The Major Reasons Local Businesses Need Websites
For nearly 30 years, the internet has been transforming education, commerce and communication on a global scale. Many businesses and companies have discovered just how potent the internet can be – both for better and for worse. Whether a business is targeting a global audience or seeking to make inroads within a local community, the power that the internet provides is undeniable.
Yet there are still locally-focused businesses that do not provide their customers and fans with a digital presence. The most basic internet presence, a website, is much more important than some realize. Today, we’ll look at the major reasons why every local business needs a website.
In a world where seemingly all the information we could ever need is at our fingertips, shoppers have greater expectations than in years past. Even for local businesses, these expectations are having an impact. While already loyal customers may not mind that you don’t have a website, those in the market for your products or services will be much less likely to visit your business in-person without some prior information. Considering that an overwhelming majority of shoppers begin their shopping experiences by pinging search engines for information, having a website that provides vital details, product descriptions and other features just makes good business sense.
If a shopper has to choose between your brand without a website and your competitor with a fully-featured website, most will choose the latter.
Very few people open a phone book to find local solutions for products and services these days. For brands that take care to manage and promote their websites, attracting new business is substantially easier.
The great thing about having a website that is well-maintained and that features valuable content is that it often sells itself. By creating valuable pieces of content and targeting your local niches, you can automatically produce greater visibility in search engine results. In addition, local shoppers who find your information or products valuable will be more likely to share that information with family members and friends. It’s one thing to recommend a business via word of mouth, but having a website – and content – that can be shared and boosted among audiences is quite another.
Protection Against the Competition
Last but not least, every local business should aim for a digital presence for one simple reason: it hedges your success against the competition. If you allow competitors to pitch directly to local audiences via the internet while also completely ceding this territory, then the effects that that will have on your bottom line long-term are substantial. Even if you only sell products in-person or your business model requires thorough interaction and consultation, just letting the masses know you exist by pinging search engines can greatly minimize any advantages your competitors will enjoy.
Most will say that having a business website in 2018 is a given, but there are some businesses that have yet to adapt to this reality. If your local business is currently unengaged online, then this can spell big trouble long-term for your profitability and reach. By pitching via the internet to your local audiences, you can minimize competitor success, satisfy customer expectations and increase visibility.