A website gives any business the opportunity to deliver essential information, find new customers or make sales — anytime of the day or night. A website is the first impression many business will make on customers. In fact, for some consumers, a business without a website is not a serious business at all. A strong website will make your business not only more relevant than your competitors, but also more credible. If your competitors are online, you should be too.
“Just because you don’t have something that can be sold online doesn’t mean you can’t start making the sale online,” said Drew Slover, owner of the Jacksonville-based, full-service marketing company Slover Consulting. “Any business owner can use a website to find new customers, drive traffic to your stores or make a sale. A website is an essential tool for any business.”
A 2013 survey from marketing researchers BIA Kelly found that 97 percent of U.S. consumers used the Internet to research products and services, including local services. Businesses that aren’t on the Internet are passing up an opportunity to put their message out to the largest medium available. And the costs and ease of being on this vital network are miniscule when compared with the costs of traditional advertising options like television, radio or newspaper spots.
A website will be the center of your marketing campaign, serving as the home base of your branding efforts. Consider a website to be a permanent and constantly available brochure, ready to put information at your customers fingertips when they need it. It’s an opportunity to tell customers the story of your business, from who you are to what you sell to why you’re better than your competitors. It’s an opportunity that a business owner simply must utilize to the fullest extent.
Not only can businesses use a website to deliver information to customers, it can also collect important information from customers. An email mailing list gives a business a direct line to customers and linking a website to social media sites can further expand your businesses reach.
Having a website is a part of the sales process and is crucial to reach younger customers, who turn to the Internet, and not the yellow pages, to find information about local businesses. Just as businesses can increase their visibility through buying larger yellow page ads, they can also increase their visibility with customers on the Internet with a quality website. The continued growth of the Internet makes a website your best source for new business.