Small businesses have many options to build their online presence. Do websites still play a vital role in today's online marketplace? We cover the many things to consider when looking at your business and how you will acquire leads, sales, and credibility with your audience.
With so many changes to digital marketing, do small businesses still need a website? It isn't a matter of using one form of social media or another. The small businesses that are seeing the best results are using all online digital mediums (website, social media, Google, etc) to work toward their goals.
When you are deciding whether or not to have a website, be aware of the following statistics:
63% of consumers use websites to engage with or find a business
46% say a website is the biggest deciding factor determining if they trust a company
30% of consumers do not consider a business that doesn't have a website
These statistics prove that online marketing relies heavily on building familiarity, like, and trust with today's consumer. Think about the last time you were looking for a service or product. What did you do to research the company or product?
Next, let's look at other compelling reasons your company website is vital to your online marketing goals.
If your business relies on reaching customers in your local area, a website can help you appear in local internet searches. If you want to show up in such searches a website is vital. If your website is designed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, it is more than likely that you will rank better than national companies providing the same service or products.
Optimizing your website for these local searches will bring local traffic to your business. Give these potential customers what they are looking for: credibility, trust, and authority that you know your stuff. Your website is the best way to achieve this.
As the statistics above show, 30% of consumers refuse to consider a business that does not have a website. Websites allow you to showcase your business to potential customers and prove your knowledge and expertise in the industry.
When you have a website, potential customers find you in their searches and can visit your website. If they visit and find organized and interesting content that speaks to their needs, you will gain their trust and have a much higher chance of gaining them as a customer. If you have no website, there is considerable revenue lost when potential customers find a competitor online and do business with them instead.
There are three reasons why people search online for businesses.
Your website is how you reach these customers at each level of their discovery. Your content, reviews, and videos help show you are the best person for the job and can be trusted. People want to know who they are doing business with which is why 30% of people will not do business with a business that doesn't have a website.
If you do not have a website, consumers looking for online information about your business are only influenced by:
Having a website allows you to build your brand in a way completely controlled by you. It allows you to showcase the best parts of your business, to demonstrate your expertise, and speak directly to the needs of potential customers. It also allows you to showcase your logo and present information with consistent design themes, further establishing your brand in the customers' minds.
In a nutshell: having your own website allows you to take control of potential customer impressions and reduce the impact of information posted about it on other social mediums.
Another advantage of having a website is the ability it gives you to learn more about both potential and current customers. For example, you can collect emails by asking visitors to subscribe to your email list. You can then send a follow-up email asking for more tailored preference information. This will help you learn which promotions, discounts, and new product or service announcements to send them in the future.
Most people who visit your website will likely be looking for information about your products or services. They may even decide to purchase directly from the website or visit your physical store (if you have one).
Your goal is to provide potential customers with as much information as necessary to educate them about your products or services. If you are a landscape company, have an online menu of services such as lawn care, tree services, and patio construction. This allows potential customers to click the service they are interested in and learn about what you offer. If you are a bakery, highlight each bakery item you sell and different options such as sizing, frosting color, customization.
The more a customer learns about your business, the more likely they are to purchase now or in the future.
Depending on the size of your business and your expertise, you may or may not want to build your own website. If you do not have the time or expertise it may be more cost-effective to hire a web design company to create a website for you.
If you decide to work with an agency to create your website you have options. There are many agencies and freelancers that can develop a website for you. Knowing what questions to ask to choose the right web designer for the job is key, otherwise, it can be a nightmare.
Ready to build your new website, have a website that needs to be updated? Let's talk and put our 20+ years of web design and online marketing experience to work for your business. Call us (405) 753-4114 or request a quote.
Richelle is the founder of Lighthouse and has over 25 years of experience in online marketing and website design. Richelle enjoys meeting with clients to pinpoint their goals and come up with a strategy to achieve them. She is active with many groups; including a mastermind group for business owners, a podcast, as well as industry groups to stay current with current marketing, search, and design trends. When not helping businesses, she spends time with family including her fur-kids which you may see pop in to say hello during one of her podcasts.