It wasn’t too long ago that business websites were reserved for those companies who had bottomless budgets, entire creative teams and immeasurable customers coming through their doors—websites were considered a luxury and everyday mom and pop businesses didn’t even dream of hosting their own online site. Today, however, just about anyone and everyone can build themselves a website and its become an essential piece of commerce, regardless of your business’ size or locale.   In fact, we’ll take it another step further and say that in today’s modern age of digital technology, not having a business website can be detrimental to your business itself and put you well behind your competition. Still, there are those few local businesses or longstanding brick and mortar shops that don’t buy into the need for a business website for one reason or another. Take a look at a few key reasons that might convince you to change your views on business websites if you’re still holding out:   a. About 52 percent of small businesses don’t have a website and of those 48 percent who do, only about 56 percent measure traffic and interactions for their website. If you invest in a website for your small business, you’re putting yourself ahead of 52 percent of other small businesses (including your competition) automatically—and, measuring your online traffic puts you ahead of roughly half of all other business owners who also have a website. (via http://www.forbes.com/)   b. 85 percent of consumers are searching for local businesses online before they’re actually going out and spending money. What this means is that if you’re not listed online or don’t have a business website that people can find, you could potentially be missing out on a massive amount of commerce that originates online. (via http://localsplash.com/)   c. Seven out of ten online users surveyed have clearly stated that they will look at products, reviews, company information and competing companies online before they make a purchase or choose a business. If your business doesn’t have a website, you’re automatically being left out of the conversation. (via http://www.reachlocal.com/)   Now, the above are just a few quantified reasons to invest in a website for your small business—there are thousands of other stats and figures that support the cause for creating a website. But, even more persuasive than all of these facts and figures are the qualitative benefits that come with a website, including:   a. Your website works while you sleep, creating leads, converting prospects into sales, spreading your brand message and giving you a voice even when you don’t have the opportunity to communicate face to face.   b. With so many people using computers and mobile devices before they act, having a website is going to ensure that you’re noticed among the crowd and at least given consideration when it comes down to decision making.   c. A website is the foundation for your entire online marketing campaign—everything can be routed back to a quality website! Whether you’re interested in PPC advertising or you’re doing cross-level marketing with physical materials, being able to use your website as a landing space is invaluable.   d. A small business website is far more than just another space for your business to advertise—it’s a resource for customers to learn everything they need to know about you. From your business hours to your location, services and products offered to your practices and standards, your website is going to be a repository for answers to any questions your potential customers may have.   Again, the list of benefits goes on and on to encompass numerous solutions that will lend themselves to your business. A website can be nearly anything you make it and depending on your business and how you choose to market yourself, your website can be as easy or complicated as it needs to be to get the job done! And, thankfully, in today’s modern age of a necessary Internet presence, it’s easier and more affordable than ever to make sure your business has a reserved spot online. Read article →