Does Your Local Business Need a Website?
- Written by News Company
Go online these days, and almost every successful business has a website or social media presence. Whether it’s the take-out coffee place around the corner or the insurance company you use, it’s likely that at least some of your interactions with service providers take place online, or because you found their details from Google. So why should your company be any different?
Even if you don’t sell products online, having a website is still essential, and the benefits to your business far outweigh the time and money required to set one up. These days, it’s easy to use a hosting platform or build a website that’ll rank highly in the SERPs. Still, many small and local businesses question the need for a business website and even put off building one entirely.
If you’re wondering whether your business needs a website even though it relies on local trade, the answer is yes – and here’s why.
Meeting Customer Expectations
Studies show that the majority of customers expect to find information about a product or service online. Customers often research companies before they commit to spending their money, so it's important that you can be found on the Internet. It doesn’t matter whether people can actually buy your products that way or they have to come into your store – you still need a website. If you’re unsure on how to build an effective website for your business, then you can hire an experienced web design agency to create a professional-looking page that ranks in search engines. Using the expertise of professionals means you have a far better chance of being noticed.
Having no Internet presence (or a poorly conceived one) undermines the integrity and perceived quality of your business. Remember, you’re building trust, and one of the fundamental ways to do that is to have information readily available and accessible online.
Imagine you own a restaurant, and your customer is sat at home thinking about coming to your establishment for lunch the next day. That customer will probably look online to check what time you open, how late you serve lunch and what’s on your menu. If the customer can’t find your details online (or they are not readily accessible), they are highly likely to go somewhere else for lunch.
Whatever kind of business you operate, one of the benefits of having a website is being able to offer 24/7 access to your company information. Your customer doesn’t have to make a phone call or wait until business opening hours – instead, they can find what they need just by searching on their phone. A website will also cut down on time spent answering the phone or responding to emails, especially if you have an FAQ section.
One of the main reasons you need a business website is to stay on par with your competitors. Given that many customers rely on search engines to point them to what they need, if your information does not come up when people search for services in your area, you have no chance against your competitors who are listed on Google.
A website may even give you an edge. If you can find out what other local competitors are going, you can better your offering and drive more sales into your business. Just remember that there’s no use advertising the best deals around if you don’t publicise them outside of your business. These days, that means making the Internet your primary marketing tool, and a business website is fundamental to that strategy.