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It’s 2020 and whether you’d like to admit it or not, your consumers live on the internet. It’s no secret that digital lives have expanded since the boom of social media, but it may surprise you to know that millennials, a desirable demographic due to their powerful influence, strong purchasing power, and deep pockets, spend an average of 5.7 hours per day on their phones. Texters and emailers extraordinaire, millennials prefer e-chat to phone lines and judge businesses by their digital presence before scrutinizing a store in-person.

And while easy to relegate the rise of online marketing to a younger generation’s preferred homepage, according to the Pew Research Center “97% of customers across all age groups use the internet for purchasing decisions.”

So how exactly can a website help my small business?

It’s simple, if you’re interested in growth, you must have a website. And a social media presence won’t suffice. Websites improve legitimacy, expand customer reach, and help businesses stay competitive in a crowded marketplace. Here’s everything you need to know about the endless benefits of not just having a website, but developing an effective website that connects with your existing and future customers.

 Solidify Legitimacy Online

Your website is an extension of your business and for many consumers, if you don’t have a website, you don’t have a business. According to a recent study, 91% of customers have visited a store because of an online experience. What does this mean? Consumers prefer to exist in your business online before taking the time to exist in-store. Provide your potential customers’ peace of mind with a strong online presence.

And let’s emphasize the word strong! Websites mean nothing if they’re ineffective. By ensuring your website has an engaging, user-friendly design, you’re proving yourself to an endless stream of scrutinizing eyes. Distinguish yourself from competitors and keep consumers engaged with eye-catching graphics, video, promotions, pops of color, and tasteful design.

Boost Brand Loyalty

Consumers crave convenience and websites provide consumers with instant information, from contact information, location, specials, sales, discounts, and more. Be reliable, informative, and user-friendly with a strong and engaging online presence that keeps your future and existing customers coming back for more.

Marketing That YOU Control

Along the same vein, websites are a platform where you control the narrative. They’re an opportunity to flaunt your company’s voice, brag about your services, and position yourself in your industry.

In this day and age, traditional advertising mediums like print and direct mail are not only expensive but ineffective. Lean into your most affordable platform that also happens to allow you complete control.

Email & E-commerce

Websites not only expand your marketing efforts, but they also help you expand your sales and promotional platforms. With a branded email, introduce email marketing and drive existing customers to your new site.

Related Questions

What if I’m on a budget?

Creating a website doesn’t need to break your bank! There are plenty of local, hungry design students willing to work for cheap (or free!) for internship credit or the chance to enhance their creative portfolio. Also, there is a small company I know (Webfox Marketing 🙂 that now offers websites for $995! It’s important to never sacrifice quality for the sake of a free website designer, but it is worth noting that there are affordable options available.

This aside, even if you do need to invest in a pricier website designer for the sake of quality, your investment will always return in droves. As we’ve outlined, websites are an invaluable marketing tool that grows your customer base and keeps existing patrons loyal.

What if my industry isn’t online?

So? Your customers are! Commercial transactions are always influenced by online content and that includes transactions within the B2B, industrial, and manufacturing industries. Don’t believe us? According to a recent study,  67% of purchases are influenced by digital across all industries and half of all B2B customers start online research with a product before consulting a brand.

What do I need?

According to the Nielsen Norman Group On average, users close a website 10-20 seconds after clicking. If your site doesn’t clearly state: 1) Who you are, 2) What you offer, and 3) How to contact you, potential customers won’t sift through tabs to figure it out. Be clear, concise, and engaging through smart language that captures the attention of users and keeps them exploring your business.

 How can I improve my SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is the name of the game. Tools like Yoast help gauge the effectiveness of your copy aka the likelihood that it will beat Google’s algorithm and keep clickers engaged in your content.  A few basic tips — keep sentences short, keep language simple, and break up your paragraphs to avoid big chunks of text. The more readable your site, the better.

What if I’m already on social media?

Websites still reign supreme for easy contact and SEO. Especially with the declining use of Facebook and the trend of social media “cleanses” on the rise.

It can also be more difficult for users to connect with businesses on social platforms. Within a week of Facebook’s latest algorithm update, organic reach plummeted. As noted by Business Insider, In 2018, people spent 50 million fewer hours on the platform than they did in 2017.

Summary

Competition is stiff out there – especially for small businesses. Don’t let competitors with a stronger online presence snag the low-hanging-fruit. Your business has a unique voice that deserves a big audience in the digital space.

More questions on digital marketing? Contact us!

A little bit about us – Web Fox Marketing is a web company in Livonia, Michigan SEO and digital advertising professionals. We work with our local community nearby Livonia, Novi, West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, Northville and beyond. In addition to providing digital advertising advantages, we’re experienced in search-engine ranking advantages , Google Ads advertising (Pay Per Click), SEO solutions, social media advertising, and much more!

A website most certainly is the beginning, as success throughout our connected markets depends on local dominance & maximum exposure to several advertising networks. Our Michigan lead generation company is more than happy to help you with any challenges you may have. Contact us now and let’s kick-start building your responsive site!