Did you know that nearly 85% of consumers rely on the internet to find local and small businesses? And out of all those consumers, 80% own and use a smartphone? Combine these two statistics and it’s not hard to realize how disadvantaged small businesses are without an online presence. We live in a digital age where online marketing efforts can spell the difference between success and failure and despite that, 36% of small businesses still don’t have a website.
Consider your own search habits. Whenever you want to search for a good restaurant to eat or a hotel for your vacation, what do you do? You search on Google and go through all the listed websites. For small businesses, it is absolutely crucial to have a website in order to attract new customers and establish a steady stream of revenue.
In this blog, we share all the benefits small businesses stand to gain from having a website in 2019.
Reach Out to More People
Out of the nearly 7.4 billion people on our planet, 47% use the internet every day either for shopping on e-commerce websites or posting messages on social media whereas, in 1995, the number was lower than 1%. Both the internet and mobile technology are becoming increasingly available throughout the world and the number of smartphone users is expected to reach 6.1 billion by 2020.
Small businesses that still continue to operate without an online presence are literally doing business in the dark. It’s only a matter of time that they are overtaken by competition regardless of the quality of their offerings. By not creating a website, businesses make it difficult for customers to make online purchases or know what the company is about.
Creating a website – especially one that is mobile responsive – enables small businesses to capitalize on a number of opportunities. These include being listed on search engine rankings that make it easier for customers to locate businesses, a fact made much more important considering how 97% of customers rely on reviews for local businesses.
By having a website, the business is open 24/7 unlike traditional brick-and-mortar shops that operate during fixed hours. It enables businesses to address customer queries and concerns in a flexible manner.
Every website has an address that allows customers, associates, and clients to find its digital home. Basic website layouts consist of a Home, About Us, Product and Service, and Contact Us page that helps display the brand value proposition, provide details about the offerings, and informs visitors on how to contact the business.
Apart from these benefits, the biggest advantage of having a website in this day and age is how it improves credibility, gives the business an online identity, and provides proof that the business actually exists. Some small enterprises try saving costs by not creating a website and instead opt to have an online presence through a social media page. This is unwise as according to a recent survey, around 84% of customers believed that having a website apart from the social media page helps build business credibility.
Promote the Business
Using traditional means of marketing such as print ads, press releases, and flyers are a waste of time and resources. Despite their popularity, they are expensive, have a lower outreach, and are slowly becoming impractical. Online marketing, on the other hand, costs less, is more effective, and reaches larger numbers.
Marketing strategies are effective for diverting traffic towards the website. Effective online marketing tools include paid advertisements on social media pages and creating blogs. According to Hubspot, websites that blog around 15 times a month received more leads (4.5 times!) than websites that published zero to four blogs each month.
Websites allow businesses to place videos on their landing page that are more effective in conveying messages than text. Also, businesses can engage in email marketing that helps pull potential candidates to their website.
Allows the Business to Grow
Before the widespread use of broadband internet, websites were mainly developed for informational and marketing purposes. They lacked quality content and failed to provide tangible solutions. Now that the use of the internet, smartphones, and social media has become a necessity, the role of websites has evolved into an important building tool for businesses.
Certain brands have even been adopted by consumers as part of their identities such as Apple and Samsung. How a business uses its website to form an image and share its vision plays a crucial role in whether consumers connect with a brand in a way that goes far deeper than simply purchasing a product or service. It’s also an essential aspect of attracting clients as would most prefer not to deal with businesses that operate without a website.
Also, a well-developed website is an effective platform for recruiting a talented workforce. Many websites have a “Career” page where potential candidates can fill out an application form and post it alongside their resumes.
Makes the Brand Appear more Professional
Many small businesses make the same mistake of not investing and taking care of their websites and brand image until the business starts growing. It’s important to start working on the brand image before all else because it’s responsible for clarifying to the clients and customers what the business is about.
Investing resources in developing a good website makes the brand appear more professional. It shows how determined the business is about providing quality solutions to its customers and reinforces the brand image in the mind of the consumers.
Regardless of industry, small businesses operate in a fiercely competitive environment and need all the help they can get to edge past the competition. Creating and developing a quality website is a crucial component for finding success in 2019.
Devebyte is a digital marketing agency Edmonton, California that provides a number of services including website development. They work closely with the clients to understand their brand value and create a website that provides all the above-mentioned benefits and more. Contact us today for more information.