There are many reasons why even a small business needs to have a website these days.  Here are five of the top reasons every business needs a website.

1. Discovery

Having a website will help customers find you.  People will look for you online, so it is important for you to be there.  When a potential customer searches for you in Google and you don’t show up in the results it rasies questions in the searcher’s mind.  Why don’t they have a website?  Is this such a disorganized company that they can’t set up a website?  Did the business close?  Those are all questions that run through people’s minds.  Without an online presence the only thing that will show up when someone searches your business are low-quality online directories that usually give inaccurate information, or online review sites where you better hope that people have left you good reviews.

With your own website you can make a good first impression.  Many times the first time a customer will hear of your business is when they arrive at your website after searching Google.  Accurate and up-to-date information goes a long way.

Your website makes you discoverable through other sites, too.  The top online review sites, such as Yelp and Foursquare, and social sites like Facebook and Twitter, will pull information about your business from your website.  They use this information to update their directories.  They will also pull information about your products and services. For example, if you are a restaurant, sites will take a copy of your menu and put it in their directory.

2. You control the message

With your own website you control the message that you send to the world.  Your site will become the ultimate authority on your products and services.  If people are unsure about information they read elsewhere on the Internet they can rely on your site to be accurate.  Your site will be your platform to announce to the world when you have new products or services.

You’ll be able to improve communication with customers, and the general public, because your contact information will be clearly listed on your site allowing anyone to call, email, or get your address to stop by.  By providing important information and answers to the most common questions you are asked people will be able to find the information they are looking for without having to take the time to contact you.

3. Customer access 24×7

With a website you are no longer limited to set business hours.  Customers can find information about your business at a time that is convenient for them.  They can potentially, book appointments, place orders, or make payments around the clock.  Customers are beginning to expect 24-hour access to you, and the ability to make a sale 24-hours a day allows for increased sales.  Some businesses find that they get far less phone calls after they put up a website, because the most common questions they answer over the phone are answered on their website.   It can be a huge employee time-saver.

4. Great Advertising

Having a website is a great advertising opportunity.  When people turn to your website for information, that is a great opportunity to advertise specials, new products/services and complimentary products/services.   Compared to other advertising mediums the cost of a website is relatively inexpensive, and has an extremely wide reach.  Your website will be the equivalent of a catalog or brochure that can potentially hit every computer in the world.

5. Your Competitors Are Already Online

Google and other online search engines have replaced the traditional phone book for most people.  Consumers just search for the products and services they are looking for.  The businesses that show up in the search results are the ones who get the business.  If a consumer can’t find you because you don’t have a website, or can’t find what they are looking for on your website they can be on your competitor’s site in seconds.  However, if you have a complete, accurate website, that is easy to use you too can draw in consumers who are searching for your products and services.

 

These are just a few of the reasons you need a website for your business. With the latest technology it has become much easier, less expensive, and far less time consuming to have a high quality website for your business.  You don’t need to be computer programmer to be able to update your website either.  The latest tools make it as easy as using Microsoft Word.

 

 

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About the author

Damon Schopen designs and develops web-based software. He specializes in e-commerce, interactive websites, integrating software to allow sharing of data across systems, and customizing existing software applications to meet your specific needs. For the past 10 years Damon has helped a variety of companies develop the web-based software they need to do business with their customers.

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