What are Small Business Owners losing by NOT having a Website?

New Orleans WebsitesCustomers.

Small business owners need to realize that people aren’t using phone books for anything other than door stops anymore. According to Small Business Trends, all three major search engines are skewing search queries towards local even when a user doesn’t include a local modifier. Small Business owners need to not only create a Web presence, but to control it, as well.

eMarketer quoted an Ad-ology survey recently that found that 46 percent of small business owners did not have a Website in 2009. A separate Vistaprint study cited by eMarketer found that only half of those with a site are currently tracking their marketing efforts. A Discover Small Business Watch poll mentioned by Denise O’Beary corroborates Ad-ology’s numbers and adds in that more than 45 percent think it’s a myth that people even need one

It’s possible to create a Web presence without a full site thanks to things like Yelp and other social media outlets. However, you don’t control any of those. You have no say on how they’ll let you connect with customers. You can’t create an email list on Twitter. By relying on *other* sites to house your conversations you’re severely handicapping yourself.

Without a real website, you lose your ability to:

  • Differentiate yourself
  • Create authority and credibility with customers and within your industry
  • Spread ideas
  • Get social
  • Take advantage of Universal Search’s ranking power
  • Benefit from the engines bias to show local results
  • Share your company story and information
  • House your own community
  • Save costs by answering frequently asked questions
  • Target your specific neighborhood (defined by zip code, points of interest, ideas, etc)
  • Build an email list.

Some more reasons to have a website:

  • Boost your image
  • Expand your market
  • Low-cost Investment
  • Improve customer service
  • Publish The Latest News Now
  • Communications and Feedback
  • Open up to the International Markets
  • Promote yourself; promote your business
  • You Can Offer 24 hour / 7 days a week Service
  • Stay close to your area and provide services to your Local Market
  • Marketing on the Internet is much more cost effective than traditional marketing methods. It’s also easy and cheap to change company information and marketing material on your website.