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Keep Your Business Competitive: 3 Reasons You Need A Business Website To Win

Keep Your Business Competitive

You want to win…

Right?

I mean, it would be strange if you wanted defeat.

So... you want to win. But you need to have the edge to win over the competition.

To stay competitive in the business world today, you need to get your products and services in front of the masses. Most people today do their research online. If you’re not online, you’re not getting in front of the masses any more.

friends sharing online

Gone are the days of placing your store front in a high traffic area, letting the locals wonder in, and hoping they spread the word about your awesome business.

Now customers spread the word online, and if you don’t have a website they can reference, you must only hope they have the motivation to lay out all the directions to show their friends how to find your location. Chances are, they won’t.

A website store front for your business is a need in today's world. Without one, you will fall behind the 70% of businesses out there that do have a website store front.

An online website can also save you the trouble of relaying information over and over again. Now, your customers can learn much about your business, and what you have to offer, by visiting your website from the comfort of their home, office, and mobile phone.

A website will allow you to focus more on your business and doing what really matters: Delivering the best customer service and product to your clients.

I want to dive further into this topic. So, continue reading below to learn why a business website will be a key success metric for your future…

The Local Traffic Is Now Online

In a past, not long ago, savvy business people did market research to find which locale best suit their business's needs. If you wanted to set up a mechanic’s shop, you looked for a city with a need for a mechanic’s shop.

To do so, you might have sent out surveys to gauge local resident opinions on the current service of mechanics in the area.

You might visit the local shops that did exist to see how busy they were.

And you would look for a place to but your shop that would get you the best exposure to the local population, so they would know you existed.

So, what changed?

online shopper

The Shoppers Are Inside Now

Well, nothing in the above mentioned changed. Those are all still good ways to gauge a market condition.

What has changed is the way a business can gain exposure. Today, if somebody wants to get work done on their vehicle, they can look online for local shops, complete with customer reviews and recommendations.

Also offered alongside the reviews, is the information regarding the types of mechanical services offered, and helpful content to let the customer know if the service offered is what they need for their vehicle.

With such information available, it is only natural that a customer will want to contact shops with this type of information available online, rather than look up shops in a phone book, or go for a random drive through the commercial areas to find shops on their own, supposing their broken vehicle in need of service allowed for such a drive.

Websites save the customer a lot of time, and time is precious.

Also, a website attracts local traffic as well. Just like a person driving around, spotting a business, and pulling over to walk in and check out the wares, people surfing the internet can stumble upon your content and then want to check your website out even more.

So, by having a website, you can increase your potential local traffic too.

"The easier you make the experience for your customers, the more they'll engage with your business, and share their experience with their friends."

When a customer loves the service you provided, or the product your sold them, they will want to share your helpfulness with their friends. By having a website, a customer can simply copy and paste your website's address into their social media platform to share your awesome online store front and their experience with your service.

The easier you make the experience for your customers, the more they’ll engage with your business, and share their experience with their friends.

To stay competitive, you need a website. A basic information website will keep you equal to those other businesses that have websites.

But there is also another advantage of a website that can also move you ahead in the competition.

Continue reading to find out what this advantage is…

Note: 70% of businesses have a website. You are extremely disadvantaged without your own business website. Learn how to choose web hosting for your business website, and join the successful business club by reading this article: How To Choose The Perfect Web Hosting Service For Your New Business Website In 7 Easy Steps.

Your Store Front Is Now Your Website

Although you may have a physical store front, you also have to remember you’ll have a virtual store front as well. You need to treat your website as another way for people to access your business.

And just like your physical store front has the goal of attracting people inside its doors with signs, lights, and cleverly placed advertising copy, your business website also has the same goal.

The first step is to attract people into the website.

What you want your visitors to do once they are on your website is your goal:

  • Purchase a product
  • Buy a service
  • Direct people to your physical store front

Knowing the goal of your website is important. Once you know your website’s goal, you’ll be able to design your website around that goal.

your website business store front

The benefit of a virtual store front is you can place the access to your business website in more than one location at once.

It is hard to move a physical store front around the town to find the perfect spot. Every time you change location, it costs you money, and local regulations are headache inducers.

And opening more than one location involves operating costs of two store fronts: employees, stock, rent, utilities, advertising, etc.

But with a virtual store front, your website can be in thousands, if not more, places at once. Every time your web address is shared, somebody is placing another door into your website. Another store front.

If the web address was shared by a happy customer, or somebody that found your information helpful, you can have these multiple access points to your website for free.

Aside from the free access point shares from happy customers, you can also pay for these access points. This is a much quicker way to get the world to notice your website. I’ll get to that in a bit.

When somebody clicks on that link, they now see your website.

And check this out: You can set up your website to display a different store front based on the visitors browsing history.

"An online store front will allow you to target the customers you want."

So, if you have a few different products, you can optimize the page to display a product based on the visitor’s previous location on the internet.

So, for example, maybe your hunting store’s website link was shared on a deer hunting website specializing in bow hunting. You could set up your website to display content related around bow hunting when the visitor lands on your page.

You would do this by using a referrer ID. And you would set up your website to display the bow hunting content when the website ID's the visitor as coming from the referrer ID matching that bow hunting website.

This is something you can do after you have analyzed your website traffic for a while. When you find a particular source directs enough traffic to make the effort worth while, you can direct your website to show the appropriate content when traffic is sent from that source.

There is a good article about Dynamic Content Optimization at Search Engine Watch: https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2334157/how-personalizing-websites-with-dynamic-content-increases-engagement

Analytics is an advantage of an online store front: you can analyze your visitor traffic, allowing for much better targeting.

You can also share different pieces of content related to bow hunting on social media sites and forums to help attract the right types of visitors to your site.

With the power of analytics, and an online store front, you can target the customers you want: The customers who will engage with your business and buy your product or service from you.

Now, on to the big advantage I told you about earlier…

Advertising For Your Store Front Is Easier And Direct

The advertising advantage…

Never, in the history of the world, has targeted advertising been so easy. In the past, you had to advertise in the newspaper, radio, television, billboards, and sponsor athletes. All still viable channels. But also out of the price range of many small businesses.

These forms of advertising would put you in front of a lot of people. Sounds great doesn’t it?

 Well yes, and no. Thousands of people might see your ad, but if the content of the ad doesn't apply to them, it wasted a lot of your money.

Testing where to put your ad is also not a cheap endeavour.

targeted advertising

Welcome… the digital age.

Advertising for small businesses has never been more accessible.

There is still a learning curve, and you can’t ignore all the knowledge acquired about advertising from those who spent their time in the trenches before the internet showed up.

But in terms of budget, small businesses now have the chance to compete with the big boys.

When you advertise online, you need to direct people to your store front. So, in our case, this means directing people to your website. Your website then directs your visitors to buy from the site or convinces them to visit your physical store front.

And by advertising to specific content on your website, you can really target your audience.

Example…

You are automotive repair shop that wants to bring in new customers.

You decide to offer a low dollar incentive: An oil change and inspection for at cost. A common move, but it works for that industry.

You create a small video explaining why scheduled oil changes and inspections are so vital to the health of a vehicle. You then direct people to your amazing offer and tell them to schedule their appointment via an online form, or to call your receptionist.

There are various advertisement channels:

  • Facebook
  • Google Adwords
  • Bing
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Plus countless ad networks

You decide to pick Facebook.

With Facebook, you can target the people who you think are most interested in viewing your video on car maintenance.

You decide to pick an audience over the age of 18, because that is the age most people will have their own vehicle and be working.

You exclude people who have a great interest in cars and mechanicing , because you know they are probably doing their own oil changes. Why waste your advertising dollars on them?

You also exclude people who list themselves as working at automotive shops, because they’ll be getting their oil changes done there at an employee discount.

Next, you pick your city or town as the location your prospects need to be living.

See how you narrowed down your audience?

You are now advertising to people who own cars, and will not be doing the oil change themselves, and they live in your business’s area.

You’ll then run advertisement directing people to the video hosted on your site. If people are enticed by your ad, they’ll click through, watch your video on your site, and some of them will want to book an appointment with you.

"The point I'm trying to get across here is: You can't advertise like this without your own business website."

The best way to pay for your advertising is via PPC. This means Pay Per Click. You only pay the advertising platform if somebody clicks the link. And you can set a daily budget, so don’t spend more than you can afford.

Click costs depend on platform, and how many people are competing for the same ad space. I’ve seen as low as 3 cents a click, up to 10 dollars a click.

Getting good at PPC advertising means knowing how to lower the Cost Per Click (CPC) by providing relevant information, to a targeted group of people, and having high engagement.

This article isn’t about advertising. And I’ve spent more on the topic than I intended. So instead, I’ll point you to a good resource on marketing your business online: www.digitalmarketer.com. They have tons of great information.

The point I’m trying to get across here is: You can’t advertise like this without your own business website.

Note: 70% of businesses have a website. You are extremely disadvantaged without your own business website. Learn how to choose web hosting for your business website, and join the successful business club by reading this article: How To Choose The Perfect Web Hosting Service For Your New Business Website In 7 Easy Steps.

I decided to write you a bonus section...

BONUS: Own Your Own Platform

Many business owners try to play it cheap, and build their website on a free platform…

Do not. I repeat. Do Not Do This.

What am I talking about?

There are builder platforms that allow you to host and build your website for free.

The problem with this method is that these services have a say on how you use your site, and they can kick your site off their platform for no reason.

Imagine building a complex website, with a lot of links pointing back to your site. All done through a lot of hard work and money.

Then imagine one of these services saying: “Do to unforeseen circumstances, we have pulled your site from our servers and deleted it. Thank you for using our service, but we are sorry to inform you that you can no longer use our service.”

Seems absurd, I know. But it happens more than you think. Your business’s gate to the online world tossed in the trash bin because of an “unforeseen circumstance”. Which is legal speak for “we did it because we wanted to”.

own your platform

Own Your Platform

You signed the user agreement. There is nothing you can do.

However, by purchasing your own hosting from a reputable hosting service provider, and building your site on that rented server space, you never have to worry about anything like the above happening to you.

Also, another benefit of owning your own website is your domain will look like this: www.yourwebsite.com. This looks very professional.

By building on a free website builder, your site would like: www.yourwebsite.freebuilder.com. That doesn’t look professional at all.

And another advantage of building on your own hosting space: You can install web tracking software. This will help you analyze the effectiveness of your advertising, and the current format of your website.

You can see where traffic enters and leaves your site. What content they are visiting when they are on your site, and what content is converting people to your business.

Having your own platform is a must.

"Own your customers"

I’m not saying you can’t have a presence on social media sites, and if you are eCommerce, that you can’t use Amazon or eBay stores, but you should always have your own home on the internet in case any of the 3rd party sites you use decide to shut your account down.

And you should always be trying to direct your customers to interact with your site as much as possible, using those other platforms to direct people to your website.

Send a note in your packages sent out to your Amazon and Ebay customers asking them to buy off your site next time, and tell them that if they do, they'll get a discount.

This secures your customer base. And you can interact with your customers through your sites comment section, or contact form. You can also, and most importantly, get them on a mailing list.

Own your customers.

There is no better way to secure customers than owning your platform. Your website anchors you to the internet world.

By renting a hosting server, and the service that comes with it, you’ll have full control of your business’s web experience.

Resources To Help You Get Started

Learn which website creation method is best for you: Create Your Business Website By Choosing 1 Of These 5 Website Builder Options

As mentioned before, Digital Marketer is an excellent place to start when it comes to learning how to market your business online: www.digitalmarketer.com

Active Growth is an excellent source of information about building a website your business can be proud of, and how to market that business as well: www.activegrowth.com

Did you find this information helpful? Do you like to help your friends? 

Share now to give them a boost!

Note: 70% of businesses have a website. You are extremely disadvantaged without your own business website. Learn how to choose web hosting for your business website, and join the successful business club by reading this article: How To Choose The Perfect Web Hosting Service For Your New Business Website In 7 Easy Steps.

About the author

CuylerC

Cuyler loves WordPress. He uses it to set up websites, web-software systems, and eCommerce channels. He has experience in the technical world of the internet, and is good at troubleshooting problems through google searches, and technical support. (gotta love Google and good tech support). He has come to believe that some problems aren't worth solving himself if he can just pay for a good service to put that responsibility on. He would rather spend time building his websites and business than solving technical problems. He spent too much time doing that already.