This post was earlier written as citing the need for a website for any small business. Since then I have changed the topic from requiring a website to requiring a webpage. The reason is that a few years back, a website was the only good option to have an online presence.
Today there are multiple other platforms including social media as well as micro blogging platforms that can serve adequately as your web page. The idea is, as always was, to have an informative and impressive online presence that is capable of communicating key messages & brand information about you and your business.
After going over some very good reasons on why you ought to work on your online business image, I will also list the online platforms where you can develop your brand effectively.
Reasons why your business needs it’s own and very impressive webpage.
1) Your business needs be found.
Search engine search is probably one of the most common ways people find things today. From directions to local services, the first place that people probably look is online.
There was a time when people relied on references from their friends and family as well as phone and classified directories. This reference has more or less been taken over by internet search engines. Without actually selling things online through e-commerce, by having a presence online that can be found in search engine results, you are indirectly, but very effectively, selling whatever services or products you have to offer.
It’s not enough to just create a web page. You need advice and expertise to ensure that your business information shows up for the search engine terms and keywords that pertain to your work.
2) Your business needs an image.
Strong brand image will often tilt the favour the scales in favour of a business. Branding is really very important for any business or professional. It is how you convey reliability, efficiency and trust to a consumer. You can very easily notice this in the buying mechanism of everyone around you.
Above all, people tend to trust brands. And businesses go to great lengths to establish their brands as something people can rely on to deliver every single time. The more you can imprint a good image of your business on the consumer’s mind, the stronger will be your brand image. A strong brand image makes all the difference in making more profits and charging people your due worth.
It is said that it typically takes 7 exposures for to a company to register on a consumer. One of the great thing about being online is that it makes it easier to reach the people you want repeatedly. They can a look you up as often as they want.
3) Your business needs to sell.
Regardless of whether you are selling anything directly online through e-commerce or not, a webpage for a business is a selling tool. You see, with any kind of content that you put up that instills faith and confidence in whatever services or products that you are offering, you are making headway towards gaining a potential and paying customer.
So even if you don’t sell anything online your webpage will definitely help you get more business. But you have to ensure that the kind of information you put up enhances your selling prospects.
Sometimes contact information is all that is needed to be found and generate a sale. But if there are competitors who also show up in online searches, a little bit of an oomph might be required.
All in all, your business webpage is a selling tool and should be treated as such. And if you haven’t already, look into selling online through e-commerce.
If you do not have a product you can sell online, work on creating it. It might be something close to what you already have and just needs adapting to make it e-commerce friendly. The growth potential for your business could be exponential.
4) Your business needs to make an impression.
It has never been easier to make your web presence look amazing. So many online platforms have so many great looking ready to use templates that make your profile business profile look very very impressive. These webpages are a great way to make a first impression as well as a lasting one, specially for a small business.
A small business may not have much going for it in the background. Several of them start from home from the garage or even the kitchen table. But this does not mean that you are not capable of professionalism.
Even though your start-up might be modest, you might be coming from a place of great experience and knowledge and skill. Your web page is a way to convey all these things. It is your method of making the right impression on your potential customer.
5) Your business needs to compete.
There are some businesses that work well with competitors because there is enough to go around. Most will need to consider the competing businesses and endeavour to stay a step ahead.
Your online presence just might provide you with the edge you need in staying competitive. True, more and more businesses are becoming aware of the importance of a strong online presence. But you might discover that they are not doing the job as well as you can.
Also, internet research is a great way to do critical market research and stay abreast of what your potential competitors are up to.
6) Your business needs to market and advertise.
This aspect is really a huge advantage of creating some sort of an online platform for your business. Everybody from search engines to social media platforms offer the ability to run advertisements and target their users. With time the ability to find tune your advertisements and marketing campaigns has become immense.
The scope for targeting certain segments specific segments of people with your campaigns online is far more than what any other medium can offer. You can run your campaigns and make sure that you reach the people who match the consumer profile you have in mind. Online advertising is not a cheap but it is still probably the cheapest to get started with.
You can easily start with five dollars a day. The trick however, is to learn to run effective campaigns that prove to be profitable.
You need your return on investment to be in your favour. Although, this might be a steep learning curve, it is worth getting the hang of. Because once you do, you have the ability to reach millions of people.
The number of people that you can reach is only limited to how far you can extend your business services. If you are international, then literally the whole world is your playground. You can advertise your business to somebody across the globe sitting right at your desk.
For every online platform that you might want to advertise your business on, there are plenty of online resources to help you get started and learn the best practises.
7) Your business needs to send out a message.
A webpage is completely under your control. You can give out whatever message you want for your business and as often as you like.
A message or a story is a big part of creating a business brand. It helps convince the consumer to buy from you.
8) Your business needs subscribers and loyal customers base.
A huge advantage of having a webpage is collecting recurring customers. Social media following is one thing, but collecting people’s emails through newsletter subscription is even better.
You can reach out to these people with new offers. You can make repeated pitches so that they get convinced to buy.
I have people on my newsletter list who have bought from me after 2 years of getting emails from me.
9) Your business needs to communicate.
Social media can serve as customer care. There are many apps that get embedded in a blog and offer seamless chat experience with a customer, complete with a bot that works on automation and deals with the most common tasks without your intervention.
This gives the impression of professionalism. It is professionalism to care about the customer experience prior and post the sale. The more easy that a person finds to clear their queries, the more inclined they will feel with dealing with you.
Fast response times give a very good impression for a business as well as a professional.
10) Makes for easy Referrals
It is easier to recommend and share a business that is on some online platform. There are helpful share buttons that allow people to share the website through email, social media, messaging etc.
The other person can easily see the important details, what you are offering and get in touch if they want. It makes it easy for people to mention you on their blogs if they are writing on the subject.
Next post is going to be a brief discussion about the various ways in which you can create a web page for a business. We will discuss some common blogging platforms, the most popular web hosting services, content management systems as well as social media platforms that allow robust content sharing as well as microblogging.