It’s 2018 and your business still needs a website. There are still a number of business owners who do not believe they need a newly updated website, a professional website or even a website at all. They either believe that word-of-mouth is all they need or they’ve invested their advertising dollars on Facebook or other social media channels. It’s time to think about investing in a professionally done website. Your business still needs a website.

If you’re a small business owner or you’re just starting out,  you may think there’s no value in having a website when you reach potential customers on social media. Perhaps you think you can’t afford a professional website so you get a low-cost D.I.Y. website and do it yourself instead. Even if you are an established business that has relied on word of mouth advertising, there are many reasons why your business needs a professionally designed and developed website too. Here are 8 reasons why:

  1. CREDIBILITY – More people are turning online to look for local businesses, whether searching online for things they want, for solutions to their problems, to compare prices, or just to get learn more about your business before they decide to purchase from you. Without a website, your customers will go to your competitors who have a web presence. Having a website will not only provide the information they are looking for, but it will give your business credibility.
  1. SAVES YOU MONEY – As a small business owner, especially one that is just starting out, you may be thinking you can’t afford a professional website. Although the cost of designing a website varies depending on your needs, once it’s up and running, a professional website is worth the initial investment, especially if built using WordPress, which enables you to add and change your own content regularly, saving you money in updates.By hiring a website designer to maintain and update your website for you, the maintenance costs are still lower than ongoing traditional marketing, and the investment is certainly worth the number of potential customers that will find your business online each year.
  1. CUSTOMERS CAN BE KEPT INFORMED– In its most basic form, think of a website as being an online brochure or catalog that can be updated at any time. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than it is in print.A website is an effective way of introducing your customers to new services, letting them know about new products, announcing upcoming events and special promotions. You can also provide added value by posting tips, resources, and other information through a blog on your website. Or adding YouTube videos, Podcasts, Webinars, eBooks and other online media are additional opportunities to showcase your expertise and products, or provide online classes, courses, and workshops.
  1. ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE – Unlike your physical location, which is only open a few hours a day, a website is always open. You can provide both regular and prospective customers the convenience of reviewing your products and services when you’re closed. Visitors to your website can contact you, sign up for your courses, schedule appointments and even purchase directly through your website.
  1. TARGET A WIDER AUDIENCE – Websites are accessible from almost anywhere in the world. Since more people have access to the internet, even in most remote locations, you can target a much wider audience if your business has a website. Whether you offer products or services, or you’re business or consumer based, your website provides you with an alternative location to sell.
  1. SHOWCASE YOUR WORK – No matter what type of business you’re in, a website is a great place to showcase your work or demonstrate your skills. By including a portfolio, image gallery or videos, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your company or you unique.
  1. SAVES YOU TIME – By providing information to your customers online, you can save a vast amount of valuable time that you would otherwise spend communicating with your customers. With a website, you can save time by providing information about your products and services in various online formats – graphics, video, ebooks, flip books – or as text right on the page – no distribution required. Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time having to communicate the same message over and over again to different people.
  1. IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE – A website is a great way to provide a value-added service to your customers and clients and is a great way to keep them coming back to you when they need your products or services. No matter what products you sell, you can share tips with your customers on how to use or care for the products they’ve purchased from you. If you offer a service, your blogs can provide your clients with valuable advice to help them with issues you specialize in. By including an FAQ page, you can regularly add articles or upload newsletters to answer all your customers’ questions you can keep them better informed and up-to-date.A local business we would like to highlight is Jammin Salmon. Through consultation, research, and planning, the Jammin Salmon website boasts a modern design featuring online ordering capabilities, high-resolution images, and an online blog with featured recipes. With the search engine optimization built into the website, Jammin Salmon will be easily found by customers in our region. Check them out at www.jamminsalmonseafoods.com.
    To learn more about professional website design, join us on August 17th from noon to 1:00 pm for our monthly Lunch and Learn series. Brown bag lunches are encouraged; snacks, water, coffee, and tea will be provided. RSVP: digitalagency@gjsentinel.com.By Nathan Watchman

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