When you launch a new business, one of the things that get drummed into you is to have a website. These days, new sites are quick and easy to set up; even if you have no prior technical knowledge! Web sites provide a way for any enterprise to trade 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The thing is, some critics of the Internet feel they don't “need” a website. If you share that same sentiment, could your business survive in today's digital age? Well, it could, but it would be quite difficult due to not having an online presence. Here's why not having a website in today's modern world can leave any business at a disadvantage:

Most people own a smartphone

Walk down any populated area, and you'll notice something extraordinary. Almost everyone you encounter will be using a smartphone of some description! The beauty of smartphones is they make it easier for people to manage their lives.

macbook-apple-imac-computer-39284One of the main selling points of any smartphone is the ability to go online and surf the web. Did you know that mobile browsing usage has
overtaken desktop surfing? And that's not a statistic that is likely to reverse!

Often, people will search for a product or service online while they walk. Or they may do so while sat down in a public area, determined not to go home empty-handed! By not having a website, your business will miss out on a variety of sales opportunities.

A website can help you attract local customers

Let's say that your business has a retail outlet. You might think that sites are only useful for capturing online customers. But, the truth is they are crucial to attracting local ones too!

Following on from the point about smartphones, mobile shoppers search online for local sellers. They tend to use Google Maps and similar apps on the mobile devices to locate vendors near to them.

A website coupled with local SEO strategies is a brilliant way to direct more people to your store. Now you don't have to rely on newspaper ads and passing trade to buy from you!

Screen shotYou won't stand much of a chance against other local competitors

For some reason, anti-tech entrepreneurs follow the “build it, and they will come” philosophy. The trouble is, no-one will buy from you if they don't know you exist!

Even if you did no online marketing, your website could still show up on Google local search listings. And it can also get displayed on map searches both on a?desktop and mobile devices.

Web sites encourage viral marketing

As a business owner, you will know how important it is to market your enterprise. Arguably, the one thing you hate about marketing is how much it costs you; even for local campaigns!

One of the advantages of having a website is that it can encourage viral marketing techniques. For example, if you run a competition on yours, social media users can share links to your site with others. And those people will do the same with their friends and followers. Meanwhile, you're paying nothing for these people to market your business for you!

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