Back in the early days of the internet everyone wanted a website just to say they have one, today, not much has changed. Every business man and his dog has a website or even Instagram page these days. But the reasons for having a website from a business perspective is far more important that just having a website for the sake of it.
It is still surprising how many businesses are not fully utilising their website to help promote their business. A website is a key marketing tool for any business, small or large. Using knowledge that I talk about in my previous blog posts you can turn your stagnant, just there, website in to a promotional tool for your services or products.
Using SEO you can enhance your websites marketing by using organic search engine marketing tips that will help rank your website in search engines like Google and Bing. Don’t under-estimate the usefulness of other search engines, Yahoo and Bing can reach potential customers that have grown up and stuck with those search engines.
I have written many blogs about search engine optimisation and how it can help increase your website visibility so I would recommended checking out my other blog posts for useful tips and tricks to help market your business online.
Google My Business
Google is changing and wants to be the one tool you need for everything related to search. Notice how you can get flight times, bus times and Wikipedia answers directly in Google’s search results? It won’t be long before they provide more and more and reduce the need for website listings at all! But one thing to do promote is Google Businesses that have been registered. This is also known as Google Places, they keep messing around with naming products, but it is very useful to have your business registered with a Google+ account and add your business location.
Getting reviews for your website is also a useful feature from Google, it adds a star rating next to your search listing and business listing in Google Places, this helps people notice your listing as it stands out. Plus, word of mouth is usually the best form of marketing, so feedback and reviews others can read helps speak volume of your business.
I have blogged before, about Google ranking mobile friendly websites higher in mobile search for better user experience and it is still a big surprise at how many websites are not designed for the modern web. Mobile search makes up nearly 70% of all search traffic according to Google. Note, that nearly every person has a mobile device in their pocket.
Having a website that can be accessed from a mobile device is hugely important. Not to mention that having your business on Google Places will also help increase the marketing opportunities for your business.
A good example
Imagine you own a shoe repair shop and a customer is out and breaks a heel or the sole of the shoe comes off. The first thing they may do is buy a new pair of shoes, but with the assistance of Google places and good SEO your shoe repair business could appear in the list for “Shoe Shop King’s Lynn” for an example. With the right targeting you could reach a customer to repair that shoe at a cheaper cost than buying a new pair.
With a different look at the same scenario, a person may look directly for a shoe repair shop, I for one have two pair of shoes that are my favorite and it is hard to find a similar pair, both need soles replacing as I worn them so much and I did a Google search and found a local shoe repair shop right in my High Street. I think repairing shoes is much more a generational thing to do, but hey, I saw an old lady, close to her 80’s playing Pokemon Go in the Town center! So the audience is still out there, you just need to make sure your website is optimised to help promote your business.
By that, I mean not having ‘Home – Joe’s repair shop’ but a more advertising title such as ‘Shoe repairs, sole replacements, key cutting, King’s Lynn’ It is far more descriptive, and better optimised for search results.
So, to answer my own question, it is very important with an increase in mobile search and Google Place to have a website for your business online. It helps promote your services or products and brings awareness to users that may not have known your business existed.