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Running a small business is hard enough- why bother with a website? Although it may be tempting to save the time and money for a website on something else, the investment is well worth it. All savvy business owners agree that their online presence is just as important as how they appear in-person.

Credibility

In today’s technology-saturated world, consumers expect businesses to have an online presence. If a business does not have a website, consumers are less likely to even try the business, and will likely opt for a competitor who does have an online presence.

Unfortunately, just because a business has a website does not give them a sense of credibility. A poorly designed, ill-executed website could be worse than not having one at all. Consumers will not trust a business to deliver excellent service or goods if their website is full of errors or outdated information.

Brand Development

A businesses’ brand is more than just a logo or a catch phrase- it is the very essence of the business. A website is a great way to communicate the particular brand of a business, while communicating what sets their business apart from the rest. This is a great way to express the story of the business, the passion of the owners, or any other information that could help connect consumers to the heart of the business.

Competition

Most businesses today have a website, meaning that businesses that don’t have a huge disadvantage. Online consumers will only see those businesses with a website, meaning those without a website are potentially losing customers. Additionally, the lack of a website could portray to consumers that a business does not take their performance or their services seriously- giving those businesses with a website a huge boost in consumer trust.

Marketing

In an era where the smartphone is king, the success or failure of a business relies heavily on their online presence. Even the old-fashioned yellow pages have turned digital in recent years. An online presence is necessary if a business wants to be found, and the first step to creating an online presence is through a website.

However, marketing is more than just creating a website. When a person searches for something online, they get an infinite number of websites to click on and view. Search engines use a complex formula to rank websites from high to low, presenting the higher ranking websites on the top of the list, and the lower ranking websites towards the bottom. Typically, small businesses rank low on the list of search engines, meaning that potential customers run the risk of never discovering the website.

With search engine optimization and digital marketing, small businesses can increase their ranking, moving them further up the search engine list and making them more likely to obtain views on their website.

Content also plays a key marketing role on a website. If a website contains good content that includes keywords, that will help increase the site’s overall ranking within a search engine.

Knowledge

Websites allow businesses to see where their visitors are located, what time of day they view pages, what search terms they used, and which topics and pages are of the most interest. This gives the business a huge insight into their clientele and what new ideas and products may or may not be well received in the future.

If a small business notices that a large part of their online traffic is located across town- or across state- that could unlock the potential for an expansion or increased shipping options.