The world has changed and the days of scanning through the Yellow Pages to find the service we need are over. We live in a digital age where business transactions can be taken care of online and appointments can be organized by simply filling in an online calendar.
Almost everything is digital now. If your company doesn’t have a digital presence, it simply doesn’t exist for many consumers, especially the generations that have grown up with the internet. This is why it is a necessity for your business to have a website.
No matter what your business does or how established it is, it should have an up-to-date website for your customers and potential employees to access.
Even if it’s only a one-page website, your business needs to be online to be able to get noticed and get more customers.
The landscaping industry has been slower to embrace the shift to the digital age. Some small business owners still don’t understand how much they are missing by not having a presence online. Others still believe it is a waste of money due to it not being effective.
Here are some of the most common reasons business owners cite for not wanting a website and why these misconceptions hold their businesses back:
My Business is Too Small
A lot of small business owners believe that their company is far too small to get any real use out of a website. Many small business owners believe websites are only useful for large, multi-million dollar businesses that work on a global scale.
This couldn’t be more wrong. Think of your website as your 24/7 salesman.
Your website helps to show your company to potential new customers at all times of the day, every day of the week. You can show what products you stock, advertise services and answer common questions your customers ask, significantly shrinking the sales cycle while you’re at it.
I Don’t Sell Online
Many company owners think websites are only for businesses that sell products. A website isn’t just for selling physical products. ‘Brochure’ websites are a fantastic chance to advertise your services to people searching for what you do.
Modern consumers want to know about your company and reputation before they decide to commit to working with you. They want to see what people are saying about you online, figure out how your business is doing, where they can find you and when you’re open.
The way people do business has changed drastically over the years which is why it’s important to keep up with the latest innovations and stay relevant.
If you think that your customers aren’t using a desktop computer or a laptop then you may be right – but almost everybody in the US has access to a device that can get online.
People browse through websites, social media, and apps on their mobile devices like phones and tablets. ‘Computer users’ are now ‘internet users’ and they’re everywhere.
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 89% of US adults use the internet regularly. Approximately 77% of these own a smartphone. The web traffic generated from mobile phones overtook desktop web traffic years ago, which means getting a mobile-ready website up and running for your business is more important than ever if you want to continue attracting customers to your company.
I Don’t Have The Budget
Websites are an investment, just like hiring the right staff and having the correct equipment to be able to serve your customers.
Websites don’t have to be an expensive, luxury item, you can get a website that’s comfortable for your needs and in-keeping with your marketing budget.
Your website doesn’t need to be 72 pages in size, it just needs to exist online and it needs to get noticed by Google and other search engines. Once you see new customers coming through the door who found you online, your website will be an investment you’ll be happy to have made.
Below is a list of five reasons why your business needs a website:
1. Consumers Won’t Consider You Seriously
We live in the digital age and people spend a lot of their time on the internet. A website can be your number one marketing asset as a huge percentage of Americans spend up to 5 hours a day on their mobile phones and the majority of this time is spent surfing the web.
Because of this, consumers expect businesses to have a website up and running for them to look at. They want to be able to get as much information as they can about your business as quickly and as easily as possible.
If you don’t have a website and they can’t find you online, they’re going to go to your competitor who already has an informative and impressive website.
2. People Search Online For Services
One of the biggest benefits of being a small, local business and having a website is that you can be where your customers are. Your customers will be looking for a business that is in their local area and they’ll be doing this by searching on Google or another search engine.
When you have a website and get it optimized for search engines, then you’re sure to attract the people in your area looking for lawn maintenance, landscaping or whatever services your company’s niche is.
3. Credibility Is Higher Among Consumers
If you don’t have a website your customers may have less trust in you and decide to put the fate of their lawn in the hands of one of your competitors.
Consumers tend to make judgements on a company’s credibility based on whether or not they have a website, online reviews, social media presence and also the professionalism of your website.
When a customer comes to your website you have less than ten seconds to impress them and give them what they came for. If you don’t make a good impression on them, they’ll leave your site without taking you into consideration.
As well as this, customers use websites to check credentials, read reviews and see if you have any awards for your work. If you don’t have a website they’ll assume you’ve got something to hide.
4. Outlet to Answer Frequently Asked Questions
When people visit a website, they want to find out information about your company. They expect to get this information immediately and not have to search through pages upon pages of content to find a phone number.
Within the first couple of seconds or so of landing on your website they should know the answers to these questions:
- Who you are
- What services/products you offer
- How they can contact you
We live in a world where consumers want information immediately and don’t have time to wait around for it. This means that your company should have a fully functional website with the correct information that every customer will need when looking into your company.
5. Everyone Else Is Doing It
You can get ahead of your competitors by creating a website that is optimized for search engines. This will help get you to the top of Google, so when potential new customers search for service providers in their area, they’ll find you not your competitors.
The only way to pull ahead of them is to invest in a website that can outrank the opposition on Google and bring in more clients to your business. If your competitors have websites that are selling products customers are searching for guess who wins? Creating a website helps you remain competitive. Don’t give online shoppers an easy reason to buy form another brand.
To figure out how to out-do your competitors online, Chili Pepper Design offers an online competitor analysis service showing you how your competitors are doing online and most importantly, how you can do better.
This article was written by Pam Haskell, owner of the website design & development company Chili Pepper Design (cpdesignco.com). She helps businesses in the landscaping and outdoor living space create and maintain a modern web presence along with online marketing and reputation management services.