As a small business owner you’ve probably asked yourself: Do I really need a website? Facebook is free, and if you aren’t selling online it’s just another unnecessary cost you don’t have to worry about, right?
Not so fast! If you’re relying on social media to do the work of a website, you’re missing the opportunity to reach countless potential clients each month. Even those who do find your business through other means may question its legitimacy if you don’t have a significant presence online.
One of the most important reasons to build a website for your business is your customers – in particular your future customers. When consumers browse the internet for a specific product or service, it isn’t likely that they’ll end up on your social media pages. A website that’s custom made for your industry will appear much sooner in the results of search engines like Google and Bing.
Search Engine Optimization, the practice of tailoring your website so that it ranks as highly as possible in internet searches, can be tricky to master, but a few simple techniques will go a long way. For some basic SEO tips, click here. You can also engage an agency like Strunk Media Group for help, even if you prefer to build out your website yourself. Your content can be optimized even after your initial posting.
A Virtual Home Base
If you ever want to do any type of advertising online a website is a necessity. Whenever you see ads on other sites or social media, they almost always lead to a website of some kind. Space is usually limited, so important info like your location and contact information is generally housed one click away. The ad copy is reserved for catching consumers’ attention.
You can advertise through social media, but leading consumers back to your page often isn’t enough. This practice can help you build likes and engage your social audience, but if you want to promote sales, garner leads or sell products, you need to link your social ads directly to a website.
With no website you severely limit your opportunities for internet marketing. And, because most consumers spend a significant portion of their free time online, it’s an avenue well worth exploring.
Go Global…Or Not
The internet is a powerful tool. It can enable you to easily market your business to consumers across the country, or even around the globe.
However, if your focus is strictly local, don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need to advertise in the digital realm. Just as you can optimize your website to appear higher in search engine results, you can also use online advertising to target customers in a certain area. Or several certain areas in fact.
Once again, you’ll need to direct these potential customers somewhere: your website.
Opportunity to Grow
You may not be planning to start selling products or services on your website anytime soon, but it’s an option you should consider eventually. More and more businesses, even small ones, are offering sales via the internet, and it’s easy to see why. Online shopping is incredibly convenient.
Having an established website before you decide to branch out into online sales makes the process of adding a buying option much smoother. You’ll already have a domain, design and SEO strategies in place, and your customer base will already be familiar with your website.
To a small business owner, every penny counts. Is cost what’s keeping you from creating your website?
It’s more affordable than you might think, especially if you keep it simple. Websites can be hosted for a minimal fee each month, less than it takes to advertise in many print publications, and if your website won’t require constant updates, a once-and-done build fee could apply.
In any case, the host of advertising opportunities a website provides more than deliver return on investment. While business owners certainly want to budget appropriately, cost should not be the deciding factor on whether or not to have a website.