According to a 2016 survey conducted by Clutch, 46 percent of small businesses still don’t have a website. If your business is one of them, you’re losing out on many opportunities that your competitors are taking advantage of. No matter what industry you’re in, having a website is the most important part of building a strong online presence. Here are five reasons as to why you should get a website for your business today if you don’t already have one:
1. Improved Discoverability Means Your Customers Are More Likely to Find You
In today’s world, there’s a high chance that your customers are spending a large portion of their day on the Internet. Consumers are now frequently accessing search engines on a desktop or mobile device to find a business that offers a product or service they’re interested in. This explains why there are 3.5 billion Google searches being conducted each and every day.
If a consumer is looking for something that your business offers on a search engine like Google or Bing and they don’t see your website, they will instead do business with one of your competitors. By not having an online presence, you’re missing out on valuable customers.
2. A Website Makes Your Business a Lot More Accessible
Having a website provides you with much better opportunities to reach out to your target audience. Consumers now frequently research items online before purchasing them at a retail store. Through a website, you can ensure that the information about your products and services is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You also have the opportunity of adding e-commerce functionality to your website. This lets your customers make purchases at any time, then have their products delivered to their location. You can also give your customers the opportunity to buy a product on your website, then pick it up in store.
Another great advantage of e-commerce is that it widens the reach of your business significantly. You won’t be limited to just customers in your local area. Now, you can sell your products to people from all over the nation or all over the world with few limitations.
3. The Internet Comes With Many Efficient Marketing Opportunities
Having a website gives you a highly effective way of marketing your business. Your website can serve as a place you can use to introduce customers to your products and services.
There are many ways that you can attract traffic to your website and gain the attention of interested visitors. Some of them, such as social media marketing or advertising your business on local online classified ads site and business directories, are completely free for you to use.
Your business website can not only help you attract new customers, but it can also help you ensure that existing ones stay loyal. For example, you can encourage your customers to register on your website so you can send them an email newsletter with information about your upcoming products and promotions.
Finally, you can use your site as an important analytics tool to guide your marketing efforts. There are several free tools that let you see which pages are the most often visited by your customers and how much time they spent looking at them. If you include e-commerce functionality, a quick look at your sales statistics will show you which of your items are the most popular and which ones aren’t moving too fast.
Customer feedback on individual items and the overall shopping experience can be collected in different manners as well. For example, you can let your customers leave reviews of products they’ve purchased, comment on informational pages and give them the opportunity to participate in a short survey after they’ve completed their purchase. All of this information is highly valuable and can be put to use immediately to improve your products and the way you interact with your customers.
4. Your Business Website Helps You Build Credibility
A 2015 study done by Verisign, one of the leading firms in online security, found that 84 percent of consumers believe small businesses with a website are more credible than those without one. With a website, you have numerous ways showing your customers why your business is trustworthy. For example, you can include information about the awards your company has received, warranty information about your products, plus reviews and testimonials left by customers who have done business with you.
The average consumer now expects every business to have a website, even if it’s a small one with just a basic overview of the company and their contact details. If a consumer can’t find a website for a business, they may get the impression that the owners are completely clueless about the digital world and technology.
5. A Website Ensures the Information Customers See About You Is Always Accurate
Updating information on a website is a lot easier than coming up with new print material. This makes your business website a very good way of helping your customers stay aware of any changes to the product line your business offers. You can also use it to announce new promotional offers or products that you’re adding to your selection for the first time.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s not uncommon for small businesses to move to a new location, change their opening hours or update their prices based on market conditions. With your own site, you can update your demographic and contact details, product pricing and offers, as well as information about your availability (permanent or temporary changes to opening hours, holidays, etc.) in just a few seconds.
You can also use your website as an information resource related to the products you sell. This can be done by including blog articles or knowledgebase that can help your customers choose the right products for their needs and make the most out of their purchase. To save your customers time, it’s also possible to add FAQ pages. These can be general (shipping and return policies, satisfaction guarantee, etc) or specific to certain products.
In today’s connected world, businesses of all sizes can benefit from having a strong online presence and a website is the basic building block of one. If you don’t currently have a website for your business, you’re putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage and missing out on many opportunities.