How did people find businesses 30 years ago?
Wondering if your business really needs a website? Think back 20-30 years… How did people figure out which restaurant to visit on date night or who to call to blow out their sprinkler systems before winter?
Remember those thick books with tiny writing and an assortment of white and yellow pages that the postal service would deliver annually? That’s right! People used to find businesses in a phone book.
With the invention of the world wide web and the smartphone, however, you would be hard-pressed to find someone willing to dust off a dictionary sized phone book to look for a product or service they need. Instead, people quickly look something up on Google via their phone. In seconds, numerous businesses pop up with all the information someone could want.
The New Phone Book
People can now find vast amounts of information online in seconds. Try searching for restaurants near me on google and you’ll be greeted with a dozen or more local restaurant pages all with reviews and irresistible pictures of unique entrees. Why do those businesses show up on Google? You guessed it! They have a website.
5 Reasons your business needs a website
So why should your business have a website? Here are 5 reasons your business needs a website.
1. Potential customers won’t look any further if they can’t find you online
The primary reason for having a website, is of course, so people can find you. Phone books and window shopping have taken a back row seat to Google and the world wide web. If you think about it, when was the last time you yourself visited a restaurant without first looking it up on Google to read reviews or get directions?
Most people search Google before heading out on Date night or visiting a local shopping mall to find what they need. Window shopping is now done online. Your window is essentially your online presence. Without one, ‘window shoppers’ aren’t going to stop in for a look around.
2. Potential customers will determine your credibility based on your website (or lack thereof)
Another important reason to have a website so customers can determine your credibility. If someone is looking for a service, for example affordable lawn care, they’re going to search ‘affordable lawn care’ and get a handful of local results. That potential client will then probably look at a few reviews and check out each business’s website. Based on the reviews and the content on a businesses website, they will then decide who to actually call.
When a business doesn’t have a website, it makes them appear less credible compared to the competition. With the invention of the internet, customers like to find as must information as they can online before picking up the phone or getting in their car to go somewhere. When encountered with a business that doesn’t have a website, people are likely to look elsewhere. They might even pay more for a service just because another business had a website.
3. You can save time by providing potential customers with info upfront
There are other advantages to having a website than just getting clients to find you, though. First of all, have you ever had to answer the same question repeatedly over the phone or in emails?
With a website, you can give clients information upfront and save time. For instance, does your restaurant offer gluten-free options for people with diet sensitivities? Save your business time by putting that on your website rather than forcing people to call to get that information.
You can also provide clients with a frequently asked questions section on your website to prevent yourself from having to answer the same questions over and over. Your clients will be happy and so will you.
4. Your website is always open
Another problem people often face when trying to find out information about a business is brick and mortar business hours.
Say someone wants to book a hair appointment for the next day and it’s late in the evening. The hair salon would likely be closed and it wouldn’t be possible to call for the appointment.
With a website, clients could set up an appointment any time of day whether or not the business itself is actually open.
If clients have questions about your business after hours, they can get important information off of your website which is accessible 24/7. With a website, any potential customers that might be shopping around can find and learn about you even when you’re storefront is closed for the day.
5. Your website is your very own marketing platform
There are lots of places to market your business. You can send out postcards, advertise on Facebook, Google, or Instagram, put an ad in the newspaper or a phone book, but all of those platforms are shared. You can’t prevent people from seeing your ad on facebook and then scrolling down and seeing one of your competitor’s ads. All of these marketing platforms allow an unlimited number of businesses to vie for your clients’ attention.
In contrast, your website is your own personal marketing platform. You own it. Nobody else can use your site to market to your potential clients. Once clients are on your page, you have their full attention and have a much greater chance of converting their business.
These are just a few of the reasons your business needs a website
These are just 5 reasons your business needs a website but there are many others. Websites are invaluable assets for businesses today. Can you think of other reasons it’s important to have a website? If you don’t have a website for your business, what reasons do you have for not having a website?