You know that thing we always carry around everywhere and it never leaves our sight? Well, this thing pretty much changed our lives. It changed how we interact with people and our surroundings, by now you surely know what I’m talking about.
Smartphones were stepping stones to our new digital age, having unlimited information and data all in the palm of our hands completely transformed our society. Everything you want to know is just a few taps away, this can be good or bad, it depends how you look at it and if you are taking advantage of it.
But how does that affect local businesses? Well, I’m glad you asked, let’s talk about it.
1. People search for everything on the internet
Since smartphones people got used to looking everything up on the internet, I mean literally everything. What will the weather be like, how did my football team do yesterday, what is the commute to work, what will I eat today…you got the idea.
Now, if you have your own local business you are bound to get some people that will search for your service before they decide on you. People are being used to having everything on the internet and if they can’t find your presence online they might pass on your service since other businesses appear more credible. Note that nowadays people expect you to be on the internet.
Having even just a simple website showcasing your services will let your potential customers know you exist and decide if you can solve their problems or needs.
2. People decide if they want something after they research about it
Everyone wants to know if they are getting their money’s worth when it comes to services – so normally they Google you before they come. Now you need to make sure that what they see is trustworthy. If they have a bad first impression, chances are you won’t get a second chance and show how good your service really is.
Here are some of the basic tips on how to make sure you leave a good first impression:
- Have a professional-looking website without any technical errors.
- Check your spelling and grammar – you can quickly come out sloppy and unprofessional.
- Utilize social proof with customer reviews and testimonials, let visitors see how others experienced your service.
- Have a responsive website optimized for smartphones – most of the users come via these devices and having the page look out of order might give a visitor a wrong impression.
3. Provide useful information for customers and save your time
We all know local businesses get many calls every day and need to answer a billion questions before they decide on your service. In specific cases, this may be fine, but when they just want to know some basic information it is a waste of time for both of you.
A website is a perfect place where you can write about your business and answer all questions your customers might have.
Here are some of the things that are useful to put on:
- Business hours & address – straightforward right?
- How do you work – your customers will know exactly what to expect.
- All your services – do you offer many different things? Perfect to put on.
- Your prices – If your prices are fixed this is a perfect way to show them.
- Frequently asked questions – what are specific things your customers always want to know?
On the website, you can write everything in detail and make sure you get your point across in a way that you want to. Answering such questions via call or a quick email can sometimes be time-consuming.
4. Website is cheaper than advertising
There are many different ways to get your point across and be seen by the people that want your service. Advertising on different platforms is one way to do that – however, you can also make your website into a big and awesome jumbo ad.
Imagine the internet like a busy city street, there are many things to see and do. Advertisement jumbo boards are everywhere and everyone is competing for your attention. Now imagine you can have your business place or office in the middle of the street. Without any additional fees than just setting your place up, you have a “free” advertisement constantly running.
The website is somewhat like that, after your initial setup costs you have your own space on the internet where people can see your service for “free”. With a bit of optimization and good content, you can quite quickly reach people that are your ideal customers and showcase why you are their ideal pick.
Unlike with advertisements, where you continuously pay to be seen by people you want. However, those two things really go well together and are important for digital success. If you are just starting out this will save you some costs in the long run.
5. The website is easy to keep up with
Ideally, every business is evolving, and things change month to month. You have new prices, new services, or even a new address. This plays a big role for local businesses to communicate with their customers since they are very dependent on the information you provide them. Now imagine if you have a jumbo advertisement board or many copies of a brochure printed out with now-outdated information. This can be quite a hassle to update and not to say costly, since you would need to print everything again.
However, some things are easier to fix than others, one of them is a website. You can change published information on the go without much consequences.
Being up to date is a crucial digital success, posting relevant content and information plays a big role in your website success. Google will rank your website higher when you follow these guidelines, which helps you to connect with your audience more easily.
Here are some things you might want to consider to keep being updated:
- Posting relevant information about your business, services, open time, etc.
- Did you get some new images or graphics that better represent you and your services? You might want to update your old ones now.
- Your overall design or “feel” of the website. Digital trends are moving fast and you don’t want to be left behind since this can negatively affect your business.
For many local businesses, a website is almost mandatory since it brings such big value. Now that everyone expects you to be present online, this is even more important than ever. Try to follow some of the guidelines above so you don’t miss out on potential customers with this.
If you want some more detailed information on how to build your digital presence and get the number of customers you want, feel free to read some of our other blog posts.
Have a great one.