The term World Wide Web is deceiving, especially when it comes to small businesses. Because of its name, it is very easy to think that the World Wide Web is some humongous beast that is most useful for huge tasks that span continents and huge businesses that sell their products and services all over the world. Well, all those things are true characteristics of the World Wide Web but as well as being a massive force the Internet is also a very small and very personal place.
Many small business owners will make this statement – oh no, we don’t need a website because we are a local business and we only need local customers. Well guess what, the Internet is just as useful for a small local business as it is for a large multi-national company.
The truth is that the Internet is used by everyone and for everything from buying clothes to finding a local pub to visit at the weekend. Thanks to Google local users of the Internet can find local businesses, shops and other services just as easily as they can find international product suppliers in remote continents.
So even if your business has a tiny audience and a really localized target market it doesn’t matter, you still need a website if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
A recent survey found that up to 85% of consumers use the Internet to find local businesses – that really says it all. Statistics don’t lie and that one really goes to prove that the Internet is good for local searches. If that local search was about your business – where to buy my groceries, what is the nearest pub to me or who is the best plumber in my area – then not having a web presence means that you just lost out to your competitor and gave away a potential customer.
How do I get started on the web as a small business owner?
The easiest way to get yourself online as a small business is to hire a web development agency. There are plenty of agencies around and you don’t necessarily need to find a local one. Just look for a modern design agency that has some good designs to showcase. It is a good idea to also look for an agency that promotes digital marketing services as well as website design because the last thing you want is a fantastic website that nobody knows about.
You really need to put together a website and then promote that website so that it comes up on local search results and all your potential customers see your website before they see the website belonging to your close competitors.
When will I see success from digital marketing?
Both your web presence and your digital marketing efforts will take time to show success and the important thing is that you don’t give up on them but rather nurture your web presence for the long term benefits that it will bring.
As well as building a website for your business you can also get involved in many other areas when it comes to online promotion of your business. For example you can get involved in local online communities such as forums and events websites within your city. You can also get involved on social media – this is a great way to reach out to both your existing and potential customers and once again, social media can be very much a localized platform just as much as it can be a global one.