If Siri and Google can’t find you, then I’m not sure you really exist. Ok, maybe that is a little dramatic, but not too far off the mark. If I can’t find you, then it’s likely that your potential customers and target audience isn’t finding you either. In today’s business world, there isn’t much else that can establish your business better than an effective website. It amazes me that nearly half of small business owners are still running without this tool in their belt. According to research done by Clutch, 46% of small businesses do not have a website for their business. This is a staggering statistic considering the US census reported in 2013 that 74.4% of all households were using the internet.
With three-quarters of the total households the United States being online, we truly believe that having a website for your business is crucial to your business. Here are Five Reasons Your Website Matters:
1. Think of it as your business’s virtual front door.
It establishes your validity, and makes you legitimate! Your website is your opportunity to make a good impression both visually and with all the right information at your customer’s fingertips. We are approaching an era where customers are more prone to view your website before stepping foot into your business, so give them a good first impression! If they are happy with the experience on your website, it’s likely you’ll get more traffic in your establishment.
Give them the information they want, on their terms, not yours. If people want to research your business at midnight or 6am they need to be able to do it. Give them relevant information; think about all the questions you are repeatedly asked over the phone or in your business and put those answers on your site.
2. Make you information accessible
The use of mobile devices is steadily on the rise, which makes it an important factor to consider when creating your website. Of those small businesses that did have a website, 23% had limited mobile capability. In 2013, phones and tablets overtook laptop and personal computer usage for consumers. According to ComScore, Millennials and those over 55 are often shucking their personal computer and using only mobile devices. Just because your website can be accessed from your personal computer, that does not mean it can be accessed on any mobile device.
There are many websites out there that have been created for desktop viewing only, and this is a dangerous limitation for the modern business. They appear all jumbled and out of place when viewed on a mobile device; pictures are out of place, text is out of order, and the navigation bar is nowhere to be found. If you are developing a website, you MUST ask if your website has the capability to be formatted for mobile devices. This is an extra step in the website-creating process, but it is a step that is well worth the extra time and effort.
3. Let folks get to know you but don’t be fluffy!
Tell your unique and different story. Why are you unique and why are you different from your competitors? Don’t give “fluff” such as “We are the best company in the world because nobody makes widgets like we do!” Let people get to know you and how you came to be passionate about what you do and who you serve. Share your passion for your industry! Along with your story, be sure to offer multiple ways for folks to contact you and then be responsive! Answer their questions and respond to each and every comment, email or text. Communication in a two-way street, and if you want customers to talk to you, you must show that you are willing to listen and respond.
4.Find a balance between SEO, that pulls customers to your website, and social media that drives customers to your website.
You need BOTH! People often think that having just a social media page or just a website is enough, but let’s be honest, not EVERYONE has access to your social media page and not EVERYONE will visit your website. Find ways to move your SEO so that you can easily be found. To dive deeper into SEO , check out our other blog about Web Presence. Use your social media platforms to cross promote your website. Your social media should interest people enough that they are interested in what your website says. When posting on social media, add the link to your website and to your posts, and on your website have links to social media that are easy to find. Find reasonable ways that make sense for the two platforms to work together and communicate your message. Often times, if your social media pages are more active, they will rank higher on search engines than your website just due to activity.
5.Website have to be evolving constantly, the work is never finished!
Your website is never truly “finished.” Because they are representative of your businesses and your business evolves daily, so must your website. Validate that your sources for information are relevant and up-to-date. Potential clients want to know they are contacting an expert in your field. It is tough to look like an expert if your website has been dormant for months or years. If your website appears abandoned people are going to think that you are not keeping up with the times. Blogs can be a great way to keep your website fresh. Viewers can easily go to your blog and see that you posted just the week before. Blogs require time and dedication as well but if you update your content regularly, viewers can keep coming back to find the new things to share with them.
Want to know the number one reason the 350 businesses stated that they didn’t have a website? Technical Knowledge! And we understand, these small businesses with less than 10 employees are busy trying to keep the boat afloat! There just are not enough hours in the day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, hire someone who can be there to guide you or get the job done for you. A website is a worthwhile investment that can impact your business in a powerful way. Give it a try and see how a website is able to change and grow your business!Want to know the number one reason the 350 businesses stated that they didn’t have a website? Technical Knowledge! And we understand, these small businesses with less than 10 employees are busy trying to keep the boat afloat! There just are not enough hours in the day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, hire someone who can be there to guide you or get the job done for you. A website is a worthwhile investment that can impact your business in a powerful way. Give it a try and see how a website is able to change and grow your business!