In today’s day and age, most consumers’ first glimpse of a business will be experienced online. The old days of window-shopping, while not gone, have diminished significantly. 34% of shoppers think that local businesses gain credibility from a strong website. Now, the decision to go to one business over the other involves a little bit of online research. Not only is it important to have a website but your website should effectively portray your business for these reasons:
1. Clear and Concise Representation
Given the fact that 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses, you need to control the representation of your business online. The first step: a website! Having a websites gives you a vehicle for direct communication with your consumers and creates a centralized place for your business information.
2. Develop Credibility
Consumers tend to believe that businesses with websites inevitably have more credibility than those who do not. Without having any representation online, you leave yourself and your business open strictly to speculation. It is important that you have some form of online representation. According to Search Engine Land, “It arose that having a bad or ugly website may not be the worst thing to consumers, either — you often have more to lose by not having one.”
3. Inform Your Customers
When it comes down to it, consumers want to see what it is that you and your business have to offer, and your website is a wonderful vehicle to educate. While the name, address, and phone number of your business are available on review sites, the products and services that you offer are what defines your business. Give your customers a way to find your value.
Websites clearly are a very effective tool for businesses to both promote their products and services offerings while maintaining their brand image. As the following study showed, “68% said that having a website – ideally one that is well designed – is a key factor in the opinion they hold about a business and directly influences their decision to use a local business.” Put yourself in a position to be found by creating a website and focusing on your online presence.