When was the last time you used a phonebook, newspaper or other print media to research or locate a company? How about your friends or family? When was the last time they used a phonebook or newspaper? Odds are you really had to think back to come up with an answer to those questions because most of us are turning to the internet for directory listing, market research and reviews. There are over 6 billion searches conducted on search engines daily. Yes. You read that right. 6. BILLION! Research studies continue to demonstrate the growing importance of having an online presence as consumers continue to use the internet more and more to find what they need.
One Google Search can mean a new customer
After years of going to the same hair salon, my wife had grown dissatisfied with her stylist. She wasn’t sure where to go, so she asked for a few recommendations on social media, which turned out to be too expensive or the salon didn’t have a time slot that would fit her busy work schedule. She then turned to Google and did a local search for hair salons in town. She found a few familiar names of places that had been recommended to her but she also found a few locations she hadn’t heard of yet. One by one she visited their websites, comparing their hours, pricing, if available, and hair demos of previous clients. She then made a choice based on the results she found AND the comparisons she made using the hair salon’s website! And you know, she’s been a regular customer ever since. One simple Google search turned into a long-term customer for this hair salon. How many customers could your business gain with an online presence? How many customers are you losing because you don’t have a website?
About half of U.S. Businesses don’t have a website
Yes. That’s right. Despite the growing number of computer, smart phone and mobile device internet usage, some businesses still don’t see the value in having an online presence. In a survey conducted by CNBC, 45% of entrepreneurs stated that they did not have a business website. Some businesses rely on Facebook pages for their online presence, considering themselves too small to have a website or short on budget to invest in one. But a quick look at any restaurant, shopping mall or public arena and you are sure to see countless individuals on their phones using the internet. Many businesses are missing out on potential leads simply because they don’t have a website. Are you looking for a sure fire way to beat some of your competition? Start with a website. Some of your competitors don’t even have a website, so they can’t be found.
Websites play a role of trust in business
Trust. It’s the cornerstone of any relationship. It’s especially true in business relationships. No one wants to spend money with a company they don’t trust. If your business doesn’t have a website, consumers are less likely to trust you as being the real deal. In a study performed by Verisign, 84% of consumers believe that a business with a website is more credible than a business without one. This means that if a consumer happens to find your business in a white pages listing or maybe even a social media page, if you don’t have an actual website for your company, they are going to have trust issues with your brand and will take their business to your competitor instead. Don’t let your competitors take your business because you don’t have a website!
A website will promote your company 24/7
A website will communicate your brand consistently over and over again. A website can provide hundreds of consumers with your company information all at the same time. A website can promote your website at any given location, place or time. A website is your most loyal employee because they never quit and will always work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. A websites sole purpose is to talk to your customers and tirelessly promote your business. No employee will do that.
Yikes! I need a website for my business
Yes you do! Having a website is an integral part of your business strategy. Aside from the benefits we’ve mentioned above, marketing is the most important one. There are lots of ways to advertise your products or services. Printed materials such as business cards, magazine ads and flyers are easily misplaced. TV and radio commercials have a time limit and air at preset times. A website provides a permanent location, with infinite possibilities for the information it can convey.