Why Every Business Needs a Website
Some businesses wonder if they can afford a web presence beyond their Services and Contact Details. However with more time spent online than ever before, it’s an opportunity that cannot be missed. This is a series on the basics of getting started, being found, creating content and building a brand.
Remember when you used to shop in the High Street on a busy afternoon, looking for a particular store? You couldn’t quite remember what it was called, but you’re sure that you’ll recognise the name when you see it. Eventually you realise you’ve gone too far and you turn around to go back down the other side. Although you know it’s there you still can’t find it. You’re running over the name in your head and wondering how you missed it. Not only is it proving difficult to find but frustrating and confusing trying to do so. So you give up and instead ask a friend who suggests somewhere else. That business just lost your business, all because you couldn’t find it.
With more and more people looking for new products and services online, you can’t afford not to make your business there.
A simple analogy but it illustrates the difficulty people are likely to have in trying to find your business online. First it’s locating it – by name or by industry perhaps. Then it’s just the sheer number of other businesses bustling about in cyberspace, in all shapes and sizes. Each with their own websites as welcoming as an open shop-front and delightfully lit. Many of them easy to access, engaging, and informative, and just what you might be looking for.
This year - 2016 - has been deemed The Year of The Connected Customer. With more and more people looking for new products and services online, you can’t afford not to make your business there. It’s our modern Yellow Pages or Directory Enquiries. It’s word-of-mouth even, as companies make it easier and easier to review and recommend their products. It’s also networking and community as LinkedIn and Facebook for Business make it easier for businesses to connect with each other, to collaborate or keep an eye on the competition.
However even the perfect website - beautifully designed, easy to navigate, visually impacting, with content that informs and engages - is no more than a brand new store on opening day if no-one knows where to find it.
Regularly creating and updating quality content creates activity for search engines. This indicates a healthy pulse and it tells the neighbourhood that you are open for business.
Regularly creating and updating quality content, alongside good social media engagement, creates activity for search engines to find. This indicates a healthy pulse and just like a seasonal window display, visual merchandising, and good footfall, it tells the neighbourhood that you are up and running and open for business. And it tells Google that it can reliably pass on your details to whoever is looking for what you have to offer. I write more about this here.
The best case scenario is that a potential customer does remember your name—from your business card, passed on from a neighbour, glanced at in a directory somewhere—and enters it correctly into Google, is provided with a link to your site, and is impressed with the content when they do.
The worst case scenario, is that without knowing your name and after googling every variation they can think of, that same customer gives up. They then start to search for the product or service they were looking for, and in doing so, Google provides a competitor’s name and site, because as far as the search engine is concerned your site is not open for business after all. So what can you do?
This is Part One in a Series covering the basics of Making the Most of Your Business Online. Read Three Steps To Getting Started Online