The internet gets more and more popular every day, and nothing short of a global catastrophe is going to slow down its rapid growth.
Because of this, it’s important to have a high quality website. You’d think that in the face of such enormous growth every business would have its own website, but believe it or not most businesses don’t!
In fact, according to an article from Inc magazine, fewer than half of all local businesses have a website. Another study from Hibu shows that 45% of local businesses don’t have a website, and only 6% have a mobile optimized website!
Now this is bad for them, but it’s great for you! See, Google has a complex algorithm it uses to decide which websites should be at the top of their searches for given “keywords”. So if you’re, say, a holistic dentist in Toronto, and someone searches “holistic dentists in Toronto” or something similar, wouldn’t it be nice if you came up first?
According to these statistics, you can get ahead of a large portion of your competition just by having a website! Not even a good website, but ANY WEBSITE AT ALL!
Now here’s the truth. ANYONE can make a website. Seriously! I made my first website when I was thirteen and living in my parents’ attic, and it was totally free! Problem is, it wasn’t very good. Actually, that’s being generous. It was awful! A little like this, in fact
To paraphrase an old proverb, good websites ain’t cheap and cheap websites ain’t good. While you may be ahead of the curve just by having a website, that won’t help you in the long run. Yes it’s better to have a website than no website, but it’s best to have a great website! Here are a few reasons why investing in your web presence today can only benefit your business.
1: If you aren’t online, nobody will find you
More people today than ever are searching online to find what they’re looking for.
Nobody uses the Yellow Pages anymore, and most other models of advertising are slipping in effectiveness. Today, when people are searching for something they need, they just go to Google.
In fact, Google sees TRILLIONS of annual searches, and many of those are looking for a local business. So if you don’t have a website, you lose any chance of these people finding you.
And mobile search is becoming more popular than ever too! Mobile search means searches done with a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet. According to research from Google, mobile search makes up about half of the searches done, and more than half of those searches have a local intent.
What this means is that around 1/4 of the TRILLIONS of searches done on Google are done by people looking for something local. So if your business relies even partially on local business, you can benefit enormously from a great, optimized website!
2: The first impression of your business is your website
Today, a professionally built website is often the first thing someone sees when looking into your business. It’s a business card, a resume, and a reference list all built into one.
If you’ve ever hired someone before, you know how important it is to have a strong, noticeable resume. It helps you stand out from the pack and gives the employer a better idea of what you’ve done and what you can do.
A website does the same thing. You take time to make sure your resume looks professional, so why not take the same approach with your website?
3: A website is more important than social media, no matter what!
Don’t get me wrong, social media is great. It’s a helpful part of any online marketing platform. But it only goes so far.
Consider how many Canadians are on Twitter – about 5.6 million. That’s a far reach. If you’re a global company, you’ll fare better with access to all 284 million of Twitter’s active users.
But to access your Twitter feed, you’ll need a Twitter account of your own. With a website, you don’t need an account anywhere. All you need is an internet connection. And with more than 90% of Canadians connected to the internet as of the last census in 2013, you’ll get a much larger audience with your website.
Even Facebook, the social media juggernaut, only has 15 million users in Canada. Still a lot, but nowhere near as many people as you’ll reach with a good website! And with recent evidence showing Facebook might not be the indomitable marketing tool it’s cracked up to be, the choice seems more obvious than ever.
According to statistics gathered by Statscan , nearly 70 million purchases were made online by Canadians in 2007 alone, and that amount has certainly grown since then. E-commerce can be an invaluable tool for building your business online.
“But Brad”, you may be thinking, “my product can’t be sold online! How can I possibly benefit from e-commerce?”
The truth is there’s almost nothing which can’t be sold online. People buy anything from coffee grinds to real estate to human skulls to unicorn meat on the internet.
And even if your business is service-based, there are some creative ways to turn that service into something you can sell online as well.
5: It levels the playing field between you and your corporate competition!
Whether you run a large corporation with thousands of employees and offices in dozens of countries, or a one-person operation out of your parents’ cellar, you’ve got an equal opportunity online.
A bigger company will obviously have a larger budget to spend on their website, but they also have a harder time showing up in search rankings. This is because search engine rankings are largely based around local search results.
So while a big corporation is busy trying to appear for hundreds of different products in hundreds of different cities, you’re based only in your city so you’ll have a distinct advantage.
That might not have entirely made sense, but that’s because SEO is a complicated business. I’ll explain more about it in a future blog, but for now you’ll have to take my word for it.
So What Are You Waiting For?
Have I convinced you yet? Getting a website is easier than you think!
When getting a website, though, you should take into consideration more than just price. This article outlines some of the most important questions to ask your website designer.
But either way, the most important thing is to know what you want to accomplish with your website. Are you creating a homepage for your dog, or a marketing tool?
If your website is designed for marketing, consider working with an online marketing company. That way, you’ll have a website specifically designed to accomplish your business goals, whatever they may be. Contact us today, and we can talk about your business, your marketing goals, what a new website can do for you, and much more.