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If you are a small business and have not yet established an online presence —it’s amazing how many small businesses still don’t have a good website! –then you are missing out on a great opportunity to generate more revenue and profit for your company. As of early 2012, reports have shown that there were 2.4 billion internet users worldwide. The internet has become a great tool for buying and selling products and services, sharing files, communicating with friends and family, entertainment, education and many other activities.
People Are Online
As a consultant assisting women in business in rural Southern Alabama, I regularly get asked, “Since my business is very small and I only sell my products or services locally, do I really need a website?” My answer is always the same… YES! If you are a business owner, you need to have an internet presence. Here’s why:
- Statistics have shown that about 2.2 billion people used the internet in 2011 – nearly a third of the earth’s population.
- More than $256 billion were spent by internet shoppers in 2011.
- Current buying trends show that people purchase everything from books, jewelry, vehicles to live stock and real estate.
- The number of people that make use of the internet every day is on the increase. This means about 70% of the earth’s population have access to it.
- Online shopping has become a normal activity for many internet users. It has proved to be more convenient and cheaper for them.
As you can see, being a small company does not matter when it comes to potential benefits from having a web presence.
Enhance Your Credibility
Since majority of the earth’s population make use of the internet, a website is the best way to tell the world about you and your company. This is also an opportunity to explain why you deserve their confidence and trust. In fact, internet users today expect serious business owners to have an online presence. They use the internet to research before buying products and services. Therefore, a website is a great tool to provide useful information about your business and convince your audience that you offer the best product or service. Here are 4 ways to increase credibility to your website:
- Update your website with pertinent and relevant information on a regular basis
- Offer visitors with quick and flexible answers to their needs
- Post testimonials from satisfied customers
- Provide visitors with a comment section and make sure you respond in a timely manner
A well designed, informative and updated website will add credibility to your business and strengthen your brand.
Search Engine Optimization
Are your competitors outranking you in search results? Imagine a potential customer searching “Animal Clinic San Diego” and the results place your top 5 competitors on the first page while your website is ‘MIA’ (missing in action). Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Mozilla will return the results that are most relevant.
A website that is designed to be an effective Internet marketing tool will increase your website traffic. This internet marketing technique is referred to as Search Engine Optimization. By generating quality backlinks and creating optimized content, you become an authority before search engines and increase the number of visitors that come to your website.
Imagine serving customers around the world? Since information is always available, people from all over the world can visit your website anytime; and inquire about the products or services that you offer. A website gives you a global footprint exposing you to an international market.
Wouldn’t you like to wake up each morning and ‘cha-ching’ money has magically appeared in your business account? No magic… just a reality for many entrepreneurs. Having a website allows customers to purchase from you 24/7. Your website is sales machine, always open and making sales on your behalf.
I get daily requests for access to my blog. Here are excerpts of two emails that I received this week for access:
“We would like to send you high quality articles that fit your audience… 1 link going to our client’s site to each post… pay you $20 per post… send articles in bulk.”
“We will pay you $30 for each article you post… basically our article is related with education”