We live in an increasingly Internet-savvy world, one in which consumers want answers and expect to find the information they’re looking for the moment a question pops into their head. In addition to those who access the Internet from desktops and laptops, more and more people are doing so from mobile devices as well. Recent research indicates more than half of American adults now own smartphones, and more than one-third own tablets. These people carry their devices around with them wherever they go, and many of them surf the web throughout the day. Shrewd business owners are wise to capitalize on the fact that accessing the Internet is easier than ever, and with that in mind, ensure they establish and maintain a strong web presence.
And according to recent research, 52 percent of small business owners don’t have a website. If you find yourself in that majority, consider the following:
- 58 percent of purchase decisions begin with search engines. Customers don’t just use the Internet to search for businesses – they also use it as a resource for reviews and information. A strong web presence places you front and center when the customer looks for a product or a location where they want to make a purchase. And as a small business owner, you gain an advantage over more than half of your competitors.
- 83 percent of U.S. Internet users have made an online purchase. That number is far too significant to ignore. Companies that don’t have web presences can’t benefit from the shift of Americans’ shopping habits from brick-and-mortar stores to the Internet.
- 97 percent of consumers search online media when researching products or services locally. Almost all consumers conduct research on products and services they need. Without a website, your company remains hidden, and people will find your competitors instead.
- 85 percent of consumers are more likely to buy products or services when they can find information on them online. The owner of a small business may pride himself on, say, strong warranties and best-in-class customer service. A prospective customer needs to be assured of these things. Your words about yourself, along with customer testimonials, must be available.
- Small businesses with websites grow 40 percent faster than those without. If you’re a small business owner, it goes without saying that you want your company to be as successful as possible. Businesses with websites are discovered through Web searches and then their reach is spread via word of mouth.
Establishing a searchable online presence is no longer a difficult task thanks to web hosting providers. By acquiring such services, business owners are able to have their hand held through the process of setting up a strong web presence. To read about even more great reasons to have a website, check out our infographic that shows the value of establishing and maintaining a strong online presence.