Don't know why you need a web site? Read these seven web site advantages and see for yourself why web sites are important to small businesses.
1. Plenty of space
It can be hard to choose what to say in your limited-space print ads. One benefit of having a web site is that you have enough space to market all your services, announce events, display product photos, show maps and directions, list staff education and credentials, post client testimonials and industry awards—anything you feel will help potential customers make an informed decision.
2. Available 24/7
Another web site advantage is that it's available even when your business is closed or no one is available to answer your phone. You can encourage callers who've missed you to visit your web site for more information while they wait for your return call.
3. Easy to update
Printed material, while still very necessary, can be expensive and troublesome to keep updated. With a web site you can easily let the public know of changes to your hours of operation, product or service offerings, business address or phone number, staff, etc.
4. Adds credibility
One of the best benefits of a having a web site: a well-thought-out, professionally designed web site can add credibility to your small business—no matter how young or small your business is. A web site can also convey a sense of stability—especially important if your small business operates without a storefront; potential customers will feel reassured that they could contact you if they lost your information.
5. Great word-of-mouth marketing
Another great reason for a web site (that is often overlooked!) is that's it's easy for someone to share your web site address with a friend in an email, a phone conversation or a meeting where none of your brochures or business cards are available.
6. Adds value
Your web site can become a valuable resource to potential and current customers. Post information on how to care for products you sell, referrals to related services, interesting facts, how-to's, tips, trends, mistakes to avoid or a glossary of industry terms.
7. Stay ahead of or keep up with competition
People use the internet to research everything from furniture to limousine service to preschools. If your competitor has a web site listed in their print ad and you don't, those online savvy people may check out your competitor's offerings first. That's especially true if you advertise in online "Yellow-Page"-style directories and don't have a web site. Hello! Your target customer is already online! If your competitor is just a click away, who do you think will get the first opportunity to serve that customer?