For many small businesses, an e-commerce presence helps to prop up a bricks and mortar business; in an era when online sales are booming and high streets are not, the two sides to the business can complement each other well.
But do you still need a website if you won’t be selling your goods or services online? In a word, yes. Today’s generation isn’t going to go looking in the Yellow Pages to find your business – they’ll just Google what they’re after and head for one of the options at the top of the page. If you don’t come up in the search results, that’s a potential customer that you’ve lost.
That means that there are three important things to consider about a digital presence:
You should make it clear where you are, when your business is open and how to get in touch, so that anyone who does find your website can make contact easily.
It’s also important that this information is kept up to date – Google and other search engines harvest information like opening hours and contact numbers from websites and put them on the search results page, so that people don’t even need to click on your website. If the contacts and opening hours are incorrect or unclear, you could miss out on sales.
Search engine optimisation
It’s crucial that your website is optimised to appear as high in the search results for the keywords you’re targeting as possible. It can be tough to get your head around what comprises a well-optimised website, so it’s often best to engage the services of an SEO agency, but one of the best ways to keep your website riding high is great content. That means interesting, regular blogs, updated events pages and anything else that you think may be useful to your readers.
Easy to use
It should also be a priority to ensure that your website utilises responsive design and works for all sorts of devices. With people now using their phones and tablets to access the web more than laptops and desktops, if your site is hard to navigate on a mobile device you might lose customers to a competitor with a better website.
If you’ve got a small business but don’t sell online, a great website could still help to drive sales for your bricks and mortar shop.