Why Your Local Business Needs a Website Today
It’s 2019, and local businesses need websites now more than ever. With online searches becoming more and more popular every day, it’s essential to get your local brand out on the web if you want to grow. While many local business owners don’t think it’s necessary to have a website, we have some reasons why we think you should. In this article, we’ll cover why it seems like local businesses don’t need (or want) a website and proof that having one is important.
Why it Seems Like Websites for Local Businesses are Optional
A Small Business Survey done in 2017 by CNBC/SurveyMonkey found that 45% of small businesses don’t have a website. For those businesses that do have a website, only 37% use it to share news with customers. In fact, a lot of small businesses turn to alternatives such as Yelp or Facebook Pages instead of investing in a website. Here are some common reasons business owners forgo having a website:
1. It’s not in the budget.
A lot of small business owners will claim that a website is just too expensive for their budget. The fact of the matter is though; your website will be your primary marketing asset. You’re losing out on a lot of potential growth by not investing in a website.
Your website doesn’t have to be super elaborate and complex. As long as it is well-designed so that customers can easily access the products and information they’re looking for, and it’s responsive and optimized, that’s a good start. For you to reach more customers, you need to be found by search engines.
2. “I don’t need any more business.”
Some small business owners may forgo a website because they have more than enough business, and don’t want to take on more than they can handle. A website doesn’t need to be built to bring in more customers. Think of your site like a business card – it’s a must-have for any business, and it provides consumers with information.
Having a website can actually save you some time. For example, if you own a small restaurant, people can use your website to find specials and menu items. Your website can be used to answer basic questions people may have which could free up the time you’re spending on the phone. If you’re in a service-based industry – such as food, fishing, massage, activities, etc. – you can add a widget for reservations online.
3. I’m already online through social media.
Many local business owners assume that having a social media account for their business is enough. There are a few issues with this approach, though.
- Algorithms and rules are always changing, and you’ll have to keep up with those changes. When you have a website, you have a domain that belongs to you, and you can control the content.
- Trends are changing. One day your customers are on Facebook, the next day they are on Twitter. People move from one platform to the next. By having a website, you have something constant, and no matter what social media platform consumers prefer, they can always find your site in the same spot.
Why Local Businesses Need Websites
There are many reasons a local business should have a website in 2019. In fact, an analysis done by Deloitte in Connected Small Businesses in the United States noted that the small businesses that have a website had a leg up on those that did not. Local businesses with a website:
- Were 3X more likely to create jobs over the previous year.
- Earned double the revenue per employee.
- Experienced 4X the revenue growth over the previous year.
- Had a 6X higher average employment growth rate.
These findings apply to every industry, including manufacturing and industrial. Becoming a digitally advanced business starts with investing in a website. Here are just a few reasons you should consider having an optimized website for your local business:
1. People are searching for your business online.
There are 3.5 billion searches done on Google every single day, and right now, there is likely someone in your area searching online for the service that your business provides. But if you don’t have a website, you’re handing that potential customer right over to your competition.
97% of people are searching for a local business online, and the majority of online experiences start with a search engine.
2. No website? About 1/3rd of consumers won’t even consider you.
We’re living in a digital age that is continually advancing. Most Americans spend up to 5 hours a day on their mobile devices. In today’s world, consumers are expecting companies to have a quality online presence and consider companies lacking this to be less professional.
3. The majority of consumers determine your credibility based on website design.
Customers will actually trust you less if you don’t have a website. In 2018, a survey showed that 75% of consumers will make a judgment on a business’s credibility based on their website design. When people find a business that they deem trustworthy, they are more likely to engage and do business with them. A website is the first place people go to find reviews and credentials.
Having a website is a great start to becoming digitally advanced and bringing in more business. That is unless you have a poorly designed site – in that case, it won’t help your business one bit. A consumer will get an impression within the first 10 seconds of visiting your website. Customers need to know what they’ll get out of your company and your site. If they have a hard time with your website, after these 10 seconds, or even before, they will leave for a competitor.
4. More and more people are using websites to find businesses.
With over 93% of online experiences starting with a search engine, over half of customers use websites as the primary way to find and engage with that business.
5. Every industry is influenced by website content.
A lot of small businesses say that they don’t bother investing in a website because their “industry isn’t online.” But that’s just not true and here’s why:
On average, a B2B buyer will make 12 online searches before engaging with a vendor’s website and are more than halfway through the buying process before deciding that they want to speak with a business representative. Even purchases made through companies in the industrial and manufacturing fields are influenced by digital content.
- 75% of B2B buyers base their decisions on digital website content.
- 62% of B2B buyers finalize their purchases based solely on a website’s digital content.
6. Having a website will help you compete with your industry’s top dogs.
It may seem like a momentous task for a small, local business to take on a top do, but it’s not impossible. In fact, by having a well-designed website that is search engine optimized, you can definitely compete with big name brands and hold your own in whatever industry you’re in.
7. Give customers what they want: immediate gratification.
When people visit your website, they are looking for something specific, whether it’s wanting to know something or do something. They also expect to be able to easily find these three things within seconds of landing on your website:
- Who are you?
- How can I contact you?
- What services/products do you offer?
Visitors want the answers to what they’re looking for immediately; they don’t want to have to search around for it. A well-designed website should make it quick and easy to find the answers to these questions.
8. Social media just doesn’t reach as far as it used to.
You probably have a Facebook Page for your business, right? If so, that’s great, but so does every other business. You need a website even if you have a Facebook Page. It’s getting more and more difficult for businesses to connect with potential customers on social media such as Facebook. Organic reach has been plummeting lower and lower. Not only that, but people spent 50 million fewer hours on Facebook in 2018 than they did in 2017.
So, while social media can be used to help your business grow and is a great marketing tool, don’t rely on it as your only tool to reach potential customers.
9. Having a business website opens up opportunities for more lead generation.
Getting people to give out their emails in a physical storefront can be difficult. It’s a lot easier to persuade them to enter their email into a box on a website, especially if they feel like they’re going to get something out of it. Entice people to enter their emails by offering them newsletters, specials, and coupons. Once you have that email address, you have yet another way to reach out to your potential customer.
10. Expect an increase in e-commerce spending.
In the U.S., consumers are spending hundreds of billions on retail web purchases each year, and the amount is only increasing. E-commerce sales are expected to grow quickly over the next few years, with customers spending an estimated $684 billion in 2020. If you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on a slice of that pie.
11. Webrooming is a thing.
Did you know that by having a website, you can actually increase your store’s offline profits as well? Webrooming has become more popular over the years, and it’s basically where people research items they want online to find information, pictures, reviews, and comparisons before purchasing them in the store. Webrooming is a popular shopping preference, and many global purchases are still happening at brick-and-mortar stores.
12. Websites provide customers with 24/7 access.
By having a website, you are providing your customers with constant access to your products and services. So, while your physical store may close its doors at the end of the day, your website is still busy impressing customers and enticing them to buy products and services from you. Your website may be showing up in search results made by the night owls and early birds who are wanting something before your doors are open again.
13. Having a website is pretty much needed for local SEO.
It’s a lot more difficult to rank in local pack listings without having your own website. With mobile searches becoming more popular, local search visibility is imperative for all local businesses. If you don’t have a website for your business, your local SEO agency won’t be able to give you the level of visibility you need in order to grow.
There are a plethora of good reasons to have a website for your local business in 2019. Not only do websites help you get the visibility online that you need to grow, but they also allow you to engage with your customers, and act as the primary tool for marketing your products and services. Our team at AnoLogix can help you build a website that’s perfect for your local business without breaking the bank.
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