Digital strategy for businesses: 5 reasons why a website is always essential
Conseils d’experts des SADC et CAE
Who benefits from developing a digital strategy? The answer is simple: all businesses, from multinationals, to small local businesses, to the self-employed. So why is it that in 2020, 46% of Québec businesses still don’t have a website? This figure even rises to 62% for businesses with fewer than 5 employees.
Many believe that because their customers are local, they can do without this tool, or that social media can replace a website. However, in an era of labour shortages and the importance of online reputation, these companies are missing out on important business opportunities.
A website and a business page on a social media platform have different purposes, they are complementary in a successful digital strategy. Are you a small business owner still hesitating to take the plunge? Here’s why having a website is more important than ever.
Reason #1: Be Visible and Accessible
Every entrepreneur has heard the expression “if you don’t show up in Google, you don’t exist.” Today’s Internet users search the engines based on a problem they want to solve by typing in keywords, specific questions and locations. If your company does not show up in the results, your competitors benefit from your absence. This is why a well-referenced website is crucial.
Social networks are part of an effective digital strategy, but you should know that they are not favoured from an SEO point of view. It is difficult to get good SEO using a Facebook page, for example. It will only come up on search engines if you type in the company name. Furthermore, companies that only have Facebook pages have little chance of reaching their customers adequately. According to the new algorithms, less than 6% of your followers will see your posts. Unless you invest in advertising, the organic reach of some social media is now extremely low.
To reach as many consumers as possible, developing a digital strategy for your business, starting with the creation of a website, is essential.
Reason #2: Build Your Credibility
A successful website gives your business credibility; it’s the foundation of any digital strategy. Studies have even shown that the majority of consumers have less trust in companies not having a website. If an Internet user, a job applicant for example, is looking for information about your company and only finds a Facebook page, your credibility suffers! Internet users expect any serious, professional company to have an up-to-date business card on the Web, even if it is only a showcase site.
Reason #3: Build Your Corporate Identity
On your website, you provide consumers with clear information about your business, products or services. It also allows you to showcase your expertise and accomplishments, as well as communicate your history, values and even your employer brand via a “career” page (a must in a labour shortage). This is how you manage the perception that consumers have of your company.
Reason #4: Make Your Customers’ Lives Easier
Internet users have high expectations; they want to be able to find information about your services and products in a few clicks. They don’t have time to scroll down a Facebook page to find what they are looking for! They want to be able to act quickly: request a quote, make an appointment, make a reservation, view a menu, etc. These are all features that can be added to your website easily and inexpensively. An ideal digital strategy would consist of feeding your news and updates to social networks, and prioritizing your website for static information.
Reason #5: Propel Your Business
Your website works for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If it is well designed visually and technically, it is one of your company’s most effective sales tools. With a contact form, your website can generate questions and requests outside of your business hours, which you will then respond to as soon as you open the next day. This is a good way to stand out with respect to customer service.
Since Internet users need an answer to their question quickly, focusing on a “Frequently Asked Questions” section, explanatory videos or technical data sheets, can help potential customers make a decision. Create this content once and direct customers to this information for years! You will spend more time working on revenue-generating activities and less time answering calls about your hours of operation and other basic information.
Having an active social media page is certainly part of a good digital strategy for your business, but alone it will not be enough. Investing in a website is more cost-effective than the value of missed opportunities resulting from not having one.
If you want to take your business to the next level, but are concerned that a website is too complicated or too expensive, turn to your local SADC or CAE. Their advisors can guide you through the digital transformation of your business by directing you towards simple and accessible solutions.
Source : https://statistique.quebec.ca
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