In 2017, this sounds like a silly question doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how many small business either don’t have a website or have a website that is actually hurting their business. If you don’t have a website, you don’t realize how much you are missing out on some great opportunities.
Let’s look at a scenario. A young woman gets engaged and excitedly begins looking for her wedding photographer. She finds two local photographers on social media that she absolutely loves. Their photography is stunning and similar in quality. She goes to the first photographers website and browses more photos, finds out prices, reads testimonials and sends her an e-mail on her contact page.
She then goes to the second photographer and realizes she doesn’t have a website, only a Facebook page. She searches for prices, but can’t find any. She still loves their photos, but it’s not quite as convenient to get information from them. She begins to question why they don’t have a website and in the meantime, the first photographer e-mails her back. The sale is as good as over.
Today, more and more consumers use the internet to search for the products or services they need. Your small business will gain credibility by having a website. Without one, potential customers will go to your competitors that do. If you already have a website but it is “home-made”, having it professionally redesigned will provide your business with a professional image which will inspire even greater confidence. For home-based businesses, this is particularly beneficial since you do not have a store front to promote your products or services.
This may be the most important item on this list. A website gives your potential clients a reason to trust you. Would you consider attending a university that didn’t have a website? Of course not. Just simply having a website gives you credibility that you are a real business and can be trusted.
People tend to continue to go back to businesses they’ve worked with in the past or trust. A website allows your potential customers to feel comfortable with you before even making a purchase.
IT PROVIDES A MEDIUM ON WHICH TO SHOWCASE YOUR WORK
No matter what type of business you’re in, a website is a great place to showcase your work. By including a portfolio or image gallery, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your business unique.
This can be extremely valuable to small businesses, especially small restaurants. Let’s say a new restaurant opens in your city and you are interested in trying it. You’d like to see their prices and what they offer so you Google them. Hopefully, your beautiful website pops up for them to click on. Imagine that potential customer being able to view your menu as well as see high quality photos of the food so they know what to expect. Having photos of the food is extremely valuable for restaurants. How many times have you been having dinner and watch a waiter walk by with the most amazing dish you’ve ever seen? Perhaps it’s just because you are hungry, but it looks fantastic. You had no idea that the name and description in the menu looked like that. A website with photos could have given your customer more information so they could have ordered that amazing dish.
IT IS ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE
This one is a no-brainer. A website is available to both your regular and potential customers 24/7/365 providing them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed. With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.
If you are waiting for your potential customers to come into your business during work hours or call during those hours with no other way to get information, you are just asking for them to go elsewhere.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Are your competitors outranking you in search results? Imagine a potential customer searching “Animal Clinic West Virginia” and the results place your top 5 competitors on the first page while your website is ‘MIA’ (missing in action). Search engines such as Google will return the results that are most relevant.
A website that is designed to be an effective Internet marketing tool will increase your website traffic. This internet marketing technique is referred to as Search Engine Optimization. By generating quality backlinks and creating optimized content, you become an authority before search engines and increase the number of visitors that come to your website.
Can you survive in 2017 without an effective business? You can, but it’s extremely difficulty to do so. A website does so much for your business without much effort and cost. Having a professional and optimized website is an important tool in your marketing strategy and a great way to position your company for global exposure.