Many small business owners know that they should be visible online, but they don’t know quite how to go about it. Small business web design companies can help them to get online, and beyond that, to see how they can use marketing online to reach out to more and more customers, old and new.
Web design services take into account all the factors necessary for an online presence that offers real value for money and time spent. They can ensure that the site is SEO- and mobile-friendly, that it shows up in local results and that it helps in converting leads into actual sales.
Why going online matters
Online searches have replaced the yellow pages. It’s really that simple. Whereas earlier, people would have have to find and search through one of those massive tomes to find products and services near them, now all they do is open their browser and search for the appropriate keywords. For example, if they were trying to find someone who sells widgets in Anytown, they can just type in those two words and come up with a complete listing. With addresses, phone numbers, websites, emails and even maps and directions for how to get there.
Once you substitute your products or services – pet food, flowers or dry cleaning or anything else – for widgets and your town for Anyfown, you see how important it is to have your own website. And not just a website, but one that can be found by the search engines like Google, and show up high enough the results for the customer to notice.
Can’t you just create your own website?
It’s tempting to try and create your own website, but professional web design and development really makes a difference to the results. Marketing online is a new and arcane field, and professionals who specialize in SEO-friendly web design can help give you the edge. The appearance of the site is very important too, because this is how customers judge a business. In fact 46% of Internet users surveyed said that they judged the credibility of a business based on the quality of the website design.
The arcana of online marketing includes knowing how to make sure that when a prospective customer does an online search for the relevant keywords, your business shows up early in the search results, even in the top two slots.
That’s important because in this age of information overload, people assume that the search engine has done all the thinking and given them the most relevant results at the top. So they rarely move past the first page of results, and rarely click on results beyond the first two in the search.
How does marketing online matter?
It’s also important to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Not only do more and more people shop online, or research products online before buying them in a real-world store, they also do their browsing on mobile devices. Professionals in marketing online will customize your website to be mobile-friendly, so it loads quickly, and shows all important information on a single page, without forcing the Internet user to scroll up and down and sideways.
The site also has to load quickly on any platform and any kind of device, or the user loses interest. As many as 40% of Internet users will give up on a web page if it hasn’t loaded within three seconds. All of this might seem very complicated, but the benefits of a well-designed website are very visible and quantifiable. Among companies that have mobile-friendly websites, as many as as 62% reported increased sales.
The greater majority, or 70%, of Americans don’t use phone books any more. This means that if you want your customers to be able to find you, you have to be online. Web design professionals can also show you how marketing online can improve your visibility and sales.
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