Let’s just be honest here – this isn’t 1998. We’re in 2018 and it should go without saying that having a website for your business is simply a must. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go without saying because there are still far too many businesses out there that don’t have this square one marketing and business tool. . .

Are They Talking About You – or With You?

Word of mouth continues to be a powerful – and free – marketing tool. But not all word of mouth is good. It isn’t just Mrs. Jones talking to Mrs. Smith at the supermarket anymore – the word of mouth has international potential… and potential to reach far higher quantities of consumers than ever before. This can work both in and against your favor, so it’s best that you be part of the conversation.

Fact is, you don’t need to be present to be talked about. Yelp!, Angie’s List, Google Reviews – the list goes on – they all welcome consumer feedback. So whether you’re a local hardware store or a franchised entity, consumers have full access to discussing your business openly. Hopefully what they’re saying is good – but don’t you want to know? And more so, don’t you want to make sure the right information is out there?

When you join that conversation, you have the opportunity to build your reputation and continue that discussion in your favor. Your website is a large part of that, providing a direct line from great feedback and word of mouth to bringing in new business. Without a place to point to, your lead is likely to go missed… or worse, a consumer might associate the wrong URL thinking it’s you – (smh) talk about giving business away.

Get a Fair Shot

Websites are paramount to success in today’s business environment – for B2B and B2C entities. Most consumers don’t even get the Yellow Pages in print anymore (I hear they do have a website, though…) and 90 percent of all online experiences begin in search. What good is that search going to do if you don’t show up in the results?

In the “old days,” consumers would call down a list of vendors and qualify them based on a discussion. It just doesn’t happen like that anymore. Today’s scenario typically involves a consumer clicking on URLs out of search results or online reviews. After a quick perusal of the URLs, the consumer narrows down the list and will contact those lucky businesses that made it to the next round for more information. Don’t have a URL? You were likely out of the running before you were even in it.

That’s really the crux of it – consumers are shopping increasingly more online. If not to make purchases, then to find companies and explore their options before they (gasp!) have to pick up the phone. Simply put, if you don’t have a website, you’re missing opportunities. Opportunities to be found, opportunities to connect, and opportunities to promote.

Websites can be as simple or as complex as you want. Without argument, they’re essential to success in today’s business environment – so what are you waiting for?

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