Do you run a small business and are not sure whether you should have a website?
In this article, USA TODAY CLASSIFIEDS BLOG explain that even the smallest business could benefit from having a website. Why?
1. Credibility – Consumers Expect Web Presence
2. Brand Development – A Strong Narrative Sells & Generates More Leads
3. Marketing – SEO Is a Marketing Powerhouse – Content Is a Commodity
4. Competition – Small Businesses Need to Compete with Consumer Expectations
5. Control – A Small Business Can Expand Beyond Local Borders
5 REASONS WHY SMALL BUSINESSES NEED WEBSITES
How often do you search for products and services online before looking in the Yellow Pages?
More times than not, you probably use the Internet for most of your needs as a consumer. Even the Yellow Pages made the big transition from print to cyberspace.
With everything going digital, how well are small businesses coping?
In short, businesses that have a web presence perform better than those that don’t. It seems that in this day and age, even the smallest of businesses could benefit from websites.
Here are 5 reasons why small businesses need websites!
It’s more common for businesses to have websites than it is not to. As a result of this, consumers are generally turned off by companies that don’t have a web presence.
This is one of the biggest reasons why small businesses need websites.
A website not only puts the business out there and makes itself known. Because modern consumers expect it, it instantly gives a business credibility.
Consumers Expect Web Presence
Even businesses that do have websites can still leave bad impressions on web consumers.
Think about when you have come across outdated websites…
Old design and layout. Poor use of colors and font. Spelling errors. The whole nine yards of a bad website.
You probably click away every time you encounter one of these ancient sites.
And unfortunately, a lot of small business owners succumb to this because they don’t have the skills nor the time to design a functional website.
Luckily, website builders and developers can help businesses look both legitimate and professional. In the digital era, this is a wise and a practically necessary investment for both big and small businesses alike.
2. Brand Development
When people think of branding, they usually think about a logo.
It’s true that a logo is a big part of a company’s image. But it’s so much more than that.
A brand is the entity of a business. It’s what comes – and stays – alive in the minds of consumers.
It not only makes a business recognizable from the rest. It’s the personality that consumers come to know and trust.
A Strong Narrative Sells & Generates More Leads
A website is the most relevant and useful platform to make this personality known. There’s hardly a limit to how a company develops its brand online.
Businesses can both illustrate and reflect their brands with design, layout, and content. But most importantly, they can more easily tell their story.
People, in general, like stories. And consumers are the same way. When they buy a product or service, in a way, they become part of the brand and its story.
Long gone are the days of billboard and radio advertisements.
Whenever a person searches for something online, they get a long list of websites to click on.
While this is great news for websites that rank higher, it’s not so good for those that rank lower. And small businesses are usually the ones that don’t fare well on search engine result pages.
With lower visibility, it becomes harder to compete and generate more web traffic. But with SEO and digital marketing, small businesses can rank higher.
SEO Is a Marketing Powerhouse
When a website is chock full of 404 errors and slow page loading times, web users are more likely to click away and move onto the next website.
This is one of the things that affect how a website ranks on search engines. Search engines not only favor websites with more web traffic. They also favor ones that maintain their web traffic.
Websites that implement strategic keywords in their web content tend to rank higher, as well. These keywords are the terms and phrases that web users search for.
Content Is a Commodity
The Internet is a trove of information. Because of this, information has become a commodity that’s both valuable to the consumer and a business.
Content is a big reason why small businesses need websites. And websites provide the most optimal space for content.
By providing information in the form of keyword content, businesses can better sell themselves to consumers. If the consumer “buys” into a business’s information, they’re more likely to end up buying the business’s actual products and services.
Keywords make up a large component in Google’s PageRank algorithm. By applying keywords into their content, websites optimize and make themselves more visible.
Competition is fiercely digital these days. This is a big reason why small businesses need websites.
The majority of small businesses have an online presence. Whether they have a website, social media accounts, or both, small businesses, in general, have caught on.
But those that don’t have a website simply can’t compete with the companies that do.
Online consumers are only going to see the businesses that have websites.
That means all other businesses that don’t have a web presence will stay in the dark. Meanwhile, businesses with websites will outshine them.
Small Businesses Need to Compete with Consumer Expectations
Additionally, consumers don’t take businesses seriously if they don’t have a web presence. To them, if businesses aren’t investing in web presence, they must not care about their performance.
To consumers, this translates into poor business. And they don’t want to waste their time and money on low-quality products and services.
Instead, they’d rather invest their money on something worthwhile. Or, at least, on a business that takes itself seriously.
With websites, small business owners are at the wheel. They can drive and control what people see and how they’re perceived.
There is also a lot of data available on a website. It’s easy to see where your audience logs in from, at what time, and what they searched for to get there.
This is powerful for small business owners. There’s less guesswork and more concrete evidence on people’s behavior and thought patterns.
Website owners can see how long their audience stays logged onto a page. They can see which keywords they searched for. They can also see which sites they go to after theirs.
Social media and discussion forums have also made it easier to understand audiences. Business owners can then target their audience with engaging and well-researched content.
A Small Business Can Expand Beyond Local Borders
With web tools like Google Analytics, it’s possible for small businesses to see where their audience is logging in from.
Even if a local company can generate traffic from out of state (or even out of the country), why wouldn’t they try to sell that far beyond?
It means more eyes are seeing their business, and ultimately, more business is to be had.
Understanding Why Small Businesses Need Websites
29% of small businesses still don’t have a website. That’s more than a quarter of small businesses still left in the dark, unable to compete and get the recognition they deserve!
Do you own a small business? Are you part of the 29% that still doesn’t have a web presence?
Don’t let your business stay in the dark another day! Get your website up and running today.
(Source USA TODAY CLASSIFIEDS BLOG)