Are you still unsure as to whether you need a website and if so how long it will take to build? The world is shifting, and the online world is moving at an even faster pace. You don’t exist if you don’t have a web presence today. Gone are the days when people flipped through the Yellow Pages to find a business. Most don’t even have a phonebook.
Google is the new Yellow Pages, the search engine most people use to find the services they need. Your website will work for you and be your business card, brochure, and shop window on the Internet. Not only that, but it will be the first port of call for customers searching for products or services.
If you’re a small business owner, one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your business is by creating a website. Unfortunately, many small business owners don’t realize the importance of having their own website or keep putting it off.
Even if your business isn’t technology-oriented, you’ll be surprised at how much new business you can get from having a website. Here are a few reasons why you need one.
What Kind of Site do you Need?
There are a multitude of website types and depending on your business, will determine what kind of site you may need. Depending on the type of website, will determine the length to have one designed by a professional web designer.
Business Websites – Can range in size from small to large and depends on the business needs. This site can take anywhere from 2 month-4 months.
Blogs – A blog website is one that will continuously be updated, so the initial time needed to build one online could take 2months – to 6months.
eCommerce Websites – The length of this web design-build would take anywhere from 2months-12 to months depending on the number of products.
Even if you know what kind of website you will need here are a few questions you may ask yourself as to why you need a new website.
It’s a Way to Get More Customers
Without a web presence, customers are passing you by. Smartphone usage is skyrocketing, so people often use their phones to research products and services. Customers use the Internet to search for products and services – it’s no longer just about finding information.
Customers use their mobile devices to research or make purchases 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Can you afford to miss out on all the extra business smartphone users bring in? No matter if you have a retail or service business, a website will bring in more traffic and sales. Take steps to ensure your website is mobile-friendly, too.
You can even add a shopping cart so customers can purchase products from your website without having to leave it. Add an event calendar so that customers can view and sign up for upcoming events at your location and even buy tickets online.
A Website Boosts Credibility
When customers see you have a web presence, it adds credibility to your business. It’s a chance to showcase your brand and tell people more about how your business can benefit them. You can only convey so much information with signs and advertising. Having a website gives you the opportunity to tell your story and attract new customers. You can answer questions and display your business’s expertise in a way no other form of media can. Be sure to display an attractive logo and choose colors consistent with your business. This will help you build a stronger brand.
A Website Will Help You Attract Customers Outside Your Area
Another benefit of a website is that it can bring in customers from outside your local area. Customers can easily find your business using Google Maps if you embed it on your website. If your website is more professional than others in the customer’s area, they may choose to drive the extra miles to visit your business. You open your company to a wider audience when you have an online presence.
The Internet allows people to easily locate your business and your website. If you already have a physical location in one part of the country but hope to expand into other regions, an online presence can help you reach those new markets faster and with less expense.
More than ever, people want instant gratification. They want information and to see if a product is in stock now. A website is available 24/7, so potential customers can access your site on desktop or mobile, day or night. It also means you spend less time answering questions and phone calls from people wanting more information. Plus, you can post coupons and promotions online to draw in more customers without the expense of print advertising.
It’s a Chance to Show Off
Has your business won awards or done something positive for the community? A website is a chance to share those accomplishments with the rest of the world. You also can increase engagement by posting photos and graphics related to your business. Pictures add an engaging element that gives substance and meaning to any message you’re trying to convey. The images will attract, engage and retain people on your website longer than text alone.
The Bottom Line
The Internet is a necessity for any business. Telling people about your business through word-of-mouth and social media has its place, but it can only take you so far. Every business needs an online presence to reach the widest possible range of customers. If you don’t have a website, you’re not marketing effectively.
If you do it right, your website will help bring new customers through the door, call attention to your brand, educate, and bring new customers through the door and old customers returning. Every day you wait, you’re giving your competition a chance to build a market share that could be yours. Are you ready to claim your spot on the web?