When is the last time you checked your phone? A minute ago? Ten minutes ago? 30 minutes ago? On average, U.S. consumers spend 5 hours a day on their phone searching the internet, checking up on their social media, or spending time on any number of the millions of apps or countless websites. Knowing why small businesses need a strategic website, and how to make one that appeals to your own special audience, can put you leaps and bounds above your competition.
With 93% of users never searching past the first page of any given search result, your small business needs to be found in a reader’s initial search to help you stay relevant and easily accessible. Regardless of what industry you’re in, all small businesses need a well-designed, strategy-driven website to compete in today’s market and stick out among competitors.
Here are five reasons why small businesses need a strategic website.
In today’s internet-driven world, consumers have an expectation that every business has an online presence and a strategic website. A strategic website is like a great business card. A thick, eye-pleasing business card and a firm handshake are the marks of a true professional in a face-to-face meeting. A strategic, optimized, visually appealing, user-friendly website gives your company that same credibility online.
On the other hand, if you receive a flimsy business card printed on computer paper, you’re going to assume the product or service being offered is of similarly low quality. The same is true for websites. If your website isn’t eye-pleasing, isn’t easy to use, or doesn’t exist, people are going to assume you don’t offer high-quality products or services — even though you do. But fortunately, a strategic website is a lasting solution to this problem.
When your small business has a strategic website, it’s never truly closed to your customers. Even when you’re away, your website is available 24/7, ready to answer questions or show customers how your services can help them solve problems.
A website allows potential customers to quickly discover what your company is all about. This is important because consumers typically make purchases based on the emotional response they experience from the company’s branding. Having a strong online presence gives you more ways to connect with and become a part of your customer’s story. It also allows you to share helpful blogs, testimonials, videos, and visual samples of your work with your audience whenever they need it.
This content can serve as a buffer to pre-qualify potential customers. This means your phone calls and face-to-face meetings are more about understanding your prospect’s needs and less about selling your product or service.
When was the last time you hired a contractor or went to a new doctor without doing a little research first? If you answered “Never” or “I can’t remember,” you’re not alone. 82% of U.S. consumers will research a company—no matter how big or small—before engaging in any sort of transaction.
Finding helpful information about a business has become as simple as typing the business’s name in any of the following platforms:
With online reviews, tagging, and comments, it’s easy to find information — whether accurate or not — about any small business. And with 84% of consumers trusting online reviews over personal recommendations, it’s important to have and maintain a positive online presence. Building and maintaining a strategic website can help any small business stay present, stay relevant, and help them reach out to their online audience.
With over a billion websites on the internet, a non-optimized website can easily get lost. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. SEO is the process of optimizing your website with keywords your audience will search for when looking for a product or service similar to what your small business provides.
SEO is important for your business because more people than ever are searching for things online. Imagine you’re looking for a marketing agency near Lafayette, Indiana. You’d probably Google “marketing agency in Lafayette, Indiana.” On the first page of the search results, you’d see the marketing agencies that best answer this search query. These businesses aren’t on the first page because they got lucky; it’s because they developed their website with this key phrase in mind.
By strategically using SEO, your business can appear on the first page of relevant Google searches. Why does this matter? Well, according to SmartInsights, the first page of search results gets more than 75% of the clicks. In other words, if you’re on the first page of results and you have a strategically developed website, you’re one step closer to a ton of business!
Like we said before, 82% of people conduct online research before making a purchase. This research includes looking at and comparing product and service reviews, testimonials, and educational resources. We also mentioned that 75% of clicks go to websites that appear on the first page of a Google search.
What does this mean for you? It means you can beat your competitors by developing or upgrading to a strategically developed website that:
If you want to stay competitive as a small business, you must have a strategic website. Consumers are now making 51% of purchases online, and failing to make strategic web development a priority gives your customers reason to give their business to your competitors. But, the good news is that with a strategic website, you’ll have an advantage over those competitors who didn’t take the time to meet their customers where they are: online!
Having a website instantly boosts your company’s identity. However, having a great, strategic website can take your company to the next level. When you think about how many people are online, remember these five reasons why a small business needs a strategic website — and start creating one for your own business!
Treefrog Marketing is an advertising agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.