- While 97% of consumers looked online for an local business last year, fewer people are following up that research with a website visit.
- The median click-through rate for the number 1 ranking on Google was down 37% last year, suggesting that fewer search users are clicking through to local business websites.
- For SEO, link building, brand building, and meeting consumer expectations, having a great local business website is still critical.
If you’re on the fence about having a website built for your local business, it’s easy to read all of the above and decide that there’s very little point. However, there are a multitude of reasons why every small business should have its own website, regardless of its Google My Business listing, directory listings or Facebook page popularity.
Reason 1: It’s (almost) a pre-requisite for local SEO
It’s far, far more difficult to rank in the local pack listings without your own website. While it isn’t impossible, it’s far, far more difficult to rank in the local pack listings without your own website.With the continuing advancement of mobile search and the increasing popularity of voice search, local search visibility is important for every local business. If you don’t have your own website, it is almost impossible to attain the level of visibility you need to drive footfall to your local business.
Reason 2: Consumers expect it
While consumers are increasingly able to find the information they need and take an action directly from search results, research from the Local Search Association confirms that most consumers expect a local business to have a website. In The Digital Consumer Study, the Local Search Association found that 63% of consumers used the website to find a local business or interact with it.
Reason 3: It’s needed for link building
Business websites can direct potential customers to your images, price lists, and products. Links are the web’s currency; essential for SEO but also important for referrals. A business website is more trustworthy, and also more useful when it comes to sharing the link yourself. If you’re a local marketing agency, say, a business URL is more professional and useful to share with sales prospects during the pitch process versus a Google My Business listing.
Likewise, if you run a pet store or a nail salon, having a business website means you can direct potential customers to your images, videos, price lists, and products quickly and easily from a single location.
Reason 4: Content improves relevance and links
If you’re serious about local visibility, you not only need a website to give yourself the best chance at a local search presence, you need the site as a vehicle for hosting your content — which improves relevance and makes it easier to accrue the links needed for better visibility.
Reason 5: A website is essential for brand building
No matter your niche, it’s impossible to craft a professional image for your brand without your own website. A website is your virtual office or storefront and, as an owned media channel, it’s something you retain full control of. Both B2B and B2C clients will look to your domain to get a feel for your brand. This is where you showcase your authority, values, and culture.
Reason 6: A website is a great tool for customer service
Most modern consumers turn to social media for customer service, but it isn’t always practical or efficient to reply in detail to each request. Having your own website means you can take control of your customer service process and direct customers to a tailored, up-to-date FAQ page or customer service contact info simply by sharing a link.