WEBSITES ARE ESSENTIAL TODAY
The rapid growth of social media over the last 10 years has called into question, the value of having a website. Research from LinkedIn found that the majority of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are turning to social media for growth. 81% of SMBs are using social media, and as a result 94% do so for marketing purposes. Compare that with the fact that only two-thirds (64%) of small businesses have a website.
SMBs and Websites
Why do 36% of SMBs not have a website? Key reasons include cost (26%), irrelevance to industry (27%), and social media (21%) behind their decision not to have a website.
All 3 reasons in my opinion are not good enough. It shows a lack of understanding in how business operates online in 2019. Small businesses operate on a limited budget, so I can understand the need to be mindful of costs but a website is an investment NOT an expense. Websites are more affordable now than ever before. And irrelevant to what industry you are in, for instance, promoting your goods and services to a bigger audience online should result in more business.
WEBSITES & SOCIAL MEDIA TOGETHER
Combining your website & social media in your marketing campaigns would be a wiser move. Working both together will benefit your business greatly. In 2019, a website is the first stop for prospective buyers who want to learn what a business has to offer.
Here are some reasons why a website can be a fantastic asset in your business:
- BUILDS TRUST
70-80% of people research a small business before visiting or making a purchase from them. If they can’t find your website, as a result it will influence them negatively and they could seek out a competitor’s website.
- GAIN NEW CLIENTS
75% of small business owners see internet marketing as an “effective” or “very effective” tool to attract new customers. Without a website, certainly it is difficult for internet users to take you seriously.
- INCREASED CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Use your website as a customer service tool, by enabling a live chat or a WhatsApp telephone number on your website to provide immediate assistance to clients. A happy customer is a loyal customer.
- INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY ONLINE
A website with google maps, contact numbers and opening hours all lead to a positive experience for the client when he needs to find or call you.
84% of consumers believe that having a website makes your business more credible than just a social media page. I get a better impression from a business when I get an email from their domain (firstname.lastname@example.org) than a Hotmail or Gmail account.
- OPEN 24/7
4.4 billion people are on the internet so having a website opens a massive market for you to reach these online users 24/7. While you are sleeping your website could be working for you.
- JOIN A RISING MARKET
An estimated 1.92 billion people are expected to purchase something online in 2019. The Internet influenced retail sales to the tune of $2.84 trillion in 2018. It is expected to influence retail sales to the tune of $3.45 trillion in 2019. That’s an incredible amount of money and if you are selling products and services, consequently you need to get in on the action.
- TELL YOUR STORY
With your own website, you have creative freedom and complete control over what content you put up. The uniformity of social media and lack of control can be a disadvantage in your marketing efforts & identity. You are at the mercy of the social media giants that can make or break your marketing efforts with new algorithms or policies.
- PRESENCE ON GOOGLE
Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. Without a website, your only hope of being found is your social media channels. Increase your chances of being found with a website.
In conclusion, having a website can be very effective for your business. BUT it needs to be done right. Google will rank your website for many factors and these are important for your site to rank well. It has to load fast, look great on mobile, have correct placement on Call-to-actions, easy to find maps/ contact information and have a good user experience. A topic I will go into in another article.
Finally, in 2019 a successful website needs to be maintained well, use the right keywords to target the relevant audience. It has to produce high-quality content, and provide a dynamic user experience and you’ll see the number of leads increase drastically.