Though the majority of your business might come through personal connections, most potential clients will want to check out your services before contacting you. A dated or confusing website can inadvertently stall new business. Worse yet, it can turn potential clients away from you and into the arms of your competitors. If you operate in a service industry or a B2B environment, your website should be the lynchpin in your small business Internet marketing strategy. Here’s why:
Your website never sleeps.
Websites are a 24-hour-a-day virtual sales staff. Many potential clients relegate research and business strategy decisions to after-hours or weekends. Time zone differences might also make it hard for new contacts to reach your office at a time that is convenient for them. Your website is a salesman who answers questions (via your site content) and a virtual assistant who can handle inquiries (through your contact form) at any hour of the day or night.
Your website lets clients touch before they buy.
Your website is an opportunity for potential clients to virtually “touch” your business before deciding to work with you. The offerings on your website are your way of letting potential clients look “under the hood” of your business to decide if your services will benefit them.
Your website shows your clients exactly what you offer.
Most clients’ first point of contact with you is your company website. The overall aesthetic and content on your website speaks volumes about your business. Clients want to feel reassured that they are connecting with a company that will support their interests. Blogs, news, and case studies that live on your website all increase engagement opportunities for your potential clients.
Your website can catch otherwise lost leads.
For a small business, Internet marketing via lead-capture tools on the company’s website can boost inquiries. Including opportunities to capture contact information is a must-have for your website and can generate new leads that would not otherwise be in your sphere of influence. Though many of your clients might come via personal recommendation, you are unable to know how many business leads are lost by clients doing general searches or preliminary research on services like yours.
Your website supports client retention and generates more word of mouth.
The content on your website is an opportunity for you to remind your current business associates that they chose right by working with you. If current clients would like to recommend your business to others, your web link will show their associates that your business is a solid choice. If your website is out of date (or worse, doesn’t exist) then you rob your current clients of an opportunity to do additional networking for you.
Though word of mouth recommendations are still among the strongest leads your business might have, your website is the first point of contact for most potential clients. Don’t ignore your digital presence in the marketplace. Instead, use it as an opportunity to inform and enhance new business relationships.