of stock or overworked, but that’s a good problem to have right! Giving your business the online presence it deserves is crucial to your brand and accountants smile.
Having a website and online presence strategy allows you to market your business online. There are lots of marketing strategies have been proven to be effective. From Google Adword, to Facebook advertising campaigns. Which ones you choose depends on the type of business you are in. I'd love to speak with you to see which are best for your business.
Whether you are a one man or woman show or operate with 100 employees, your website should appear as if you have a team dedicated exclusively to keeping your online presence strong and noteworthy. The key here is "appear" versus actually having someone updating your website everyday. For most small businesses, this is simply not necessary. However, having a professional, polished looking website that functions easily and offers customers easy navigation, strong photos, professional quality content and an overall experience that engages them enough for them to want to do business with you is key. And that is my goal, to help your business fully succeed.