Very recently, Gatorworks started offering online marketing “in-house”, and in turn, hired me – your friendly neighborhood marketing dude – on to head that up. Coming from a company that was heavily involved with SEO, PPC, and other forms of marketing, having a website seemed like a no-brainer to me. And to be honest, in the modern world with an estimated 247 million Americans online and regularly using the Internet, it actually is.
So, it came as quite a surprise when I started researching local companies here in Baton Rouge and learned that a surprising number of small, local businesses don’t have a website to call their own.
Does this mean they don’t have any web presence?
Not exactly. I saw a lot of Facebook pages and quite a few twitter accounts, but for many, their online efforts ended right there. I have to admit, while surprised, I wasn’t completely shocked.
If you fall into this bucket of people, there may be any number of reasons why you feel a website is not a necessity. Maybe you believe a website won’t help your business, or that your business isn’t “sexy” enough for an online presence. Or maybe you feel that your customers are not online, or that a website simply isn’t within your budget.
You may think any one or all of these things. You are wrong, however, and here are a few reasons why.
- Your competitors have a website. And it’s most likely working for them. If you are in direct competition with someone (and if you own a business, you are) and they have a website they are one step ahead of you – especially if they are actively marketing their website. More than ever, people are turning away from traditional advertising and “just googling” what they need. In fact, according to a report by Fleishman-Hillard, 89% of consumers turn to search engines to find information about products and services. If you are not there when they are looking, you are missing out.
- Owning your own property. Many people think they can just “get a Facebook page” and run with it. This may seem like a great – and affordable – way to promote your business, but what do you do if things change? What if Facebook changes their terms of service? Or the way they allow content to be shared? Owning a website vs utilizing a purely social strategy is very much like owning your own home vs renting. Without a place to call your own, you simply have less control.
- Improved customer confidence. A website is a great place to showcase your brand to a larger confidence and let your customers know that you are a legitimate and trustworthy organization. By adding pages about your team, processes, and company mission, you help people understand how and why you do the things you do – and in turn help ease the conversion process.
- Build an informational hub. No matter what you sell, giving people as much relevant information as possible will only help them make their decision. And if you can give them this information on a website, it will make your job easier when you have the initial contact. Additionally, having the information available at the click of a mouse will also help your employees while they are speaking with potential customers by putting all relevant information at their fingertips.
- Websites are open 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Wouldn’t it be great if you could be awake and working ALL DAY LONG? Of course not, but having a website allows your business to function even when you sleep, or go on vacation. Whether you run an e-commerce website or a service, a website will allow people to read abut your products or services, make purchases, and contact you at any hour of the day.
Your business needs a website. A website that will reflect the quality of your product or service and your personality. The first step is finding a reliable web development company (hey! that could be us!) that will work with you to bring your ideas to life and help you make a statement on the web. If you’re ready to get started, contact us today and let’s get the ball rolling!