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SEM Essentials Blog: Digital Marketing on Vancouver Island

Welcome to the SEM Essentials Blog, the home of great advice, tips & tricks on how to dominate in the digital space of your local market. Check back often!

Why Your Small Business Needs a Website

Every business needs a website. Yup. Every single business, large or small needs to have an online presence that tells the world who they are, what they do and where they’re located. Why? So today’s consumer can find you, decide if what you’re offering suits their needs and (hopefully) buy from you or use your services rather than your competition down the street or around the corner.

As it sits right now, nearly 48% of the world’s population is using the internet daily. That’s approximately 3.7 billion people surfing the web every single day. Ironically enough, almost the same percentage of Canadian small business (41% as per a study conducted in 2014 by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority) are NOT using the internet to showcase and conduct business with their own web site. Per the same study, we Canadians are top of the heap when it comes to online activity and engagement with each of us dedicating over 40 hours per month to the internet!

If you aren’t tapping into the Canadians visiting, on average, 3,731 internet pages per user each month, then you’re doing your business a disservice in not attracting customers with one of the easiest marketing tools available… your own website. 

Here are a few reasons that your business should be showcased using a simple, affordable yet extremely effective website.

Your customers and clients expect it

Nowadays, people use the internet the way people used to use the phone book or yellow pages to find a business. Chances are your current, and especially future, clients haven’t used a phone book in years and some may have never even seen a phone book! So how is a future client or customer to find you? Today’s consumer expects to be able to search the internet for a local business or product and to be able to find out what is being offered, the cost and the hours they can come by to purchase those products. This is especially key in the food service industry where consumers want to know what menu items are available and at what price including daily specials, happy hour offerings and new menu items.

Your competition already has a website

Even if they don’t, you can expect that at some point soon, your direct competition will have a website drawing new clients to their products or place of business. As is the case with most things in life, first impressions are lasting impressions and the first one off the blocks often has the best chance to be the winner of the race. Get your foot in the door and claim your place on the web as soon as you can and maintain your content with up to date information, engaging blog posts and customer focused features. Allowing you competitor to be the number one source for your product ensures that they're taking potential business, and money, away from you. To be competitive in today's market, you need all the advantages including a web page that speaks for your business and engages your clients.

You control how your business is perceived

You set the tone and get to present your business model and philosophy the way you want to as well as dictate how people will engage with your product or company. Having your own website allows you to tell the world who you are and what you do and allows you to add your personality to your business. Attracting customers to your business and giving them a reason why you’re their best option is key to maintaining a loyal clientele and engaging new customers. Again, first impressions are lasting impressions and you want to make sure you’re showcasing your business in the best possible light on your own terms, not at the mercy of generic online review systems (like Yelp, TripAdvisor or a local Facebook group) and call the shots on who you are as a local business.

A business website gives you another marketing channel

You may already be engaging in some form of marketing either in the newspaper, local periodicals or radio adverts (and if aren’t and don’t have a website, how’s anyone expected to find you?) but a website is the best, and likely least expensive, choice for properly marketing your business. Provided you’re following the best practice of search engine optimization, updating with unique and pertinent content, blogging and running a social media campaign alongside your website, you’re sure to attract more clients and increase your conversion rate. You’ll reach a wider audience that is interested in your products or services and have a better chance to attract that audience then you ever could with traditional marketing methods.

Shopping has changed, drastically

Window shopping isn’t what it used to be. Shopping and product research today begins at home and on the move using mobile devices to find what is available at a moment’s notice. Today’s society relies on and counts on being able to access information instantly, from anywhere, and being able to access your business’ webpage is key to your success. Not having a website that showcases your product or service means that you’re losing business and in today’s highly competitive market, not having an online presence and not keeping up with the latest trends, technologies and social media platforms is almost a guarantee for failure. More and more businesses are engaging their customers via the web every day and those that aren’t, are being left behind. More businesses fail year after year due to an increase in competition and a lack of online marketing.

If you’re interested in securing your business’ future with an online presence, or just want to learn more about what’s required to keep on top of the changing trends online, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to meet with you in person to discuss how you can leverage the internet with a web page and increase your business with search engine marketing.