Website-Email-FInal

 TOP SEVEN REASONS WHY YOUR SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS A WEB PRESENCE.

Can you remember the last time you used the yellow pages to look up a business? I certainly can’t, though the latest copy dropped off at my doorstep is doing a great job of stabilizing a severely wobbly table at my house. These days the best way to find new businesses, products, and services is by searching the internet for options. It’s really of no great surprise that most businesses today have flocked to the internet, utilizing the medium to connect with consumers in a way practically unheard of just thirty years ago.

Now, only you and your business partners can decide whether or not a website is right for you, but here are seven compelling reasons to make the change. Without further ado, here’s why your business needs a web presence:

  1. Your competition is already online.
    While “everyone else is doing it” is not an argument that fits most decision-making, choosing to jump on board with other businesses that have gone digital is a bit of a no-brainer at this point in the digital age. In 2013 not having a website for a business is rather like saying that you just don’t want that kind of business because you don’t understand the medium. The simple fact of the matter is that if you are a business today most, if not all, of your competition is already online, and they’re getting customers that you’re not as a result. Technology is to the point that having a website doesn’t really provide a ton of advantage over other businesses unless they don’t have one. Conversely, not having a website is a distinct disadvantage to your own business.

  2. It will expand your audience greatly.
    Having a website opens up your business and your business and your products to a global audience, which is especially important if you utilize your website as an e-store. Selling your products online is a great way to supplement your offline business, and even if you’re not selling a product even the simplest of websites offers exposure to a free market otherwise left untapped.Plus, we live in a culture where “Google It” is a phrase uttered both by my tech-savvy employer AND my ninety-six year old grandmother on a daily basis, and I think not having a website is a bit of an oversight for any business in existence.
  3. 24/7 Customer Service.
    Having a well-functioning website is a great move for customer service, allowing your customers to find basic information online that they would otherwise have to call in about, tying up phone lines and taking up the time of you or your employees that could be better spent elsewhere. Informational requests by customers, or prospective customers, can be handled instantly and without outside influence.A website can work for you while your business is closed, allowing customers to figure out vital information they would otherwise have to wait to have answered (or sit through your answering machine recording), which often results in losing a sale. In conjecture with an e-store, your business can run online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With some attention to detail and a solid SEO strategy, your website could become your most valued employee.
  4. Allows you to create an impactful, customized first-impression.
    We are living in the genesis of the digital age where your customers can pull a tiny computer out of their pocket and access your website within 15 seconds (granted they have full bars). You can likely see how this kind of instant gratification also results in a viewer making a snap judgment about your website and any service it offers. Unless your website is well-designed, instantly informative, and user-friendly you’re likely to lose a customer. Just like your business front, it is your job to create the first impression that passersby have of your shop. Creating a new website puts you in this position. A good web designer knows how to implement a style that evokes the impression you intend users to have leaving your business.
  5. A great tool for recruitment.
    Your own website is a great tool for recruitment when you’re looking to fill positions with your business. The classified ads have all but disappeared from traditional print medium, making the move to digital (like everything else). Your website can be a direct hub for taking and processing online applications, alleviating the hassle of collecting and sorting through endless piles of cover letters and resumes.
  6. Having a website makes you more discoverable.
    Getting discovered online goes beyond search engine results, and having a website with well thought out key words, proper encoding, and appropriate classification aids in having your business information indexed on GPS devices, social media, and other websites that index your business’s information for users to access.
  7. People are already talking about your business online.
    This comes as a surprise to many small business owners, but there’s a significant chance that your business already has a web presence. With websites like Yelp, Google, Facebook, Twitter and other websites that allow user feedback, you can bet that someone has already reviewed you. It’s an unfortunate truth, but a customer who has had a bad experience with your business is considerably more likely to take to the internet to write a review than someone who had a pleasant experience.In this instance not having a website can be particularly damaging to your reputation. If your business is on a reviewing platform with just a couple negative reviews your business instantly loses credibility. The image is made worse by that website being the first thing that comes up in a quick Google search for your company’s name.Bearing this in mind, having a website and utilizing search engine optimization techniques allows you to push this kind of website further down the page of results. Even with positive reviews, if the first thing that pops up when users search for your business name is a user review site like Yelp your credibility takes a steep slide into non-existence, even if you have more good reviews than bad.Having a website gives you the opportunity to guide the conversation. While simply having a web presence won’t stop people from writing negative reviews about you, it does give you a voice in the game that would otherwise be lost.

 

Porter, Gregory “Top Seven Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs a Web Presence.” 6 November 2013. <http://izzatmarketing.com/blog/2013/06/27/Top-Seven-reasons-why-your-small-business-needs-a-web-presence>.