You might ask. I’ve just seen a sponsored post on FB from a postal service provider advertising their traditional (or may we say, old fashioned?) postal leaflet service, and they wrote about how greatly effective it is. It has just literally exploded the comments’ section, most people stating that in the digital age this is a totally useless waste-generator and get on the internet if you want to get attention to your business and if you want to be found (locally). Is this really the situation, does a business need a digital-self? And If so, is it worth having a website, or one (or more) social page(s) would do the job?
Let’s dig in!
It’s not enough just having a website, you have to have a carefully built website. We’ve all heard about the three-letter magic: SEO. Search Engine Optimization is a key thing to keep the search engine happy about our website and then in return, we can hit the top places on the results pages when someone is looking for our services. Why is this important? Because of the fact that 76% of UK shoppers research online before making the actual purchase. You have to be where your potential customers are: on the internet. Google gets over 63,000 searches in a second!
Are you there to be found?
As a local business, you think that you don’t need a website since people know where to find you. However, believe it or not, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. “Near me” and “close by” searches increased by 900% in two years. Having a good website is a crucial tool to get more clients and to grow your business, as according to the statistics, 28% of local searches lead to a purchase.
Is this tempting enough?
It is cheaper to have a website built and maintained than using traditional advertising methods.
In a local magazine, a full-page advertisement can cost up to 800 GBP, while you can get a professional website for as little as 190 GBP. For several hundreds of pounds, you appear only once in a magazine, while for a much smaller amount you will have a continuously operating website. Let’s check out another traditional advertising tool: Royal Mail door-to-door service starts from 500 GBP and you have to add on top the price for the flyers to be designed and printed as well. Costly too.
You have one or more social media sites, so you think those perfectly do the job. Well, you are not alone, 30% of businesses use a social media business profile instead of owning a domain name and a web page. Social media is indeed a great tool for marketing, networking and awareness. You can easily interact in real-time with users and can reach a global audience. But does a social media site give you the same amount of freedom and opportunity as your own website? Definitely not. The purpose is different. Social media is a marketing tool where you send your users when you decide to do so. You have to follow their design layout, analytics only available what they provide you, the page is not yours. A website is the digital-self of your business, where you represent your brand and build credibility, you have a custom email address with it and can track your visitors.
Both web and social media sites are part of a powerful online presence strategy and they are complementary to each other rather than competitive.
There were 45.1 million daily internet users in Great Britain during 2019, meaning this has almost tripled since 2006. It’s a huge number. Apparently, businesses need to have a powerful online presence to be able to be found by the masses of internet users. A well-structured website is the most important part of an effective online presence. It represents your brand, values, contact information and helps you build credibility among your (potential) customers which will definitely affect the growth of your business.
Go for it!
Sources of the provided information and statistics can be found by clicking on characters coloured black in the above text.
ACODYNA is a Harlow based web design company specialized in websites for small and medium-sized businesses and special events.