If you’re a small business owner who’s on the fence about whether or not you should invest in a website, this article is definitely for you. In today’s modern world, there are a lot of different options when it comes to having an online presence as a small business, and a website should be your shining star in that mix.
Wait – what is an “online presence”?
When a customer Googles your business and they see your Facebook, or Instagram page, or your website pop up in the search results, that’s an example of having an online presence. Your online presence is how your small business exists on the internet.
So why is an online presence important for small businesses?
Let’s face it – we are living in a very digital age. Everything we know or want to know is quite literally in the palm of our hands. We can look up anything about anyone with a simple click of the button, and we do.
Did you know that over 46% of all Google searches are looking for information about the small businesses around them? Or that 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else? And did you know that 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours?
Customers are searching for businesses like yours all over the internet, and having an online presence for your small business not only means they’re able to find you, but it tells them that you want to be found. This leads to more foot traffic, which leads to more sales and more exposure for you and your business.
How does a website help me with my online presence?
Having a website not only gives you a chance to display important business information like store hours, an address, and contact information, but it also helps to give your business credibility. When a customer looks up your business on Google and they can see your professional, polished website – they know that you’re serious about your business, that you care about your brand, and that you’re a legitimate business. Here’s a few other reasons why you should have a website for your small business:
Customer reviews will help establish credibility
A website can also give you a chance to display your customer reviews. According to Trustpilot.com, over 80% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Having those reviews front and center gives your customers a reason to trust you and give you their business.
It’s a great place to showcase your services and/or products
Having a website to show off your awesome services and/or products gives you a chance to really tell your customers why you’re the best at what you do. You can describe your offerings in full details, include big beautiful images of everything, and even include videos or downloadable content like guides or ebooks.
Your competition already has a website, and it’s better than yours
Chances are your competitors already have a modern, polished website because they know that their customers expect it. Consumers are looking at businesses online at every second of every day. If Shop A has a nice, clean website with great content and beautiful images of their shop and/or products and Shop B just has a half-finished Facebook page, which business do you think they’re going to choose? It’s up to you to stand out from your competition and having a well-designed website can be the major boost that you need to do exactly that.
But I have a Facebook page, isn’t that enough of an online presence?
Having a Facebook for your small business is a great thing to have! But it shouldn’t be the only thing you have. Here’s a few quick reasons why you shouldn’t rely on a Facebook page as your primary online presence:
Less control over your brand and how customers interact with your business
Sure you can change your profile photo and cover image, but that’s really it when it comes to how much control you have over your business’s brand and how your business interacts with its customers. With a website, you have full control over every aspect of your brand and communication with customers.
Not everyone uses Facebook
Believe it or not, there are still people who do not use Facebook. So there’s an entire group of potential new customers who aren’t seeing your business and may not even know that you exist.
A Facebook page is not as credible as a business website
Visiting a business’s website can really give you a feel for that business. You can read more about their products or services, look through customer reviews, and read their About story to get to know them better. It’s an experience that simply can’t be replicated on a Facebook page that looks like every other Facebook page out there, and it diminishes that credibility between you and your customer.
Ultimately, you want your customers to first get to know your business through your website, then send them along to your social media where they can see special offers, announcements, and maybe some behind-the-scenes content of your team members or store.
At the end of the day, having a strong and clear online presence can make a huge difference for your business, and having a professional website take center stage can be one of the most beneficial marketing tools you can invest in for your business. Let your customers know you exist, give them a reason to trust you, and turn them into life-long fans of your brand and your small business.
Ready to own a website?
All you have to do is send us your text and images and we take care of the rest. Schedule a free consultation with us today so we can find the best solution for your business.