Does a small business even need a website?
Maybe today you can do just fine without a website.
But the incidence of your customers going to Google to search for service providers is only going to grow, and at a rapid rate. The days of thumbing through the printed business directories are numbered, and there are many younger people who will look at you blankly if you said ‘find me in the Yellow Pages’. This is especially so for local businesses. Google and Bing have indicated that up to 50% of all on-line searches are people looking for businesses in their area.
At its most basic level a website tells people where to find you. But it offers more benefits than just a listing:
- It allows people to research you before they make a purchase decision
- It signifies that your business is credible and professional
It can make you look larger than you may in fact be
- A website is important if you plan to embark on digital advertising. It becomes the hub where you drive people as a result of all the marketing activities on social media, email or search advertising.
Business owners can be put off because of fears about cost and the seemingly complex process. There are options which are completely free – like one of the 35 million free WordPress sites – and with a ‘drag and drop’ functionality that means that you don’t even need any technical skills to create and maintain your website.
Spend a little bit of money, in the order of a couple of hundred Rand per year, and you can have a site with your own domain name (e.g. www.yourbusinessname.co.za). If you want to invest a little more, you can get someone to design a website for you for a one off cost of a few thousand Rand. We will expand on this in later articles.
If you are still in doubt, ask yourself this question. How would you feel if your customers were going to your competitors’ websites because you didn’t have one?
Click here for a free, no-obligation digital media proposal for your local business.