By 2017, there will be more internet traffic than all prior internet years combined, According to hostingfacts.com
When it comes to marketing a small business today, especially a start-up business, many entrepreneurs focus their efforts in the wrong direction: advertising through mailers, radio ads, and email newsletters. While some of these strategies can certainly be effective, they shouldn’t be your primary move. The first place potential customers are going to look for you, is on the internet!
Yes, of course you need a sign, a business card, a Facebook page, and possibly a brochure, but all of these things should come secondary to promoting your business with a professional website. Think about it, when a customer Googles your product or service, what are they seeing? Possibly a tripadvisor or yelp review, maybe a link to your facebook page (which is a start. You’re online, but not exactly screaming “professional”), or maybe the potential customers are stumbling onto your competitor’s website… youch! Let’s face it, in today’s business world, a business of any size, needs a website.
Your website serves as a gateway for your customers to you! We all shop around online – comparing prices and products. If you’re not accessible, you’re losing business. Potential customers need to be able to research your product or service in detail, and company information, to be able to determine if they want to do business with you.
So, let’s say you realize the importance of a business website, but you’re holding back because you may think it’s a frivolous endeavor or an expensive luxury that you can afford to do without. You’re wrong. It’s actually a very affordable, fundamental, and effective tool that every small business needs… And your customers expect you to have one!
Let your Website Be the Anchor
All business details, contact information, product information, promotions, and events should be found on your website. This is the information people are looking for when they google your service. You should build your website first, before creating any other marketing materials, business cards, or brochures, because once your website it created – you will simply direct people to the site using those other forms of marketing (on the brochure, the business cards, etc). The business website should be the first thing you create, so that your domain name can live on those other materials, and drive customers to your site for more information and ultimately more sales.
A Website Works for You
Your website stays active, even outside of your normal business hours! You can consider your site to be a 24 hour sales team, answering frequently asked questions, booking your calendar, and even processing sales! This simplifies business transactions for both your staff, and your customers.
Think of it as an online, digital brochure, that shares up to date information about your product or service. You can update the listings with little time or expense involved, manage promotions, and even keep in touch with your customers through a blog.
Connect with New Customers
While you may have an established customer base already, having a professional website is a certain way to connect with new ones! Potential clients that might be unfamiliar with your business, are more often than not, turning to the internet for answers. Do you find yourself googling a question and stumbling upon a service to solve that problem? That is what most people are doing to find solutions. What problem does your business solve? This is what we want people to google to be able to find your service online.
Small Local Businesses Find Big Gain:
A common misconception about websites, is that they are only necessary for big companies with a global market. But the truth is, websites are hugely beneficial to small businesses in local communities.
Nearly All Consumers (97%) Now Use Online Media to Shop Locally, According to BIA/Kelsey and ConStat
Not to mention, search engines often rank the results of your search according to location. So if you’re looking for “Pizza place near me”, Google won’t offer you a pizza chain result in Chicago – unless of course you live in Chicago. So, it’s pretty obvious that being online is a pretty huge advantage… giving small businesses the chance to compete in that local marketplace.
Having a business that’s not online, is a surefire way to lose credibility as a company. If people can’t find you on the internet, your business just looks outdated, untrustworthy, and not in touch with your market. When it comes to marketing, nothing is more important than being found!
So, you’re online with a Facebook page or a Yellow Pages online directory listing… This will never be enough to secure your online presence in the eyes of new customers. Social platforms can be very beneficial, and should by all means be used in conjunction with your website (linking your facebook, instagram, and twitter accounts to your website) but without a website, your customers see you as amature. Also, you are the owner of your website, and control your account and what experience your customer will receive… not the case with third party platforms.
Simple & Affordable:
If you’re like many small business owners who haven’t set up a website yet, for fear of the complexity or how expensive it may be, look no more! Building a website is cheaper and easier than it’s ever been before, and Anchor Websites would love to give you a quote on a custom website built to fit your needs without breaking the bank!
If you’ve been putting off creating your website, it’s preventing new customers from finding you, and hurting your business. It’s time to get started!
Contact Anchor Websites today for a free estimate on a site that meets your specific needs! We make websites, to anchor your business on.
Meet the Author
Laura is an expert on style, technology and getting things done. With her background as a Financial Advisor and mother of 4, she has both smarts and a practical sense that brings value to everything she touches. Her most recent adventure is as an entrepreneur at Anchor Websites. Call her today to see if Anchor Websites should create your next website! 715-600-1950 or firstname.lastname@example.org