Local businesses need websites more than ever

Does your local business need a website? Or is it enough to have a Facebook page? Disclaimer: I’ve written about this subject before, but I’m pondering these questions today after four failed attempts to post from my mobile to my own Studio V Ink business page. I’m sure Facebook will play ball later, but it’s super frustrating right now!

The internet is vital to modern-day survival; you can find out anything about everything, maintain your social life, express yourself endlessly, buy whatever your heart desires and have it delivered next day. The Internet is as vital to us now as food and water.  Think I’m exaggerating? Try turning your smartphone off for a day. But the demand for digital offerings gives business owners and creatives a golden opportunity; the ability to capture the attention of a global audience.

Social media is certainly the fastest way of establishing an online presence. It allows your business to quickly connect with customers, so surely your business doesn’t need a website too? Why would you part with your hard earned cash to build a website when you can make your Facebook page for free in an afternoon? The answer is simple. Your social platform simply acts as a gateway to the true home of your business in the digital world; your website.

Here are my top three reasons why websites are essential for your business.

Get found online

At the time of writing, over 40,000 Google searches are submitted every second. The importance of having a strong search presence cannot be overstated. Ranking highly on Google is not easy, especially if you only have social media accounts. With a website and SEO, at least you give your business a fighting chance.

Local businesses are in a unique position to leverage SEO link potential. Because they serve a distinct, physical community made up of their own neighbours, the more involved your local business is in its community, the more naturally SEO link opportunities arise. And links mean higher rankings on Google. Social media can’t do that for your business.

Without a website, your business lacks the brand-controlled publishing and link-earning platform that so strongly influences Google’s organic rankings.

More bang for your marketing buck

Websites allow your business to track the movement of your customers. What platforms are visitors coming from? What do they want? Where do they live? With this analytical gold mine, you’re able to refine your marketing strategy and convert more for less.

Tell the story of your business in your own words

Websites allow complete control over how your business story is told through words, photographs, illustrations and videos. These elements create a platform that is uniquely yours. Websites offer complete creative freedom. A far cry from social media, where your brand appears alongside your competitors in all your chosen platform’s uniformity. In short, websites give your business a personality.

Studies show that 75% of people judge the credibility of a business based on its website and that credibility has a direct relation to how likely people are to make a purchase.

So, does your local business need a website?

The answer is yes. It’s a big digital world out there. If your business is looking to reach a wider audience, of course it’s important not to ignore social media. But remember that your social media platform is not the final destination. Social media is an interactive marketing platform that is designed to drive users to your main hub; your website. Use social media as a marketing platform to drive traffic back to your website and use that traffic to grow your email and customer list so you can communicate with them anytime, anywhere and on your own terms.

What next? Website building platforms are great, but just remember that you will be limited by your own creativity and experience. If you really wanting to impress your market with a well-built, SEO-ready and visually appealing website, consider employing the skills of an experienced web design studio.

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