If you run a local business, regardless of your geographic target area, you'd better be thinking online, social and mobile. The first component - and perhaps the most essential - of this strategy is your company website. There's no question about it. To compete in today's uber competitive market you need a strong online presence.
So why do you need a website and how can you be sure it'll convert those shoppers into buyers? Here are 5 essential reasons why you should strengthen your online presence with a mobile-responsive website.
- You Need a Digital Business Card
- It Can Help You Build Credibility
- SEO Is a Cost Effective Marketing Strategy
- Google Ranks Local Businesses Higher When Searchers Use Mobile Devices
- Your Website Stays Open 24 Hours Per Day
- Your Competitors Probably Have One
- It Can Help Your Business Grow
- It Allows You to Hone Your Company's Brand and Image
1. You Need a Digital Business Card
People spend, on average, 23.6 hours online each week and nearly 5 hours every day on their mobile devices. So, if you want to be discovered where people are spending their time, it's essential to have accurate information about your company accessible in that space.
A website acts like a digital business card for a company: people can reference it again and again for things like contact information, names of employees, services offered and more.
2. It Can Help You Build Credibility
People don't just browse the Internet to discover companies they want to do businesses with; more specifically, they visit search engines. 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. And nearly half of these searches are for local businesses.
So, you need to have a search-optimized company website that can rank well in search engine results. This will ensure consumers are able to find, and connect with, your business.
3. SEO Is a Cost Effective Marketing Strategy
Let's face it-every company wants to optimize money in their budget, ultimately getting the most amount of bang for the least amount of buck. When it comes to marketing, having a website that is optimized for search can be one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies.
4. Google Ranks Local Businesses Higher When Searchers Use Mobile Devices
Google assumes that a user doing a search on their mobile phone is most likely on the go, and, in turn, looking for a business in close proximity. Thus, the search engine favors local businesses when people do mobile searches.
Having a company website that is optimized for mobile gives you the chance to take advantage of Google's preferential treatment and appear higher up on the results page. This ups your chances of consumers discovering your company in the moment that they're looking for it and means they're more likely to get in touch.
5. Your Website Stays Open 24 Hours Per Day
Unlike your business, which most likely does not operate or communicate with customers after-hours, your website stays open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This means that even when your staff is not available to interact with people looking to do business with you, your website is accessible and able to provide helpful information, serve as a point of contact or even allow customers to make purchases or submit orders.
6. Your Competitors Probably Have One
While 36 percent of small businesses don't have their own website, 64 percent of them do. This means that the majority of small businesses DO have a presence online, and it's likely that your competitors have a website that is appealing to people in your area.
If you want to stay relevant and competitive within your field, it's important that your business have a footprint online-it not only helps you stay competitive, but it also helps cement your role as a forward-thinking, tech-savvy business.
7. It Can Help Your Business Grow
If you're hoping to expand your business and bring in new customers, having a website is an important strategy. Small businesses who've experimented with launching a website report being happy with their success. Surveys on small business websites show that 81 percent of companies that launched sites saw their business grow, and 97 percent of small business owners would recommend having a website to other small business owners.
8. It Allows You to Hone Your Company's Brand and Image
A website is a good place to hone your brand-using your specific aesthetic, vocabulary, and more-it's the ideal forum for you to shape the narrative about your company.