Increasing numbers of people are searching for businesses online. Having your contact details and information about your company is of paramount importance for many new businesses.
In December 2015 it was estimated that just over 3.3 billion people were online and that number is rising by the day. The use of the internet has not only revolutionised our education system, healthcare system and our social lives it has also had a huge impact on the business world. In 2012 Yelp commissioned a survey into consumer behaviours which found that 85% of those asked use the internet to find products and services. This had increased from 79% just a few years earlier in 2010.
It may be argued that many new company registrations need an internet presence of some kind. In the same way that 30 years ago everyone was in the telephone book or 30 years before that word of mouth and reputation was incredibly important. Most businesses now combine all three. You need a strong reputation as consumers have more choice from being able to access companies across the world. You need to have your contact details readily available for people to find. And you need to be found on the internet.
Some smaller companies choose to do this through a simple one page site that just provides contact information and an overview of the services provided. If this is appropriate for your size and type of business then do not spend more time and money on it than you need. A landscape gardener or cleaning company for instance may find that this is sufficient to handle basic enquiries. Even a basic website allows customers to find your contact information.
If you are looking to sell products, most people will expect to be able to purchase them online. You will always come across a few people who would prefer to pay over the phone or make a bank transfer – because that is the way they are used to doing it. But these people are becoming fewer and farther between. You need to stay ahead of the game and be ready to snap up those orders. There are some brilliant free site building tools out there that include shop functions which can help you on your way to building a known product. However, a bespoke website may be more suitable.
Brand recognition is one of the most important parts of a good internet presence. There is a lot more that can be said about search engine optimisation and metatags, but you can find pages of advice online about that. The main point for your business to understand is that if you want to grow, your potential customers need to be able to find you and they need to know who you are. One of the most popular games to download on android and apple platform phones is the Logo Quiz. There is a reason why everyone knows certain brand names; they have good marketing and a strong presence. For most small businesses an expensive ad agency will not be your first port of call. A clearly designed, well branded website is likely to benefit most new companies.