Is a Website still an Important Internet Marketing tool for Small Business?
A few decades ago, static websites dominate the internet and emails were hugely utilized to reach target customers.
Fast forward to 2016, we already have numerous channels to promote and market our business on the web. Aside from websites, we already have social networks, video communities, forums, blogs, podcasts, and the like.
In this fast paced and highly competitive digital marketing world wherein business owners have numerous options where to promote their products, is having a self-hosted website still an important investment?
Entrepreneur.com tells us why having your own website is still very important especially for online entrepreneurs:
Why You Need a Website
“So should your business have a website, even if your business is small and sells products or services you don’t think can be sold online? My answer in 1998 is the same as my answer today: Yes, if you have a business, you should have a website. Period. No question. Without a doubt.
Also, don’t be so quick to dismiss your product as one that can’t be sold online. Nowadays, there’s very little that can’t be sold over the internet. More than 20 million shoppers are now online, purchasing everything from books to computers to cars to real estate to jet airplanes to natural gas to you name it. If you can imagine it, someone will figure out how to sell it online.”
It’s fancy and irresistible to create your web presence without spending a dime. Facebook gives you an opportunity to create your storefront online through their Facebook Fan Page. Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and others allow you to build your presence and market yourself and your products through their profile pages, but they allow only a certain number of features to help you build a compelling business story.
Forty-eight percent of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business |ironpaper.com
The fact is that, your website is your storefront and it’s totally in your control without having you to piggyback on any other business entity (i.e. Facebook or Twitter). To have an effective “storefront”, you need to learn and practice online marketing tactics such as search engine marketing (SEM), SEO, PPC, SMM and the like to help your target audience find it. Those websites on top of the SERPs (search engine result pages) for example, did not get there easily. A certain length of time were spent for trial and error coupled with patience and persistence are exerted before they rank well in search.
Charles Jackson of Demand Media gives us more reasons why having a website is still important for business owners:
The Web has a far wider reach than any other form of advertising. While it takes time to build up enough traffic to your website to make a worthwhile impact on your company’s marketing campaign, it costs next to nothing to do so. Your website will be the center of your company’s online presence; through it, you advertise your business around the Web on social networking sites, forums and through pay-per-click advertising programs.
Increasing visibility is one major factor that makes having a website important. Even if people have heard about your company, they may want to carry out research online first, before leaving the house. Provide a map and directions to your company’s shops or offices on your website so that visitors are less likely to have trouble finding the place.
When we talk about design and its impact in having a dynamic and effective website, we should not only discuss the cost. Other important factors should also be addressed.
– Website opening speed
40% of people will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. — Econsultancy
– Website Content
Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. — Hubspot, January 2015
– Mobile Friendliness
40% of people will choose a different search result if the first is not mobile friendly. –Skillcrush
4 out of 5 consumers shop on smartphones — Comscore
In short, your website can help you reach out to a wide range of audience 24/7. Other digital marketing medium can simply help in amplifying your web marketing efforts.
This BusinessVibes article on Business2Community tells us more:
How to Market Your Small Business Effectively in 2016
“First Things First: You Need A Website (and a good one, too)
Many of you might find it hard to believe, but many small businesses still don’t have a website (or any web presence at all, for that matter).
If you’re running one of these businesses, I’m afraid I’m going to have to break this to you: you need a website.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling direct to consumers and B2B, your website should act as a “hub” for which all other marketing tactics derive from.
It’s highly likely that should your potential customers/clients receive a business card/flyer/leaflet/cold call from you, they’re going to seek more information about your company online before they decide whether or not to give you their custom.”
You can show the credibility and authenticity of your business by having your very own self-hosted website wherein you can feature the minutest details of your products and services. More importantly, having your own website gives you limitless freedom to show your creativity in promoting your brand. This also allows you to monetize your content anyway you can, which you can never do on free social media channels.
If you are not confident enough to start your very own website, you can always look for digital marketing experts to help you take the first steps. Qamar Zaman, a Website Developer and an online marketing guru has over a decade of experience in helping entrepreneurs build their very own websites without compromising their limited budget.
You can contact him through this number 972.437.8942 or you can visit his website OneSEOCompany.com
Chief Visionary at One SEO Company. An Internet Entrepreneur SEO & lawyer Internet marketing professional & Starbucks Lover.