Owning and operating a small business is no simple feat. For those who are willing to work very hard to build a successful business, it would make sense that they would want to do anything possible to increase their presence in the marketplace.
One of the best ways your business can obtain presence is through online visibility. Simply put, this means your business should have a website that your customers can look to when they want to know more about what you can offer them. Your business website should serve as a professional destination that provides your customers with the impression that you want to engage with them on a professional level. The following are five major reasons why your business should have a website.
One of the biggest benefits of a website for your small business is the fact that it is accessible every single day of the year. Your customers and potential customers have the opportunity to research your products and services at their leisure rather than being bound by your storefront hours. Having a website for your business is of great benefit to those customers who are looking to make a purchase decision but do not wish to move from store to store to find what they want. By making your business accessible to customers, you are positioning yourself as a top contender.
2. Credibility For Your Business
Now more than ever, consumers first turn to the Internet to conduct research about a business, product or service they need. A professional website shows you are serious about your business and are willing to invest in the satisfaction of your customers by providing them a way to access your products or services at their convenience. If your business does not have a physical storefront, a website is an absolute must with regard to your credibility. Without a website, customers will have more access to your competitors that do have websites, which does not bode well for your bottom line.
3. Save Money on Customer Outreach
When you first consider investing in a website for your business, one of the first things that may come to mind is the expense. Websites do cost some money upfront to build, and there are some recurring expenses required to keep a website operational. However, once you have made the initial investment, the ability to reach your customer base is infinite. Consider the costs of running a newspaper advertisement. If you were to take out an ad each month for the life of the business, you can imagine how many thousands of dollars you would be investing in only one market. With your website, you have the ability to reach millions of customers in any market you can think of every day with a very small monthly investment.
4. Reaching The Customer
More than anything, the goal with your website is to provide information about your business to customers and potential customers. You also need to keep your customers abreast of updates on products or services as well as any changes that will be undertaken in the business. Your website will allow you to quickly and easily reach your customers with any new information you need to share with them. It is a great way to inform customers about new products, events you have coming up, special promotions or new services you plan to offer. Compare operating a website to creating print ads each time you need to communicate with customers. It is simply more work and much more expensive to use other forms of advertising such as print, radio, outdoor, etc.
5. Control Your Ranking
While you can’t simply rattle off a list of search terms you want to be found for, you can use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basics to help control where and when your site is seen. By creating optimized content, building relevant links and developing a brand that customers want to engage with, you set yourself up as an authority in the eyes of the search engine which increases your chances of appearing for the right search terms, that paying customers use to find businesses. Learn more about the importance of SEO and how to get your site found on Google in next week’s blog.
Remember, no matter where your business operates—if it is a one-person endeavor or employs dozens of people—you must have a website if you want to remain competitive. A clean, polished website full of helpful and engaging content will position you light years ahead of your competitors who have yet to increase their online visibility.