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Why Having a Website is No Longer Optional

These days, having a website is nonnegotiable for any successful business.

Although businesses vary in how much they actually do online — with some running their business entirely through their website and others using their website to simply inform people about what they do — one thing that all businesses have in common is that they all need a website.

No matter what industry you’re in, how much of your business comes from word of mouth, or how loyal your clients are, you need a way to connect with people online, and the number one way to do that is by having a website.

5 Reasons Having a Website isn’t Optional

#1. Be found where people are looking.

Did you know that search engines are the first stop for 93 percent of all online experiences? And what’s more, almost half of those queries are for local businesses. Whether someone wants to shop for the perfect engagement ring for that special someone or they’re on the hunt for a memorable place to pop the question, chances are, the first place they’ll go is a search engine.

It used to be that, when someone needed to hire a plumber or was looking for a mouthwatering burger, they’d ask a friend or family member, or if they were really desperate, they might look at a phone book. Today though, people turn to Google instead of a phone book and read a company’s reviews instead of asking for personal recommendations.

When people search online for relevant keywords, you want your business to show up on the list — preferably near the top of that list. Of course, merely having a website won’t ensure that your business always comes up at the top of the SERP (search engine results pages), but it’s an essential first step.

#2. Maximize visibility without breaking the bank.

Having a website offers businesses a whole host of cost-effective ways to get their name out there, in large part because many online marketing strategies are inbound strategies. This in-bound approach to marketing means that a business’ marketing efforts are only seen by the people actively looking for its services or products, giving it more bang for its buck.

Most traditional forms of marketing are outbound strategies. Outbound marketing strategies, like billboards or television ads, are great for gaining exposure in front of a wide audience, but only a small percent of those people will want or need what you have to offer. With such a low conversion rate, outbound marketing strategies can be pricey, which can be tough when you’re on a tight budget.

Having a website allows you to gain access to the wide world of inbound marketing, which includes a whole host of paid advertising opportunities, as well as one of the most cost-effective options of all — SEO (search engine optimization). Although it takes an investment of time, consistency, and hard work, a business that masters SEO will save more on each and every lead.

#3. Your website never sleeps.

Even if a business owner wants to, most don’t have the resources to be able to answer questions from both existing and prospective customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unfortunately, with every missed call, you run the risk of missed opportunity, especially if you have a competitor that’s open and ready to help.

When you have a website, it’s akin to having a customer service representative available to your clients at all times of the day or night. Of course, your website can’t possibly answer every question a potential client would have, but you can certainly use it to answer your most frequently asked questions.

In addition to using your website to keep your clients informed and to answer their questions, you can also give them a chance to get a headstart on telling you about their situation and how you can help. Even if you’re not there to resolve the situation right away, it will help to give clients peace of mind that they’re headed in the right direction when they can get the process started on their own by filling out a contact form on your website.

#4. Build credibility in your brand.

Regardless of how someone hears about your business, whether it’s from a personal recommendation, a television, or billboard, chances are, the first place they’ll go to learn more about your business is the internet. We live in a world where almost everything is done online, and even if someone first hears about your business offline, chances are high that they’ll look online to learn more.

Unless your business is lucky enough to offer a truly one-of-a-kind service or product, you probably have quite a bit of competition. With so many businesses out there to work with, people need a reason to choose yours, and often, that reason is trust.

Building trust and credibility in your brand can be challenging, but it’s a key part of any business’ success. Just as simply having a website isn’t enough to ensure that your site is found on search engines, having just any website also won’t be enough to get every potential client to trust you. But having the right kind of website — one that’s professionally designed and user-friendly — can help greatly in building trust and credibility with your audience.

#5. Grow your business.

There’s a reason why surveys show that 97 percent of business owners would advise other business owners to have a website – it’s a great way to grow a business. In fact, those same surveys found that 81 percent of businesses that launch sites experience growth.

If you’re looking to grow your business, being online will be an essential part of your success. While word of mouth is still the most powerful form of advertising for local businesses, the fact of the matter is that most growth will happen from the exposure local businesses get online.

With pay-per-click advertising, SEO, social media, review sites, and more, there are so many incredible ways for a business to grow online. And although only some of these methods absolutely require you to have a website, having a website — a central place where people can visit you online — is a must.

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Whether you want to design your own website or work with a team of experts who can do it for you, take the first step toward building a website for your business by turning to Websites 360®.