Business directory Yellow Pages has announced that it will stop publishing print editions from January 2019. The familiar yellow book used to be the first place people turned to when they needed a plumber, a gardener, a lawyer or any other business, but today most people’s first instinct is to turn to the internet. It’s therefore more important than ever that your business has a website to allow customers to find you.
Thanks to the availability of fast, affordable broadband in most parts of the country, plus the rapid spread of the smartphone, the internet has become the resource of choice for families and businesses alike, but what exactly are the benefits a site can bring to your business?
Finding New Customers
People are using the internet all the time on their computers and tablets when they’re at home and on their phones when they are out and about. Not only do they use the web to search for businesses, but they use it to spread the word via reviews or personal recommendations. If you don’t have an online presence, therefore, you risk no one being able to find you.
It’s worth searching online for other similar businesses in your area to find out what kind of web presence they have. This will give you an idea of what your own site needs to look like but will also help you determine what factors make your business stand out and which you can use to promote your services.
Having a website can also save you time in answering queries. If people can find out what they need to know about your business from the site, they won’t need to phone you to ask questions. This means you can spend more time on running your business.
One of the key reasons why you need a business website from https://www.rouge-media.com/blog/why-a-business-needs-a-website/ is to ensure that your business gets seen. Think of the site as your shop window: you want it to show off your business to the best advantage, and you want it to be in a prime location where lots of people will see it. If you don’t have a site, it’s the modern equivalent of placing your shop in a back street with no passing traffic.
Of course, a website is much more than just a window. It also provides you with an online sales catalogue. It’s available to your customers 24 hours a day, won’t be lost or mislaid and can easily be kept up to date with changes to product, prices and so on. Updating a website takes a matter of minutes, so you can save on the cost of printing and distributing new sales material when you get new products or run a special promotion. Remember too that a website allows you to do more than a printed brochure. You can demonstrate products in videos or offer hints and tips on how to get the best from them – even basing these on feedback from your customers.
If you’re looking for business in your local area, remember that your site needs to give details of how to find you. If you’re offering services, you also need to list the areas that you cover.
Thanks to the latest content management systems, you can keep your site updated yourself. There’s no need to wait for web developers to make changes for you.
Most people begin looking for businesses online via a search engine such as Google. Making sure your business can be found in search results is crucial. Choosing the right keywords will help drive traffic to your site and ultimately lead to sales. Again, this is an area where you can learn from your competition – do your own searches and see which businesses rank highly in the results.
Value for Money
All businesses need to advertise their services in some way. The advantage of having a website is that once you’ve set it up it’s there for the long term. The initial cost therefore needs to be seen in terms of the savings you’ll make by not having to constantly print new promotional material or pay for new adverts in other media.
Websites are also very flexible. You might start out with just a couple of pages, but once you have an online presence it’s easy to expand it to take in new products or services or as your business expands into new areas. Another point here is that a website is available to the whole world, so if you’re selling directly online, you may well be able to open up new markets you didn’t know existed.