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Why you need a website

You may be asking yourself if you really need a website. Letís look at the facts.

Today, in the information age, people expect you to have a website that makes information about your business readily available. According to Internet Retailer magazine, 83 percent of customers research the company, product or service online before they make a purchase decision. Yet one out of two small businesses is not online.

The main reasons for having your own website are to:

  • establish your online presence
  • attract new customers/buyers/fans
  • control your brandís reputation

Many people think this can be accomplished with a Facebook page or a third-party website placement, but they are missing the point.

Verisign and Merrill Research conducted a global survey (Benefits And Barriers Of Bringing A Small Business Online) of 1,050 small businesses about their online experiences. It was discovered that most businesses understood the importance of having a website. They also found that 82 percent of small businesses with an online presence would recommend investing in a website, yet many decide to have a social media listing instead.

For selling online, many businesses use third-party websites ó like Amazon.com, Etsy, Shopify or eBay, instead of setting up their own online shop. Why? Primarily because these sites and social media platforms offer a somewhat simple, template-based way to get a business listed. Additionally, a majority of people believe they lack the technical skills needed to create a website. Other obstacles include cost, support, time and security.

Site ownership puts you in control

Those who choose not to provide a website are missing out on the true value. Your website is yours ó yours to control the content, yours to control what you sell, yours to grow your business and yours to keep competitors at bay. You don't have to worry about someone changing the rules of what you can or cannot present to your siteís visitors. (Social media and third-party websites have "terms of use" that are notorious for frequent and awkward changes.)

The value of your own website with a unique domain name is more significant that many think. Businesses that engage with customers online can grow 40 percent faster. Yet more than half of small businesses donít have a website. This represents another competitive opportunity for you.

Many business owners donít realize that today there are plenty of affordable and effective ways to make a website. There are free, easy-to-use tools and paid platforms. There are even people who will help you make your website for less than $500. We'll cover all of these options and more in this guide.

 

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