Having a website that serves as the hub of your local business’ online presence is essential for marketing in 2020. And, while the majority of small businesses do have a website, there are many local business owners who still don’t view it as a priority. When it comes to the most common reasons business leaders cite for not having a website, some interesting research revealed that …
- 35% of local businesses believe they are too small to have a website.
- 23% of small businesses believe it is not relevant to their business or industry.
- 19% of small business owners never got around to it.
As a full-service marketing agency, our team at Green Apple has heard every excuse you can imagine from local business leaders balking at the idea of building a website. We hear things like, “My customers are not online,” or “The web is not important for my business.”
In this post, we reveal why every local business should have a website as we head into 2020. If you’re still skeptical, our hope is that this post would change your mind, regardless of whether you end up partnering with us to create it.
The Facts: Statistics that Prove Why Every Local Business Needs a Website
Here are five statistical proofs of why small, local businesses need websites now more than ever:
1. 97% of consumers have conducted an online search to find a local business. (BrightLocal)
If you want potential customers to choose your company, you need to be found online—meaning, you need a website.
2. 8 out of 10 customers are likely to engage with your business if it has a website. (Small Business Web Co)
Once people find your website, they’re likely going to use it. People want to learn more about your company, what you offer, what makes you different, and who works for your business.
3. 30% of consumers won’t consider a business without a website. (SearchEngineLand)
Not having a website could actually be hurting your business.
4. 69% of consumers report searching for a local business at least six times per year.
Searching online for businesses has become the habit for a majority of today’s consumers—and this number will likely continue to grow.
5. 64% of marketers agree that Google is becoming the new “homepage” for local businesses. (Business Wire)
As more people turn to Google as their first tool for searching for your business, you don’t have the ability to show up without a website.
The Business Case: Reasons Why Every Local Business Needs a Website
If those statistics weren’t enough to convince you, let’s take a few minutes to make a business case for it. Here are five reasons why every local business needs a website:
1. Today’s customers expect it.
In today’s digital world, most consumers will go online to learn more about what your company has to offer before they visit your physical location. Not having a website only decreases the chance that they’ll ever become a customer.
2. Websites are often your most cost-effective marketing tool.
While some local business leaders reference cost as a primary reason for not having a website, it is actually one of the most cost-effective tools in your marketing toolkit. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on banners, print materials, and physical advertising, a website gives you the chance to drive every potential customer to the same point of reference to learn more about your business. It also opens up the possibility of digital advertising, which is considerably cheaper than traditional advertising channels.
3. You can create a place that’s always accessible to answer potential questions.
What happens when a potential customer has a question about your business after business hours? Your website allows people to find out important information about your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You don’t have to give people the opportunity to reach you all hours of the day, but your website can address many of the common questions people might have.
4. You can target a wider audience.
Having a website allows you to reach customers outside of your specific physical location or area. Since a majority of Americans use the Internet on a daily basis, you can target a much wider audience that might be interested in your products or services.
5. A website is the only way you can rank on searches.
In a world where 81% of consumers go on Google before making a purchase, having a website is an essential first step to being found. The only way to give yourself a chance of converting potential customers who are searching for your business is to have a website that can be indexed by Google to show up in their search.
Important Local SEO Factors for Your Local Business Website
Now that we’ve convinced you why you need a website, we thought we’d share a few SEO-related tips that every local business can use to optimize your chances of being found by potential customers:
1. Have the accurate company name, address, and phone number on your home page.
Making sure you have accurate NAP (Name, Address, Phone) data on your website and all other online sources that mention your business contact information (Yelp, YellowPages.com, etc.) is essential. This is the only way that Google can properly locate the physical address of your business and display it in the local search results.
2. Build your website content around relevant keywords.
Relevancy is a big factor in local SEO, and Google makes every effort to display only the most relevant local businesses in the search results. The more closely your website content reflects your customers’ needs (including the language they use to search) in every possible component of your website, the more relevant it becomes.
3. Look to build links within your website and outside your website with other properties.
Links matter a lot, and you should make every effort to get lots of locally relevant and trusted links back to your website in order to improve your local rankings. Be intentional about the way you link to other products and services within your website.
Also, look for opportunities to build links back to your website in order to improve your local rankings. This could be something as simple as sponsoring or participating in an event that links back to your website or doing something more sophisticated like creating a cross-promotional strategy with another local business.
4. Make sure you have a Google My Business Page.
A Google My Business Listing is your most important resource for ranking on local search results. This is the listing that audiences will see when it ranks on the Google results.
5. Encourage current customers to review your business.
Positive comments and reviews are a determining factor in local pack rankings. The more positive comments you have for your business, the more trust your business will receive.
Here’s the bottom line: Whether SEO is a tactic you’re looking to use to reach new customers or not, your local business needs a website. As more and more people are turning to the Internet as their first step for getting things done, it’s time you cash in on the benefits of having a website that will help them find you.