How often have you Googled the nearest coffee shop when you’re out and about and in need of a pit stop? And how many times a day do you quickly search on the internet for opening hours or to research new products?
If you take a moment to really think about it, it’s probably quite a lot. In the UK, the average person spends over a day a week online, which is twice as long as ten years ago, so just imagine how things may continue to grow in the next ten years.
If your business doesn’t yet have an online presence, or you’re in the process of starting your own new exciting business venture and building a website isn’t on your to do list, you could be missing out on the many benefits being online offers businesses of all sizes.
As well as reaching your customers, many of whom will be spending many hours online, there are numerous benefits to building an online presence. Here are just eight of the top ones:
1. Gain credibility
Having a website gives your business instant credibility, customers are more likely to trust your business when they land on your professional website. Being online also opens your business to a world of opportunities to further build on this trust, such as through online reviews and testimonials.
2. Reach your customers
Your business needs to be where your customers are – and that’s online for at least some of their customer journey. Not only will it be easier for your customers to find you, you’ll be able to reach more of them and communicate more effectively when you create an online presence for your business.
3. Beat the competition
It’s highly likely that at least some, if not all, of your competitors have an online presence. Potential customers searching for your products or services could very well end up on your competitor’s website.
4. Control your brand
Having your own website means you have greater control of your brand online. There are many exciting opportunities to get creative and showcase your brand online, proving to customers why you’re the top choice.
5. Receive online reviews
Showcasing reviews of your business is an effective way to demonstrate your credibility and gain customers. Although you can receive great feedback on social media, having a page of your website dedicated to showcasing what your customers are saying about you – and on your products if you opt for an e-commerce shop – is a fantastic way to encourage sales and build trust.
6. Be open 24/7
Whether you like to check what time the shops open early in the morning, or prefer to search for the perfect gift for your brother in the evening, the internet allows us to shop outside normal opening hours. Having a website allows customers to visit your business 24/7.
7. Get found
With customers heading to search engines to find local stores or search for products and services, you could be missing out on valuable customers by not being online. Whether it’s working on some SEO to get your business higher up the search results or making sure you appear on Google Maps, having an online presence is the first step to making sure customers can find your business.
8. Get more for your marketing buck
Having a website is your foot in the door to the world of digital marketing. From email marketing to utilising social media, having an online presence allows you to explore digital avenues that could help you spread brand awareness, reach customers and increase sales more cost effectively than traditional marketing methods.
If these reasons are enough to convince you to get your business online, you can download a great 25 page guide that makes getting set up online a breeze here.
This article has been brought to you in partnership with the UK Domain.