“Websites are old news. Social media is all I need.”
As a small business owner you might think you don’t even need a website. At the same time, you may say that obtaining sales leads and traffic are one of your biggest needs.
However, studies show that this impression is not correct. Your Instagram photos, Twitter posts and other forms of social media, help keep your name in customers’ minds, but they don’t replace your website. Social media can help build a brand, but they won’t sell products.
It’s been a long time since any of us went looking for a phone book.
When we need a product or a service we Google it- 3.5 billion times per day, in fact. You want to be the business that people find when they look for your product.
People want the answers to these questions:
- Who are you?
- What does your business do?
- What can you do for them?
- Where are you located?
- What hours are you open?
- Why should I use your product or services?
Your website is open 24/7!
It can advertise your business and answer questions while you sleep. It can even sell products, and nothing is better than making money while you’re not working.
Professional Image to Impress Your Customers
An informative and attractive website gives you a chance to make a first impression without even answering the phone. Indeed, your company has the same opportunity as national chains do to reach the public.
Be sure to provide a polished image. Remember, it’s called the ‘world wide web,’ so it allows you to have global reach.
Potential customers use online research to find goods and services before they visit your city or when they have recently relocated. Make it easy for them. 55% of customers who buy online say that they would prefer to buy in a brick-and-mortar location and you can reach that shopper!
69% of potential customers say that they used search engines six times during the last year to find business information.
Get the Edge on Your Competition
You can maintain excellent customer service by having a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.
How many times do you answer the phone to reply to the same question over and over? Keep track of the most-asked questions and provide responses on your FAQ page. It will make your customers happy and save you and your staff a lot of time.
You Can be the Expert in Your Market
When you provide valuable resources about something people are looking for, you subconsciously establish yourself as an expert to the reader. Tips, articles and resource pages let the public see that you have in-depth knowledge and skill.
Whatever your business, you know more than the rest of us about that subject. Highlighting your experience can move a prospect to a customer.
Longer articles on your site provide evidence of your expertise and more content for search engines to access. I recommend this article by Neil Patel, if you are not convinced of the value of investing in more lengthy posts. These pieces are known as evergreen content because the information they contain remains valuable for a long time.
Focus on Your Professional Experience
Provide credibility by showing which professional organizations you belong to.
If you are a member of the Better Business Bureau, show that emblem. Do you have special training or certifications? Let the public know.
Highlight satisfied happy customers by providing testimonials with photographs of the actual people.
Build Social Media Following
If you have active social media accounts, provide links to those pages by having clickable icons on every page so that you can update customers on what your business is doing.
Save Money on Promotions
You can save money by eliminating costly direct mail, brochures, and catalogs and the wages to produce them. Provide information on your products so customers can research them. 55% of customers say that product reviews are ‘very critical’ factors in their buying decisions.
Reach Profitable Customers on their Smart Phones
Your site lets you interact with shoppers who use their mobile devices for product research.
“80% of the world’s population now carries a mobile device; 94% of Smartphone users look for local information on their device; 90% of these take action after a search- making a purchase or contacting a business. Going mobile-first is not an option if you are not living in the past.”
Terrific Tool for Ongoing Marketing
Keep customers updated on what your company is doing by having a blog or sending out a regular newsletter.
Research shows that small enterprises that publish blog posts eleven or more times a month get three times the online traffic than that post 0-1 times each month. Blog posts help your customers feel that they know you, and again, it allows you to talk about how your company’s product or services can help your client.
Every time you post, you can notify your followers on social media and remind them that you are there to help them and additionally, it is one of the easiest ways to create new content that search engines look for. These posts continue to generate leads for you long after they are published- what it easier than that?
Enormous Value of a Mailing List
You can collect email addresses of potential clients by offering them a chance to subscribe to your newsletter or obtain a value-added offer. This information is invaluable to your company’s marketing efforts.
Quickly Track Your Marketing Efforts
One of the most underrated reasons to have a website is that it allows you follow the success of your marketing efforts clearly and accurately.
Analytic tools in the behind-the-scenes section of your website will provide information on exactly where your customers are originating.
– Did they do a general word search for your product or service?
– Were they looking for the exact name of your company?
– Were they responding to an advertisement that you had somewhere else?
– What is their geographical area?
John Wanamaker (1838-1922), the department-store magnate, once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
Targeted sales efforts allow you to maximize your money spent by being certain which ‘half’ is working.
With this information at your virtual fingertips, you can tailor your marketing efforts and quickly change the wording or offer a special price or sale. It is easy to direct customers to a specific landing page for an offer so that you have a better chance of converting a glance to a sale.
-How much do you currently spend on marketing your business?
-Where are you spending this money?
– Do you accurately track how much of your spending converts into sales?
An effective online marketing campaign can maximize your spending for impressive results.
A website is essential if you sell business-to-business
If your company sells to other businesses, it is even more essential that you have a well-designed internet presence. Research shows that 85% of business customers research a company online before they buy. They want to be able to review your product attributes, price, and reviews; especially for major purchases.
If a terrific website it so essential, why aren’t more small businesses taking advantage of this opportunity?
- They’re too busy to think about it
- They feel it is too expensive
- They are confused about the technology required
If you do not have a website or your existing site needs tweaking, here are the steps you can take to change that:
- Hire a professional website designer to build you a basic site. You can have a site built on a platform such as WordPress that you can easily update yourself. Well-designed templates are now available which makes the process relatively painless. Cost: about $1500.00 without content writing.
- If you do not presently have a site, you will need to register a domain name and hire a hosting platform at an additional cost of approximately $200.00 per year.
- Hire a professional media marketing company to produce a website and keep it updated with fresh content. Cost for one year: $15,000.00 and up
- After you have the website online, you can update it by yourself with no cost but a lot of time.
- You can hire a freelance copywriter to produce great content for your site.
Take time to think about your online presence, and it will produce enormous results.
Crossroads Chronicles is a freelance copywriting company. Contact me today for a free one-hour content consultation.