Websites for business are sometimes considered a set and forget proposition. Once the design, content and images are up, the site has been published most businesses feel the work is done. But websites like any part of your businesses branding and reputation require ongoing maintenance and development. Without new content, new images, updating and securing of the code your website will stagnate. It will get lost in the information provided by your competitors and pushed to the bottom of the Search engine rankings.
HERE COMES THE STATS ON WEBSITES
Research shows that approximately 78% of Business to Consumer ( B2C ) and 75% of Business to Business (B2B) purchasers use the both the internet and social media to research suppliers and businesses before committing to a sale. This research by buyers, who have access to hundreds of varying and alternative competitors and suppliers, who read online reviews, then compare different suppliers and pricing lead to self qualifying customer. A self qualifying customer is someone who has educated themselves on the type of product or service they want and by the time they contact a business they are ready to buy instead of needing more information. In fact it has been shown that by providing enough information to potential clients you can reduce acquisition costs for gaining new clients. Consumers engage in research on websites and social media reading an average of 11.4 pieces of content before they make a purchase. If your business website doesn’t have compelling fresh content that is relevant to what a potential customer is looking for then your business is most likely going to miss out on sales. And it isn’t about the direct, immediate sale either. The buying cycle of customers is extended. In previous years the person making a purchase, especially a large and or expensive outlay would do research in the form of asking friends and family, reading magazines, newspapers and visiting numerous stores that stocked the item they were interested in. Usually with in a shorter time frame and with less information than they do today.
Every year people spend 36 Billion minutes online with just under 18 Million people doing all of this browsing. That is 27 Billion page views. And these are statistics for Australia only.(2) In dollar terms from August 2014 to August 2015 online sales totaled $17.5 Billion dollars. This was lead by Electronic games and toys which rose by 27.2% followed by Media (17.7%), Fashion (11.4%) and personal and recreational goods (7.3%). All Categories except for daily deals showed growth.(3)Is your business online and selling to this ever increasing market place ?
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS ?
So fresh content, a new blog post or photograph of your latest completed work is important to get up and seen on your social media profiles and website. It gives your business authority. It gives your customers somewhere to go and look at your work, your prices, and your business as a whole. Having your customer base be able to find you online is important for the longevity of your business, the promotion of your business brand and the income you derive from the business. The way to survive in today’s online 24/7 world is to have the information about your products and services up on your business website, the latest photos of your work on social media profiles and your news and blogs circulating on related websites, social media pages, and media outlets. With out a plan and strategy in place to handle your online profile, to handle how your web design is built to interact, how your social media posts and content are timed and displayed, your business is not profiting from the online market place. You and your business will be left behind by your competitors who will take advantage of all the tools and customer engagement process they have to build brand awareness for their potential customers.
WHAT CAN YOUR BUSINESS DO ?
So what can you do ? Talk to someone about your business, sit down and map out a strategy for your business. Mesh that strategy into your current business model and lay the ground work for future online sales. Going from nothing to a healthy online profile is going to take hard work, a concentrated effort and a deliberate focus on your website and social media strategy. The sooner you start the better off you will be down the line.