Small business owners who have yet to launch a website may be wondering if it’s worth the effort and cost. Before we answer that question with an emphatic yes, consider the following: Google reports that 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Additionally, according to Forbes, 50% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices. With such an abundance of potential customers searching the web for services and products, small business websites are essential in today’s digital-first world in order to be found by potential customers.
If you’re a small business owner in Chicago, or the employee of a small business, you’re probably intimately aware of your online presence. You may regularly keep tabs on your Google My Business listing and reviews. You may check how many likes or reactions a recent Facebook post received on your business page. But if you don’t have a dedicated business website yet, or if your website is outdated and in need of a web design agency, this article will help you to understand that a company website is one the most important assets of any small business.
Are you on page one of Google?
Using your search engine of choice – for most it’s Google, but if you’re a Bing user, you know where this is going – search for your business. If you have a website and it’s optimized correctly, it should appear on the first page of results. Ideally, it should be the first organic listing on page one. If you have to scroll down to the bottom of page one, or even worse, click into page two or deeper into Google’s pages, then you’re in trouble.
That’s the goal for any small business website is to be found easily by potential customers through organic search engine results. Statistically speaking, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of results. If you’re not on page one, you’re missing out on potential customers and sales.
Let’s take it a step further. The main purpose of SEO is to drive organic traffic through non-branded searches. Meaning, if you’re a web design agency in Chicago, most users aren’t going to search for your brand name if they don’t know who you are. They’re going to type into the search bar: “Chicago web agency,” and the ultimate goal is that your listing is high up on page one so you’re one of the first companies they find. Now, if you search for your business service and you don’t show up on page one, but your local competitors do, that’s a problem.
1. Without a Website, You Won’t Get Noticed or Taken Seriously
It’s hard to believe, but less that 50% of small businesses have a website. As a small business owner, you’re probably very aware of how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity you have to stand out – especially when the entry costs can be quite reasonable. Surprisingly, 78% of people research their purchases online. If you’re one of the many businesses that hasn’t yet established a website, you’re missing out on almost 80% of potential new customers. With those odds, you need to make sure that your business can be found when potential customers are looking for services or products that you offer. A website gives your business a place to showcase your services and products in a professional format.
When a customer plans on making a purchase, one of the first things they do is to look for your business online. This helps them research your company, your products, and learn more about who you are and what you do without leaving the comfort of their home or office. If they can’t find your website online, they are going to find your competitor’s website. It’s that simple.
2. Increase Your Visibility in Search Engines
This was previously mentioned above, and it stands repeating: If you don’t have a website, your business will not be found on the first page of search engine results. If your competitors all have websites, guess who is going to be receiving all of those inbound leads and inquiries? Not you! And if that happens, no one is going to visit your business.
Creating a website is just the first step. You need SEO services to make sure your website ranks well in Google and other major search engines so that potential customers can find you easily. This means optimizing for local searches, implementing keywords, producing quality content and improving the overall user experience on your website.
3. Stand Out From the Competition and Establish Credibility
Every day, more and more businesses are joining the online world. With so much competition out there, it’s important to make sure that your business stands out and is seen as credible in the eyes of prospective customers. You need to take extra steps to make sure your website looks professional, modern, and inviting so that potential customers will want to do business with you.
Having a brand voice is a big piece of this puzzle. When you have a website designed with branding in mind, it gives your business a unique personality and helps to differentiate your company from the competition. Branding doesn’t just provide cohesiveness and aesthetics to your site, it will also reflect on the professionalism of your business as a whole. This will help to create trust with prospective customers, and make them more likely to choose you over someone else.
Remember, your website is an extension of your business. It is the most imperative marketing tool at your disposal, and it’s a portal for you to convey what you believe and who you are to the world. Your mission, values and persona can all be exemplified through a well-designed, branded website. And through this brand voice, people that visit your site can get to know who you and your company are, and they can trust, know and understand you and your business better.
If you don’t have a brand guide just yet, think about the following:
- What makes you different from your competitors? What is unique to your business, family, lifestyle or geographic area that you can capitalize on?
- How do you want prospective customers to feel when they visit your website? What colors, font and voice do you want to use? For woman-owned small businesses, you may want a website that has a professional yet feminine feel.
- What is your messaging? What do you want people to know about your business? The copy on web pages is critical. When creating a website, it is important to remember that it is more than just an online shop or a portfolio site – it’s an opportunity to tell your story, explain why you’re in business and what services you offer. If you’re unsure about how you want your voice to sound, you can hire a professional content writer to help you hone your message and craft it in a way that is reflective of your brand.
- Do you have a logo or a tagline that you commonly use? It’s important to make sure that your branding materials are consistent across the board, including on your website. Having a short but memorable phrase can help you connect with your target audience, and it’ll help them remember you down the line when they need your services again. There’s a reason why big brands have jingles – they get stuck in your head!
4. Generate Leads and Drive Sales
Let’s get down to it. The biggest benefit of having a website is the financial value. You need to have a website that is designed with lead generation and sales in mind.
From creating targeted landing pages to offering discounts or special offers, there are plenty of ways you can use your website to generate more leads and drive more sales. There are also built in features that can assist in running and growing your business each year.
Here’s just a few ways you can use a website to generate more revenue and reach a wider audience:
If you’re selling products in your shop, why not open up your own online shop? You can add a shopping cart to your website and start selling in no time. An online eCommerce store would act as an extension of your physical storefront, and allows for you to reach a much, much wider audience. You can start selling products statewide or even nationwide, as opposed to solely selling in your geographic location.
Did you know that you can use your website to collect emails from users, which you can use for email marketing campaigns? This will help you stay top of mind with customers and keep them informed about any new products or services that you offer. You can also use the information to analyze what works and what doesn’t with your target audience, so you can create more targeted campaigns in the future.
Have you ever missed calls from prospective customers that wanted to schedule a time for an estimate or appointment? Having a scheduling tool embedded into your site solves that problem. You can put all of your available times, services and rates right on the website so customers can book with you directly. This is a great way to save time and energy for both you and the customer.
Ultimately, having a website that is designed with lead generation and sales in mind will help take your business to the next level. Your website is a great tool to help you reach a wider audience and capture more leads. With the right strategy and design, your website can become a powerful asset and help you grow your business.
5. Save Money and Resources Long-Term
With marketing and custom acquisition costs higher than ever, you don’t want to miss out on any opportunity to score new customers for a fair price. Currently, the average inbound marketing costs are about 62% less than outbound marketing.
Inbound marketing means making your business easy to discover, providing value to your potential customers, and establishing a relationship without picking up the phone, pushing a postcard, or spending big bucks on big ads with unknown results.
6. Harness Social Media to Reach Your Target Audience
Your website is a powerful tool for digital marketing and advertising. With the right strategy and resources, you can use your website to reach your target audience with precision. Social media is a great way to introduce yourself and your business to potential customers. You can create content that speaks directly to them, and you can also use paid advertising to target specific demographics.
Social media is also a great place to showcase your products or services, as it gives potential customers a glimpse of what they could expect from working with you. Use creative visuals, write compelling copy and make sure that your social media accounts are always up-to-date with relevant information. Within each of your social media accounts – whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok – you can add a link to your website, and drive more users and visitors by means of your social media efforts.
7. Leverage Content Marketing Opportunities
Content marketing is a great way to extend your reach and engage with potential customers. Writing blog posts, creating videos or sharing articles about topics related to your industry are all effective ways to get people interested in what you have to offer. You can also use content marketing tactics to boost your SEO efforts, as well as offer discounts or promotions on products and services.
8. Measure Your Results
Having a website isn’t just about having an online presence – it is also about tracking and analyzing your results. Knowing how well your website is performing will help you make informed decisions on what changes need to be made, or where improvements can be implemented in order to increase leads and sales. You can use website analytics to measure your visitors’ behavior and determine which pages, products or services are performing well and attracting more customers.
These insights will allow you to make changes that will help you reach your goals, as well as identify areas of opportunity for improvement. Additionally, tracking how well certain campaigns convert can reveal what works and what doesn’t, so you can focus your efforts on campaigns that will give you the best return on investment.
Having a website for your business is an essential part of expanding your reach, increasing leads and sales, and propelling your business to the next level. With the right strategy and design, your website can become a powerful asset and help you grow your business. From increasing brand awareness to leveraging content marketing opportunities, there are a variety of ways to make the most out of your website.
If you already have a website then you’re on the right track – but are you making the most of your online presence? CyberOptik can help you take full advantage of the power of a website with solutions for SEO, design enhancements, content development and more.
If you don’t have a business website, what are you waiting for? We have been experts in web design and web development for more than 20 years for small businesses in Chicago and beyond. We can help guide you through utilizing your website in the most effective manner possible.
Use our free Proposal Request form or give us a call at 630-533-3752.