I usually research so many business and finance areas. At times I have to research specific businesses or startups. I sometimes have to research specific entities, e.g. government institutions, organizations, etc. Looking at the Zimbabwean context, I am often confronted with the same disturbing scenarios. One of them is entities not having websites. Sometimes they may have websites, but they will be unsecured or not up to standard. I was researching car dealers in Zimbabwe; many do not have websites. The thing is, your small business needs a website; here is why:
Potential Customers Are Looking For What You Offer Online
We are living in a digital age. Many people spend lots of time online, i.e. the internet and social media. When they are in search of something, they look for it online. Let me cite a particular Zimbabwean example. Suppose you are travelling and realize you may have to sleepover around, say, Mutoko. You go online to search for available accommodation. Chances are you may not find something.
Yet there very well may be several options for available accommodation. Those businesses will miss out on a potential client simply because you could not find them online. This is the dynamic at play for most small businesses in Zimbabwe. How do you expect to be discovered if you do not have a website? The fastest way to discover your small business is to have an active website. Websites typically rank higher in search engine searches.
Gives You An Authentic Look
There are countless cases of shady small businesses nowadays. Remember I said we are living in a digital age? This means that your digital footprint matters immensely. Having one or not having one both inform how prospects will perceive your business. Generally, not having a website causes many potential clients not to trust you. After all, a shady business will not want to have a traceable digital footprint. The sad thing about this is that even legitimate small businesses get sucked into that. Not having a website will ordinarily cause your small business to be considered suspect. You may never know how many prospects you lose simply because they could not find your website. You must have a website to have an authentic look and be considered.
Powerful SEO Tool
I have always emphasised the importance of digital marketing nowadays. The common theme in almost all digital marketing approaches is SEO, i.e. search engine optimization. The crux of searching for stuff online is tied to search engines. When one searches on search engines, not all things rank high. That is why your content has to be optimized in a certain way to rank high. Typically websites rank high during search engine searches. This means websites are at the centre of SEO. If you do not have a website, how can you expect your small business to benefit from SEO dynamics? If you are to tap into the endless possibilities offered by SEO, you obviously must have a website. The culmination is that your website becomes your most powerful advertising tool. Remember that a website offers you the most comprehensive data analytics insights you will ever get. You must have a website to get the best and most lasting digital marketing results.
Powerful Data Analytics Tool
I had just hinted at the comprehensive data analytics aspect. Yes, on social media platforms, you do get data analytics insights. However, they do not come close to what you can get from a website. This is made possible by using Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, you can get loads of data and insights on essential metrics relevant to your small business. There is a wealth of valuable information that you can get from using Google Analytics. Some information you can get pertains to traffic to your website, e.g. where it is coming from. You can learn a lot about consumer behaviour from this information. The insights you get from analytics play a major role in informing your ultimate plans and strategies. You will be better informed about who and what you are dealing with.
Easier To Start Selling Online
There is no question about how eCommerce is ever-growing. Nowadays, there are even small businesses solely premised on selling online. One of the easiest ways to sell anything is online. A website makes it possible to seamlessly sell online with customers doing everything on it. eCommerce functionality can be integrated onto a website. Sometimes you can choose to have a dedicated eCommerce website set up. Yes, other ways to sell online exclude having a website. However, the best approach is to have a website. Imagine the convenience of having a website that serves all the core roles, i.e. marketing platform, point of sale, and more.
It is interesting to note that most small businesses globally do not have websites. Less than half of all small businesses in the US do not have websites. Again less than half of all small businesses in Canada do not have websites. Now that should not be any consolation. Small businesses in Zimbabwe must start taking this seriously. Getting a website is no longer even that expensive nowadays. There are many platforms where you can even build a website without any coding background. When you have a website, you open yourself up to prospects from anywhere in the world. It is high time you get a website if you do not have one as a small business.