Websites are a non-negotiable in today’s business landscape. However, the truth is that many small businesses don’t have websites. According to a recent survey conducted by global services platform GoDaddy, only 28% of South African small businesses have their own website, while only 22% are planning on building one soon. Of those polled, 42% of respondents said they relied solely on social media platforms to market their businesses online.
While social media marketing is a very effective way to reach customers, it cannot take the place of a website. A website is your unique space on the internet where you can showcase your business’s services, products and personality. You decide what content to feature and the style in which it is presented. It is your online office, which can function as a showroom, reception desk, marketing department, advice portal, check-out desk for customers who purchase products, and more. Here are a few reasons why a website is vital for your business:
A website is accessible to your target audience around the clock. When you have left the office for the day, the weekend, or even the holidays, your website is still working hard to bring in more customers for your business. Your website provides a place for consumers to see what your brand is about and learn more about your products and services, any time of the day or night.
A website is one of the most affordable marketing mechanisms at your disposal. You don’t pay extra for reaching more customers and you can reach potential business leads all over the globe. In addition, websites can be updated quickly and cost effectively. Changing your contact details is as simple as a few clicks online, rather than a costly reprinting exercise.
The vast majority of business transactions start with an online search. Even if customers can’t buy from you online, they will do research online. What they find online will give them their first impression of your business. If you appear credible and professional online, they will be likely to contact you to enquire about your service offerings.
The content that you place on your site sends an important message to consumers. By providing valuable and educational content, you can build stronger relationships with your consumers and encourage conversions. Having a professional website is imperative if you wish to stay ahead of your competition. If your competitors have a website and you don’t, you will immediately lose out on possible business opportunities.
A space to properly introduce yourself
Your website gives you the space to tell consumers more about who you are and what you do. While you may be limited for space on other marketing mediums, a website allows you to provide the kind of detailed information that prospective consumers crave – what makes you different from your competitors, what specialised services do you offer, what values and principles are important to you, and how you have helped other customers in the past.
Your website is also the holding space for your latest, updated content, such as blogs, newsletters and latest promotions and offers. When you create and distribute this new content, it should always direct users back to your website.
Attract prospective employees – and publicity
It’s not only customers who will visit your website in search of information. Prospective talent – and media decision makers – are likely to take notice of a website that exudes professionalism and competence. As a result, you can look forward to highly qualified job applicants and the added bonus of free media exposure, which will position you as knowledgeable and credible in your field.
Good SEO pays dividends
Search engine optimisation (SEO) seeks to direct more traffic to your website via the use of user-friendly content that is updated regularly. In the past, SEO gained an unfavourable reputation due to the excessive use of keywords in content (keyword stuffing) that didn’t necessarily make sense. Those days are gone, with search engines today prioritising content that uses keywords in a sensible manner and where content is comprehensive and topical. By investing in SEO techniques, you can ensure that your website ranks high in search engine ratings, and thereby gain many potential customers or business leads.
ICSC creates winning websites
Your website is your online presence and portfolio. ICSC has the expertise and experience to make it stand out from the rest. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can create – or update – your website to give your business the online edge.