Why the accessibility of website content is so important
Posted on 16th March 2021
With big shopping centres close to many town centres nowadays, it’s hard for local shops to catch passing trade at the best of times. This year, it has been harder than ever to stay open thanks to the pandemonium caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For the local businesses that have made it this far without a website, the lockdowns that caused independent shops, restaurants, bars, pubs and just about any business to close their doors highlighted the need for another way to reach customers - a website. Relying just on social media wasn’t cutting it anymore as hordes of people headed online to do their shopping.
Is a website worth it?
Anyone looking along a high street will see small businesses and local independent stores shutting up shop. On the flip side, look on the internet and you’ll see many independent businesses capitalising on the online shopping phenomenon, and taking advantage of Click & Collect services.
Indeed, through the second lockdown in November, local businesses, bars, pubs, restaurants and independent shops who had a website and offered Click & Collect services kept their doors open. Without being able to do this, many would have closed down.Click on this text to edit it.
8 Reasons why investing in a website is beneficialThis content will only be shown when viewing the full post. Click on this text to edit it.
#1: Raises brand awareness locally, nationally and internationally
So, you’ve got a shop front; that’s great but success relies on people not only knowing who you are, but where you are. A study by Nielsen found that 85% of consumers turned to the internet to find a local business – this statistic alone is a good enough reason to get a website!
When you add into the mix the fact that Google’s search engine, or any other search engine, focuses on local results first, if you don’t have a website, your local business will miss out.
A professional website not only builds a local presence, but also reaches customers nationally and internationally. Having the capability to offer your products and services worldwide can potentially increase your customer base significantly.#2: Build long-term relationships with your customers
#2: Build long-term relationships with your customers
It’s great that you know each and every customer that comes into your shop; it’s highly likely that you know the majority of them by their name. But that isn’t going to keep your business open, particularly during 2020’s difficult retail scenario.
Just about any website design will have a page where customers are able to contact you, be it for a problem with a product or service, to ask a question or simply to leave a review. It presents a great opportunity for local businesses to get to know their online customer base and build long-term relationships with them.
Creating conversations with your customers and providing excellent customer service are key to customers becoming loyal, returning again and again to your website.
#3: Puts your business on the map - Google’s map!
Online search engines, such as Google, focus their searches on local businesses first. A website that is well-optimised with the right keywords and phrases, i.e. the terms that match people’s search criteria, helps rank your website higher up the search engine’s results page.
Making your website, and therefore your business, visible online will attract new customers and help to grow your local business.
#4: Meet customer expectations
Did you know that around 30% of consumers won’t even consider your business if you don’t have a website? Whether we like it or not, the internet is becoming the first place that consumers go to when looking for products or services. It’s also the place they turn to if they want to contact a local business, or find out where it is located.
Customers expect businesses, including local companies, to have a website. They want to be able to access information about your products and services 24/7. They want to be able to place an order at any time of the day or night.
#5: Showcase your products, services, testimonials and awards!
Long gone are the days of thick, heavy printed catalogues that contained all the products your business offered. No more booklets or brochures explaining your services. Today, it’s all online. But that doesn’t mean you can just list them on a page.
Consumers want stunning images that boost their confidence in your products and services. They want to watch videos on how your products or services can be used. They want access to PDF instructions that can be downloaded. Design the way you present your products and services innovatively to not only hook the customer, but stop them going to your competitors.
Add even more credibility by showcasing your testimonials, your successes and any awards the business has won. Shout it out; the world is listening!
#6: Cost-effective online marketing tool
These days, websites are far more cost-effective to build and maintain than they were a few years ago. The biggest outlay is in setting up the website. From there, regular maintenance shouldn’t break the bank.
It’s important to review your website’s content on a quarterly basis. Ensure that your products and services are up to date and that content is not stale. Working with a professional website design company, like it’seeze in Portsmouth, keeps the whole process of designing, building and maintaining a website for your business easy.
#7: Target your customers
Any good local business will know their ideal customer but without a website, it’s hard to target and reach those customers. A website will present you with a plethora of performance metrics to allow businesses to understand their customer base. For example, not only can you determine how many people visited your website, and how often, but also the pages that were viewed the most. This will give clear guidance on the content website users are viewing, and how businesses can improve the overall customer experience.
#8: Get competitive!
If you have got a website, you can be absolutely sure your competitor down the street has! With the trend significantly moving to shopping online, your competitor may not even be in the same town. They could even be in another country! There will be another local company selling the same products and services as you and if you don’t have a website, you will be losing out to them.
Don’t let your competitors have all the advantages. Get a piece of the online shopping action with your own local business website.
Looking for a new website or e-commerce platform? At it’seeze in Portsmouth, we create stunning, easy to use websites that are affordable and effective. We can even arrange the photography for you. Contact us for more details.
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