5 reasons your small business needs an online presence
1. The phonebook is dead and TV is dying because everyone is online
Whether it’s sending emails, texting, looking for products to buy online, or looking for information about your offerings, services, or your company, people go online.
So much so that according to Pew Research, as much as 81 percent of US adults go online on a daily basis. This can be attributed to the fact that mobile devices such as smartphones have become such a staple in our modern culture. According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who actively tracks mobile versus landline adoption. As of June 2020, more than 60% of adults lived in households that did not have an operational landline phone as opposed to more than 90% just sixteen years earlier.
You said television was dying too? Yes, even traditional television advertisements don’t get the same level of attention as they used to either. The reason being that online video consumption is one of the most popular activities on the internet, and it has become a significant part of users’ online experience. This can be mainly attributed to improvements and expansion of broadband networks, wireless and cellular technology. Streaming and video sharing websites can be used for more than just entertainment. They are often used for educational purposes and remote learning during the pandemic. According to Statista, in 2020, 232 million people downloaded video or watched streaming services across all devices in the US.
Here are a few additional statistics on video streaming from BroadBandSearch:
- 45% of people globally watch an hour or more of online video content every day.
- 40% of Millennials report trusting YouTube for high-quality content, while 60% said that videos on the platform had impacted their personality and worldview.
- Video is an integral part of the buying journey for consumers in the modern world. 50% of people on the internet watch videos and product demos before purchasing anything.
- More than 50% of content consumed on YouTube is watched via mobile devices and the YouTube mobile application.
2. Websites Give Your Business Legitimacy
Growing up, you may have been told not to judge a book by its cover. When it comes to the internet and a small business’s website, I may be somewhat biased, but I will often judge them on it. Is it responsive? Is it mobile-friendly? Did it take too long to load? According to web credibility research from Stanford, I am not alone as 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
In the past, we would assume that businesses without a physical address were a scam. Today, the same could be said for companies without a website or having a website designed in the early 2010s (can you say dated). By only having a social media page or even worse neither, it raises serious questions in the mind of your potential clientele. The biggest one, are you a legitimate business? Can I trust you? Why haven't you invested enough in your business to have an online presence?
Think about it like this, would you trust a carpenter who came showed up with a little hammer like the one pictured to frame the wall of your addition? Chances are you wouldn’t, you would expect them to have a framing hammer, not one that you might use to hang a picture frame! It all goes to the credibility of the carpenter.
Therefore a good website will give your business a sense of legitimacy, which is crucial for building trust in the digital age. A website should also attempt to answer any and all the questions your prospects have about your company and set the path for conversions.
3. Your website should be your primary marketing channel
Having your website is like building a digital billboard for your business. You instantly have the perfect way to start introducing people to your services. Your website should also be the primary place that users come to find information about your business.
Now you can complement and enhance your website with search engine optimization, blogging, landing pages, videos, and social media. However, keep this in mind, anything you do online or offline should point them back to your website.
4. Lead Generation: a near-perfect solution
Your website is a near-perfect solution for lead generation. As I mentioned previously, your website should be the go-to place for users to find information about your business. You need to have call-to-action items along the way, be it downloads, contact forms, or links to learn more. The goal is to help educate prospects about who you are and what you do so that they feel comfortable enough to reach out when they are ready to make a decision.
It is much easier to capture an email address or phone number on your website than to remember, let alone collect that information when you are in person.
5. Better customer service
Let’s talk briefly about the F word. No, I am not talking about something you would find scribbled on the stall at a gas station or in a middle school bathroom. I am talking about the F-word of the internet, and that is frustration.
Suppose you can eliminate frustration in your buying process with your website by providing customer service through it. Say what? Think about this for a moment; we all go to the great curiosity answering machine, aka Google, to find the answer to our questions. Google will serve up the sites with the best answers to your questions. Now, if you go to that site and you have further questions, you can either hit the back button and start a new search, look around the site you are on, or if they have either live chat or a chatbot, you could interact with a real person and get an answer to your questions. Brilliant right?!
That is what I am talking about in removing frustration. You might have made it super easy for a prospect to become a buyer in a matter of minutes.
Why aren’t you online?
Small business owners have a million excuses such as:
- I don’t have time
- It costs too much
- I don’t understand what to do
- I don’t have the expertise
- I’m not good with computers
- My clientele aren’t online
- We have always done without one
Let me quickly address the above, probably 95% of our small business clientele had used one or more of the aforementioned excuses when they came to us. The most popular being we are strapped for time, money, or both. At Cube Creative Design, we were there to help them, and we are here to help you. If you don’t understand what you need or don’t think you are good with computers, we can still help you! Feel free to reach out for a free consultation, and we will walk you through every step of the process.