In this blog post, we try to tell you why it is important for every business today to have an online presence. If you are trying to weigh up the pro’s and con’s of going online then read on:
1. Google is the new telephone directory
Today people do not rely on Telephone directories, it is increasingly popular for people to instead look your business up on Google. Remember this can now be done directly from smartphones and most people today have smartphones. They will do this in a few ways, firstly they may type in the name of your business (expecting you have a website) and then on finding your website will call you. Alternatively, they may search by the type of service you offer and in your location. For instance, they may search for “Hair Dressers on Grafton Street”.
When looking for directions to your business it is important to have your business listed on Google Places and Google Maps. Essentially how this works is a person will go to Google or Google maps and type in directions to [Business Name] from [Place] and Google will give them an interactive map, driving instructions that can be printed off, duration of how long it will take to walk, drive and how to get their using public transport. This is really handy for people trying to find you. It is also possible for people to use Google maps on their smartphone or satellite navigation and given most smartphones come with GPS now they will get guided directions to your location while following an interactive map.
3. What you offer
Your website should be a place to tell potential customers what exact services your business offers. So you might be the “army surplus warehouse” which would make me think that it was just army surplus products you sell however maybe you also sell home products, other types of clothes, items for peoples cars, and so on, with a website you can attract these potential clients also.
4. Opening Hours
Your website should be a place that customers can know your opening hours, this is useful for shops and offices but if you do not serve customers at your location it is still important to tell people at what times they can expect to be able to contact you at. This can be even more useful when selling/dealing with customers who are outside Ireland or our time zone.
5. About Your Business
So who started your business, who works there, how long has it been around, who else uses your services, what is the background of your company, there is so much you can tell people about your business on your website.
6. Protect Your Name
For instance, if your company was called “Waterford Bike Hire” you may want to purchase www.waterfordbikehire.com and www.waterfordbikehire.ie. This is important so a rival company will not take your domain name to trick your customers into doing business with them instead, once you do intend to be serious about your online presence you do not want to find your name is already gone. I would often suggest to businesses when initially coming up with business names to purchase the ones they think they will use, this protects someone from snapping it up.
7. Low-cost form of Advertising
The great thing about a website is it can be cheaper to set up than conventional methods of advertising. You can probably build a really good website for cheaper than one of plug-in a national newspaper.
Your website is available to people 24 hours a day, this is important for people who browse outside of opening hours.
9. Professional Email Address
When setting up a new website most companies will also set up an email address firstname.lastname@example.org which is far more professional than an @hotmail or @gmail email address. Plus it’s easier to remember.
A website gives your business credibility. It lets you show your business in a better light than your competitors.