Most consumers prefer to spend money at local, small businesses they have grown to develop meaningful and trusting connections with. Consumers value the close, personal involvement that comes from these relationships and believe small businesses stand behind the products and services they offer. But today, more and more consumers expect to see these same businesses online.
Websites are a small business’s most important sales tool
According to an August 2013 survey conducted by Web.com, 83% of consumers surveyed said having a Website and social media presence was very important to them when choosing to shop at a small business over big box stores. Further, 60% of those respondents said they would take positive actions – such as recommend the small business to a friend, visit the store, learn more information, or make a purchase – if the small business has a website.
These findings tell us consumers value a business with strong website and social media presences, but these findings also tell us consumers view small businesses with Websites with added credibility.
Yet many small businesses still have not created a website. According to the same Web.com survey, less than half (41%) of small businesses surveyed have a Website, meaning the others are missing customer service and sales opportunities.
How can my small business create a website?
Before you think your small business website’s design, make sure you first conduct an Internet keyword search about your industry or offered services. This research provides valuable information about your industry but also produces competitor data. If you’ve never conducted a keyword search, check out why keywords and Meta tags are important for your small business website ranking and search engine optimization.
Once you’ve got a content plan in place, then you can begin to think about where you’ll host your Web page portal. This is a daunting experience, especially when budgets are tight. There are many paid and “build your own” site options available, which vary in price and user design ability, but I find WordPress.com to be one of the most budget-friendly and simple-to-use platforms available – especially when you’re first starting out.
The platform is easy to use and offers a variety of customizable layout options – depending on business needs. In addition, users can purchase and host a personalized Web domain name at WordPress for a small yearly fee. Plus, WordPress.com offers a plethora of support information and “how-to’s” blogger tips in their support centers
Since I mentioned blogs, it’s important to understand bloggers are no longer just bloggers – they’re industry experts sharing their valuable insights with the world! They’re restauranteurs sharing recipes and tips for healthy eating. They’re artists showcasing their work and posting videos of how to sketch. They’re financial advisors who offer strategies for better fiscal planning.
Chances are, your small business has expertise to share too. So while you’re pondering your Website’s birth, think about adding a blog to share your wealth of knowledge!
Ready to launch a blog or create a website for your small business?