Why does my local business need a website?

If you are a new business or an existing one without a website you maybe overwhelmed with options and a sense of being oversold. Budgets are tight and you want to ensure you get what you pay for so a good place to start is to identify the reasons why you need a website at its basic level.

In simple terms a website provides you online ‘shop front’ for your business. It demonstrates that you are a ‘bona fide’ company, have an air of professionalism and it goes hand in hand with your business card & flyers.

It needs to explain who you are, what you do in simple terms, where you do it and demonstrate your work via testimonial and/or pictures. It is imperative this is fast to load and easily accessible on a phone.

Critically it provides a quick and simple mechanism for people to get in touch which

  • Facilitates existing clients and their referrals
  • Provides new customers a way of finding you and getting in contact.

For existing clients & referrals

In this day and age people are bombarded with information and so much is transitory. Customers may not always save numbers year on year or may not be able to find them; especially if written on a scrap of paper. They may want to know if still in business or contact you during a job if their schedule changes.

The same applies to referrals, if a neighbour or friend asks who did the garden they are just as likely to pull up a website on a phone or ipad and send a link.

So optimization for mobile phones is paramount.

If you are not online but your competition is or their information is clearer and easier to find than yours, they will get the call not you.

Getting new business & appearing in search engines

A website provides the opportunity for new customers to find you and get in touch. This is dependent on how well you appear within search engines; a product of how the site is built and how prominent your online profile is.

All sites I build are optimized for search engines by default: using WordPress and by advising on the copy you use. I also register your site with Google and Bing so that they can index it.

How you are ranked in search engines next to your competitors is then dependent on raising your online profiled – being listed in directories, linked to from other sites, recommended or mentioned by other people on the internet forums as well as profiles and recommendations in places like Facebook.

Simply having a website cannot guarantee search engine visibility. If a similar company in a similar area has a higher profile then it will be indexed as a site of greater interest than yours.

However, this is built up over time. It’s a balance between budget, your time and the energy you want to spend or can justify.

If this is your first site and/or a new business I generally recommend re-visiting this once the site is up.

Do not hesitate to contact me with further questions