It’s 2016 Do I Even Need a Website? Many small businesses believe a Facebook page or other online profile is sufficient and there for no real reason exists to invest in an individual website. With all the misinformation and scam artist in the “Web” industry, it is easy to see how one would arrive at this conclusion. The reality is, that it is more important than ever for organizations, especially small business, to have their own website. Did you know that recent case studies have revealed a 20% reduction in the average adult attention span since the year 2000? Bear with me, in order to explain we need to create a little back story so the explanation makes since. Imagine that Sunshine Furniture is a local furniture store. Sunshine Furniture does not have a website instead they have a Facebook Business Page. The owner has reasoned that since they did not waste the money on a website they can in turn invest in regular updates/posts to their Facebook profile. Now that you understand Sunshine Furniture’s marketing tactics, let’s imagine that you happen to be in the market for a comfortable new rocking chair. While on Facebook looking at new photos recently posted by someone in the family you happen to notice a recent post announcing a, what looks to be, huge sale at Sunshine Furniture on their rocking chairs. We all know how quickly the Facebook feed updates so at that moment you have to make a choice, make a note to visit Sunshine Furniture or click on the post to find more information. Since how Sunshine Furniture does not have a website when you click on the post you are taken to a page within their Facebook profile. Now you are looking at the event page for the sale and receive a new notification “You are now eligible to move to the next level of Candy Crush”, remember the thing I mentioned earlier about reduced attention span… that’s right boom you’re off working hard to stay ahead of your friends on Candy Crush. At some point in the future you are going to remember you had seen an ad somewhere regarding rocking chairs on sale, even if you remember it was on Facebook the post is now long gone. If Sunshine Furniture had invested in a website the sale, would likely have been posted on the website. Then upon clicking on the Facebook post you would have been directed to their website allowing you to focus for just a few short minutes on exactly what was on sale and whether or not you needed to check out the sale in person. Since Sunshine Furniture controls the website they can in turn control the environment and rest assured that there will be no popup notifications within that few minutes and you will be able to receive the full message they are wanting to communicate. Conclusion: there is no “silver bullet” when it comes to maximizing your online presence, instead there are many puzzle pieces that need to play together in order to maximize the desired result. A website is most definitely an important puzzle piece as it is the ONLY online asset where an organization can insure that there are as few distractions as possible while trying to communicate a message to their audience.
The team at Skynet Solutions was recently honored with a Congressional Commendation by U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine, in recognition of all the work we have been doing to educate, enhance and strengthen the small business community in Oklahoma. A Congressional Commendation is awarded by a member of Congress to officially recognize outstanding public achievement by those in their districts. One of the most rewarding parts of being an official Google Partner is all the events we get to host and speak at where Skynet Solutions marketing experts get to share their knowledge and interact with other local businesses.
Here at Skynet Solutions, we love being a part of the small business community and using our skills to help other local entrepreneurs succeed as well. Since fall 2015, we have been hosting and participating in “GYBO” (Get Your Business Online) seminars throughout Oklahoma to help small business owners get their businesses online. Thanks to our partners at Google, the REI Women’s Business Center, the Tulsa chapter of SCORE, area chambers of commerce and others, we have been able to help dozens of local business—like yours—improve their online presence in a variety of ways!
We’ve hosted workshops across the state, from Ponca City to Stillwater and Muskogee to Bartlesville and have covered topics ranging from how to use Google Analytics effectively to what S.E.O. is and how you can use it to amplify your business’ online presence. We also covered and held entire workshops dedicated to helping business owners get their business listed on Google Maps and other maps listing services, like Bing and Apple, and other effective tactics to make sure potential customers are able to easily find their business online. We have found maps listings to be one of the most effective ways to help a small, local business grow.
Skynet Solutions also recently co-hosted a special event in May to celebrate and promote National Small Business Week. Along with Tulsa SCORE, we created and hosted the inaugural SCORE Small Business Summit Tulsa, which brought together about 100 mentors, business experts and entrepreneurs from around the region to network and discuss all aspects of starting, owning and running a small business. Speakers from The Small Business Administration, Constant Contact, Tulsa Economic Development Corporation, the Tulsa chapter of SCORE, Skynet Solutions, REI Women’s Business Center and other local and regional institutions discussed everything from email marketing and small business taxes to bookkeeping for small businesses and social media marketing.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of a robust and up to date online presence for a local business; 50 percent of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61 percent of those searches result in a purchase, according to Search Engine Watch. In addition to that, 56 percent of mobile searches are from users seeking local information, like business hours, directions or a physical address for your store—which is why maps listings are so critical. If your business can’t be easily found online, customers are going to go elsewhere. You also have to make sure your business website is mobile friendly.
With the majority of internet searches originating from mobile devices, not desktops or laptops, according to Google, the majority of people who end up on your business’ website are going to get there from a mobile search. The majority of customers believe it is easier to find information on a mobile-optimized site and 48 percent of people who visit a site that’s not friendly feel that the company doesn’t care about their business. That’s definitely not the impression you want to give off to your valued customers!
To learn more about all of the educational small business-focused events that Skynet Solutions participates in and hosts, you can keep up with our blog, follow us on social media or give us a call. In the meantime, you can always get in touch with the experts at Skynet Solutions for help with your online business listing, website development, social media marketing or anything else you need to help make your business succeed. With our diverse range of skills and experience, we are sure to have the tools you need to make 2016 your business’ best year yet. You can fill out our online contact form on our website to get started today. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!