ast week at SmallBizTrends I shared the statistic that 47 percent of small business owners still weren’t using social media because they didn’t feel it was important to their business. That post spurred a lot of strong comments, both on a site here and on Facebook. Eventually, the conversation went from whether SMBs should invest in social media to whether they even need a Website or an Internet presence at all.
I really wish we could stop having this conversation.
You probably know some businesses who are doing phenomenally well without a website. I do, too. But I often wonder how much better they could be doing if they took the time to invest in one. And when I say “website,” I don’t mean an electronic version of that brochure they’ve been handing out for the past 10 years. I mean a legitimate, well-thought-out site that is designed to inform, engage and convert their audience.
Here are just a few benefits that come along with creating a usable website for your small business. Let me know why you think it is (or isn’t) important for a SMB to have a website in 2011.
1. You stop being invisible.
I’m not trying to be flippant, but by creating a website you stop being invisible to the people trying to find you online. More and more studies are telling us about the ROBO effect where customers are learning to research online before buying offline. They’re typing their problems or needs into the search engine of their choice and are researching the companies that appear for those queries. If you don’t have a Web presence, there’s no chance of you showing up and you never even enter into their thought process. In 2011, you can’t afford to be invisible.