A few weeks ago, we posted an infographic with Tips + Trends for Small Business Marketing in 2017, in which we shared a key statistic that we’re still thinking about.
40% of small businesses don't have a website that is optimized for mobile users.
In a study just published, that number has increased to 53%, but still.
Upon further digging, we found out something even more wild: almost half of small businesses don’t have a website at all (and here’s the same stat by the just published study).
Now, look. We’re probably more disposed to think this is an outrage, given our chosen profession of assisting small businesses with their marketing in a digital world, but that’s a crazy high number of businesses, no?
No matter how small your business, the opportunity you’re missing by not having a website is just too big.
Does your business sell something to someone? Whatever it is, that someone you’re selling to is online. We're willing to bet that even if you don’t have a website, there is information on your business somewhere on the Internet. A website allows you to dictate what that information is, establish credibility and get found online. Your customers expect you to have one.
You should not only have a website (and one that is mobile optimized, for sure), but it should also work for you.
Forgive us for the marketing speak, but websites are limited in their usefulness if they don’t have a call to action and don’t work towards converting a visitor into a customer.
Here’s what your website should do, and some ideas to spark your creativity to get started.
Impress a visitor right away.
You only have a couple of seconds to make a good first impression, but those seconds can make all the difference. Multiple studies have shown that people research a company online before making a purchase for anything, so your website should encourage them to do just that. Your website is your digital storefront, open 24 hours a day. Answer yes to these questions, and you’re on your way:
- Is your design + layout clean, easy to read, branded to your business?
- Does your site load quickly?
- Is it free of missing links, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes?
- Do you have high-res photos that are not stock images?
- Is it impressive regardless of if you’re viewing it from a desktop, tablet or smartphone?
Provide information and fresh, relevant content.
Ultimately, people seek out your website for one reason: information. Are you a restaurant? Including an updated menu is essential. Are you a retail business? It’s never been easier to develop an ecommerce site that not only showcases your products, but allows customers to purchase them easily as well. Include the obvious in a prominent place, like your phone number, address, hours, products and services you provide, but also humanize your company. Make a connection by sharing your story, how your business started and show how you benefit your customers and what drives the leaders in your company to do so every day.
A blog is a great place for you to dive in a little deeper into your company’s purpose and mission. It also allows you to show off your team, your successes and any upcoming events or relevant news. Posting consistently also helps your SEO, keeping you competitive in search results for searches relevant to your business.
Have a purpose.
Think about what you’d like someone who visits your website to do before they close out of it. Is it to buy something? Contact you? Connect with you on social media? Sign up for your newsletter so you can keep in touch? Depending on your industry, the purpose of your website may vary. Consider what’s most valuable to your business, and then make sure the journey you create for your visitors leads them to take action.
At the end of the day, you just can’t be competitive if you don’t have a website --not even and most especially if you are a small business, party of 1. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and WordPress all have great, clean templates that work for any business, at a minimum investment. But remember, a website is just that-- an investment in growing your business. The more time and resources you invest to make it work for you, the better off your business will be. If you need any help or advice, you know where to find us!