If you are a local or small business owner, you need a way of getting your name out there to reach clients and customers who currently have no idea you exist. One of the most obvious solutions to this is to have a website. But are websites really all that in 2023?
A Website Will Help Customers Find You
Let’s just start with some facts.
Of people rely on the internet to find local businesses
Of people learn more about a business by checking online
Of all searches on Google are for local businesses
Of users make searches for local businesses every month
Of local searches result in a purchase within 24 hours
Of people prefer to get info from a website rather than social media
Statistics according to webfx.com and safaridigital.com.au
There’s no denying that the internet has become the go-to place that people look for information.
Think about it. Searching for something on Google has become such a phenomenon that “Google” has literally become a verb. Consider how many times you hear someone (or yourself) say “Google it” when met with a basic query.
Combine this with the fact that 46% of the time that anyone ever “Googles” something, they have the sole intention of finding a local business, and it really highlights the power of search engines.
If you do not have a website you are missing out on a huge proportion of potential customers. There are people out there searching Google every single day for your service, and if you don’t have a website then you’re making it very difficult for them to find you.
A Website Builds Trust
We already know that having a website gives people a much better chance of finding your business. But what about potential customers who find you by other means, for example through referral or a social media page.
Surely you don’t need a website as well if people already know you exist? Well, that’s not the case for most businesses. Why? Because websites build trust, authority and credibility.
An online survey by Verisign discovered that 92% of people prefer to get information from a business from their website, rather than a social media page.
- Makes you look professional
- Allows you to clearly showcase your services
- Gives you an opportunity to display your best reviews
- Makes it easy for clients to get in touch
Social Media Pages vs Business Websites
Having a social media page is an essential part of most businesses marketing strategies, however there are several issues with them being considered replacements for a professional website:
- You do not own the platform. If Facebook or Instagram decide to suspend your account (and yes this can happen completely unfairly without due cause), then you lose access to not only a way of reaching new customers, but all your existing following. With a website you are in full control and it can’t be unfairly taken away.
- Far fewer people search Facebook and Instagram to find local businesses compared to search-engines like Google and Bing.
- It’s very difficult to properly brand a Facebook page. No matter how much time you put into it, it will always look like Facebook.
- Social media platforms come and go. Meta, who own Instagram and Facebook have had a rocky few years, but Google has continued to grow.
Google Business Profile vs Business Website
Again, having a Google Business Profile is crucial for a local business, but it doesn’t replace the need for a website. Here are several issues with just having a GBP:
- Consumers expect businesses to own their own website. One of the main functions of a Google Business Profile’s is to highlight your existence to potential customers, who will then look to your website for more information.
- The information you can provide is very limited. Websites gives you full freedom to show off your business and sell it in a way that a Google Business Profile just isn’t capable of doing.
- You don’t own the profile. Same as with social media pages, you don’t own the platform that your profile is listed on. If Google decide to take it away, you don’t have control.
- Not every search is on Google. What about people who use Bing? They won’t see your profile.
Combining the Best of Both Worlds
Having an effective marketing strategy for your local business should never just rely on one method.
You should utilise social media pages and a Google Business Profile in conjunction with a website to have the best online presence and give customers more opportunities to find you. Having a website still remains at the core though, as it is something you always have full control over and it allows you to utilise Google effectively, which is how most consumers look for local businesses.
Ready to Get Your Website Off the Ground?
Media Bright specialises in building and designing websites for small-medium businesses. Head over to the web design service page for more information or get in touch using the contact form below.