Why Your Business Needs a Website
How about a free business website? Sound good? In this post and accompanying videos produced by Google as part of their Get Your Business Online initiative, we discuss why every business needs and online presence and how to do it for free. This post is writen for the 58% (~15M) US businesses that don’t currently have a website for their business.
Here is an ad campaign with some well known political figures including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Mayor of Los Angelos, Antonio Villaraigosa, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James who are showing their support of the initiative and explaining how this could help address our current US job deficit and jumpstart the US economy.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to get your business online is the research findings showing that nearly all online consumers, 97% use online media when researching local products and services, even for purchases made offline. Source: BIA/Kelsey, User View Wave VII, March 2010.
Local searches constitute 24% of Google search queries which means someone is looking for a product or service nearby. Source: http://chitika.com/insights/2012/local-search-study
What does that mean for you, the business owner? It means that more than ever your online business presence matters. In fact, the research phase is a critical time for connecting with potential customers but many businesses cannot be found online.
Fifty eight percent of American small businesses (~15 million) do not have a website at all. As an online marketer with admitted tunnel vision when it comes to Internet marketing, I was shocked at how many are missing this opportunity to grow their business online, profitably.
Would it surprise you to know that business that can be found online are growing faster than those that have no online presence? Over the next three years, businesses that make use of the web expect to grow 40% faster than those that don’t. Source: BCG Report, “The Connected World: The $4.2 Trillion Opportunity,” March 2012.
Is your business in that fifty-eight percent that is missing out on online growth opportunities? What is stopping you from creating a website for your business?
Let’s Hear More from Learn with Google on Why Your Business Needs a Website
Five Solid Reasons Your Business Can Benefit from a Website
Maybe your business has plenty of customers. Maybe you don’t sell anything online so why should you bother? A website can help potential customers:
- find your store location and hours of operation,
- find your telephone number or email address,
- learn about your products and services,
- read testimonials from customers which can help establish your credibility and
- learned about special offers and promotions
This information can help even the smallest most locally based business connect with more customers online. Think of your website as an open for business sign on the Internet, but unlike your business, your website is open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and never takes a vacation!
Things to Ponder before Launching your Business Website
Here are a few things to think about before creating the website
- How much do you want to spend?
- How comfortable are you with the computer and teaching yourself new technology-based skills?
- How often will you update or change your website content?
There are a variety of paid and free website services for getting your business online quickly. They may give you a library of designs to choose from and include tools that you can edit your website quickly and easily from the any Internet browser.
You can use the service to build an e-commerce website for selling your products and services online.
if you don’t have the time to do it yourself or if you prefer something more customized, then maybe consider hiring the an Internet marketing consultant who does website development.
In the end, you want a web site that you’re proud of and excited to share with customers. One option to consider is Intuit websites which includes a domain and hosting for the first year free.
Get your Business Online for Free, in an Hour or Less
Google, in partnership with Intuit, is offering free websites to small businesses through to Get Your Business Online Program. Participants of the Get Your Business Online Program are eligible for:
- A free easy to build professional website from intuit,
- A free domain name and web hosting for one year
- Free tools resources and local event sponsored by Google
Using one of the 2000+ intuit templates, a business owner like you can create and publish a website in less than one hour, and the best part, it is for free for the first year.
A credit card is required for those interested in choosing their own domain name. This is to ensure continuation of domain name registration and hosting after 1 year.
Ready to get Started:
- Visit www.gybo.com
- Select your state to get started
- You can create and publish site in about an hour
- Make sure potential customers know your website exists. To promote your site everywhere you can including:
- signs in your store and on your company vehicles,
- product boxes containers and shopping bags,
- estimates invoices and receipts,
- ads in newspapers magazines and direct mail,
- and business cards and email signatures.
- Explore Google’s products like:
- Google AdWords
- AdWords Express and
- Google+ for business to promote yourself online
These topics will be covered in more detail in subsequent blog posts. Download the Create Your Website worksheet that accompanies this post to help put these ideas into practice.
If you need any help at all with the process and would like some dedicated support, contact eBiz ROI and for the cost a small print ad in a local newspaper, we will walk you through the entire process, answering any questions and advising you until your website is up and running. We can also train you on how to maintain your website yourself, or if you prefer, we can maintain it on your behalf so that you can focus on running your business.
So what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to get your business online so that your future customers know that you are open for business?