Whether you have a brick and mortar store or offer a personal service, your small business needs a presence on the web. Even if you have no plans to consider e-commerce, there are still plenty of other reasons to build a website. What are they? Glad you asked:
1. Wait, why aren’t you considering e-commerce? While it’s true that online sales are not suited for everyone, you should at least think about the option for a moment. More and more, consumers are turning to the internet for their shopping needs to avoid lines, get products from companies out of their driving radius, and find more options. Don’t sell a physical product? Maybe gift certificates for your services are in order. Even if you decide it’s not for you, a web store is an option that you should consider.
2. Online discovery. Last year, a PEW Internet Study reported that 59% of all adults on the web use search engines in a typical day to find what they’re looking for. Word of mouth and printed marketing materials are great, but the chances of your customers asking a friend or looking in business directories to find your company are increasingly remote.
3. Looking Professional. Let’s be honest, in the increasingly digital world, it’s hard for a small business to be taken seriously without a website. First of all, a polished small business website makes it look like you take your business seriously. If you hand someone a business card with a phone number, a fax, and a generic email address, they’re going to wonder how legitimate your business really is. However, if you have a great, informative website with a custom domain name and an email address that matches, it’s going to appear that you are in it for the long haul and have much more credibility.
4. Express your brand. Considering the growing popularity of location-based search and review sites, there’s a good chance your business will end up with a web presence soon if it doesn’t already have one. Have you checked Yelp, Google Local, Foursquare, and Facebook Places lately to see if you’ve been listed? Not only is it important for you to claim these listings so you can be part of the dialog, you also want to have a link to your website included in them so users can get the full story about your company.
5. Because, why not? As the demand for websites has increased over the years, their cost and complexity has gone down dramatically. You no longer have to be a technological wizard and design guru in order to get a fantastic looking website. With DIY builders like Webs SiteBuilder out there, you also don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for your site. Packages that include a domain name, hosting, and pre-built templates are a great way for small businesses to create a professional website for minimal cost.
Now get out there and start building a website! Questions? We’d be happy to answer them in the comments below.