What do small businesses that sell products and services locally, nationally, or globally all have in common?
Don’t worry, it’s not a joke.
The answer is, whichever camp you fall into, you will hugely benefit from creating your own website here in 2017 and beyond.
By the time you reach the end of this page you will have answers to some of those nagging questions, such as….
- “How will a website help my business?”
- “Is it really worth the effort and cost?”
My aim here is not to simply reel off another half-baked list of “101 benefits”.
Instead, I want to dig into 4 specific ones to show you how a carefully designed website can go to work for you, build trust, and help attract new customers to your business.
Benefit #1 Levelling The Playing Field
As it stands, around 71% of small businesses now have a website.
That means, if your business isn’t listed in the likes of Google and Bing exactly where your potential customers are looking, you can be sure that your competitors will be.
As time passes, businesses without an online presence are going to find it much more difficult to attract new customers as the younger generation shun the Yellow Pages in favor of their tablets and smartphones to look up businesses and shop online.
You may have already started to notice this trend this in your own business.
However, if your website is sitting pretty in the search engines, you’ll have a much better chance of grabbing the attention of these digital-savvy potential customers who are actively searching for what you have to offer online.
Benefit #2 Your Own 24-Hour Salesman
How does a highly skilled, low paid salesman (or saleswoman) that works 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year sound?
Oh, and they’ll never call in sick, ask for a pay rise, or go on vacation.
Sounds great right?
Well, it’s entirely possible and in case you haven’t guessed by now, I’m talking about your website.
Depending on what industry you’re in, you probably spend a lot of time on the phone or in person explaining the same things to potential customers over and over again.
This is where your digital salesman really shines.
You see, a carefully planned website will take your visitors on a journey and by the time they’re done, they’ll be much more educated on your products or services.
By the time they actually get in touch, they’ll have become a qualified lead which will save you precious time and as the old saying goes “Time is money”.
There are a few basic elements that your site should contain and I’ve listed a few of them below;
- About us
- Contact page
- List of products and services
- Price list
- Frequently asked questions
- Showcase of previous work.
Benefit #3 Expand Your Reach and Grow Your Brand
If you serve a small town, then you’ll understand it’s much easier to build a solid reputation and gain new business from good old word of mouth advertising.
A website is a great way to grow your business by reaching out into the surrounding areas where people may not have heard of you.
The same principle applies to those who have fierce competition to fight off in a larger town or city.
A website is a fantastic way to get yourself out there and a chance to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Show them they are dealing with a real person rather than just another faceless company who are only interested in profits.
Maybe you have a store selling products, even though you trade locally, you’re definitely not restricted to just one area.
The world is now an online marketplace and by spending a little time setting up a website, you can reach customers on a national or global scale and ship products to just about anywhere in the world.
You can also write helpful content for your site about your products and services, as well as guides and tips.
This sets you up as an expert in your niche and gives people a reason to buy from you over the competition.
Benefit #4 A Fraction of The Cost of Other Methods
Have you ever looked into radio or Tv advertising? If you have, you’ll know it’s an expensive game.
Premium ads in the online version of the yellow pages (yell.com) are a lot cheaper.
The trouble is, you’ll be crammed onto a page with your competitors with no way to stand out, and no real way of tracking your results.
Your hard earned money would be much better invested in your own website, think of it as your own piece of online real estate.
A common myth about website marketing is that it’s expensive. The truth is it can be depending on how you go about it.
If you decide to outsource, you could pay hundreds (or even $1,000+) for your website to be built, and then a hefty monthly fee to have it maintained by someone.
Should you choose to do it yourself, you can build and run your own website for a fraction of the cost making it by far, the most cost-effective and powerful way to advertise your business.
The trade off with the “DIY” approach is the time you’ll need to invest in doing it yourself as there is work involved.
But thanks to the simple to use site builders available today, it’s not difficult by any stretch of the imagination.
Before You Go, Put Yourself In The Shoes of Your Customers
If I may, I’d like to ask you to put yourselves in the shoes of your customers for just a second.
Pretend you’re someone searching for the product or service online that you offer.
Head over to Google type in “your service + your location”. For example “Plumber in Birmingham”.
All of the results you see on that page is your competition and guess what?
Your business probably isn’t listed there.
Time’s are moving fast and I honestly believe that anyone that wants to future proof their business should get a website up and running sooner rather than later.
I sincerely hope I’ve been able to highlight the benefits and importance of having your own website.
If you have any questions or feedback, feel free let rip in the comments section below.