Image Credit: Patrick Ng
Regardless of whether or not you think you are an online business, your business is online. We always stress that each business, large or small, has an identity online and a website is the best way to claim that identity. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and others are a great way to promote your brand or product line, but serious consumers will ultimately head to a review site like Yelp or TripAdvisor or a business website before they make a purchase. The biggest mistake you can make is to not have a website to greet consumers who want to engage with your business online.
Most business owners feel that if they don’t have products to sell online, they don’t need a website. After all, why invest the money? The only problem is, their customers don’t feel the same way. Your website is much more than a platform to sell goods. It is a brand building, consumer engaging, decision making marketing tool!
A recent Hibu survey found that SMB’s may be missing out on as much as $1 Trillion by not having a mobile-friendly website. Be honest with yourself, and put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. If you found a tire shop nearby and you wanted to check out their prices, would you spend the time to squint at there non-responsive webpage on your iPhone, hoping to find the link to pricing or, would you hop back to Google and click on the next page? If you found a restoration company on Facebook but a website was nowhere to be found, would you trust them with $50K of your money? A professional looking businesses website makes your business look competent, modern, and trustworthy.
There is no sense in having a great looking website that only works on desktops or laptops. Those days came and went a long time ago. A comScore report showed that 60% of all web traffic is mobile. That number is up almost 10% from last year. The numbers don’t lie: tablets and smartphones are the media on which the majority of consumers are searching for, and engaging with businesses.
Don’t think your website has to be passive, like an online business card. With content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, you can easily utilize a blog or a specials page to drive more business to your doors. According to Business Wire’s recent article, just a small amount of holiday marketing can yield high results for small businesses. Their survey found that around 50% of SMB’s spent less than $500 on holiday promotions and still saw great returns.
More and more Americans are using search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo to find businesses near them or products they need. When they find your business, what do you want them to see? Use your website to capture their attention, to show them what makes you different, and to convert them into a customer. Your website is a marketing tool; make sure it works.