During the Single’s Day in November 2016, Alibaba and its subsidiaries recorded $17.8 billion worth of gross merchandise volume. That’s nearly 20 billion in a single day. Can you imagine reaching at least a small percentage of this figure in one year, all owing to your business’ website?
According to the Verisign research, 9 out of 10 consumers rely on the Internet to acquire information about a company, and the products or services it offers. With this in mind, it is unclear why almost 50% of small to medium sized businesses still don’t own a website, as ignoring its immense value can potentially reflect in a reduced revenue. The list of benefits is endless, and for the following article we’ve focused on selecting 10 of the most important ones.
1. Everybody’s online
With over 3.5 billion people already online, the Internet represents a vast space of untapped opportunities for everybody. Current buying trends indicate that people go online to purchase a variety of goods, and regardless of the type of business you are running, there are bound to be customers interested in the product or services you offer. It has all just comes down to locating them.
One of the advantages of establishing a website is that, unlike a brick-and-mortar store, it is accessible round the clock. It allows your potential customers to stay informed about your business, even after closing hours, meaning your customers can get a test of your branded persona anytime.
3. WOM marketing
With more than 70% of consumers claiming word-of-mouth is a key influencer in their purchasing decision, it is wise to start building confidence and public image by presenting reviews from satisfied customers. A positive word-of-mouth can do miracles for an organization seeking to make a name for itself.
4. Customer interaction
Next to testimonials, one other integral part of your website is a blog. It allows you to connect with your visitors by sharing useful industry news, as well as information regarding your products or services. By replying to their comments, you establish long-lasting relationships. Furthermore, it is an ideal place to announce deals, promotions, and contests organized by your business.
Although it may seem rather trivial, it is often overlooked. Personalized business email provides you and the company with credibility, as otherwise, anyone can take advantage of Gmail, yahoo or outlook to create an address and falsely represent themselves as a part of your business.
6. Think locally – act globally
It is a common misconception that business websites are reserved solely for big enterprises, and recent trends in search marketing prove this statement wrong – local results are favored in the eyes of Google, in comparison to global ones. Ultimately, local companies have greater chances to better position in SERP and reach their target audience.
One of the first questions most business owners ask presented with an idea for a website is “how much will it cost me?" Owing to the fact that we are connected on a global level, we are no longer limited to conducting business on a local level, exclusively. If the services in your area are scarce or fairly expensive, nothing is stopping you from going online and reaching out to experts.
8. Digital marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing (SMM), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), affiliate marketing and email marketing are the main categories of digital marketing. These can be done in conjunction with one another, or as separate strategies; however you implement them, they are an affordable way of promoting your website and thus your business.
9. Big-ish data for small business
Everything is big data nowadays. All jokes aside, big data is a term that describes large quantities of data processed to reveal behavioral trends of users who generated it. Wondering how this applies to your small business website? Webmasters and site owners have at their disposal a set of tools from Google that can help them understand user behavior, just like analysts do with big data.
From Google search console and Google analytics platform, one can learn which pages are the most visited ones, visitors’ demographics, average website visits, and sessions, a number of time users spend on your website, etc. Using this data, you can then tailor your content, so it attracts, even more, visitors/potential clients/customers.
10. Getting ahead
We have mentioned already that almost half of all small business still don’t have a website, so why not take a leap out of that 50% and gain an advantage over the others. Chances are, by the time your competitors establish their online presence, yours will already have a substantial following and an online customer base.
It goes without saying that a business should go where its customer base is, and in this digital day and age, all roads lead online. A professional website sends a strong signal worldwide, ultimately allowing you to keep up with your customers’ needs, while at the same time giving them a chance to access information about your business easily, take advantage of customer support, or purchase products and services.