In today's digital world, consumers are heading online before making most purchases. This means large, national companies with larger marketing budgets have an advantage over small, local businesses because they have online marketing campaigns. This makes it easier for them to reach customers sooner.

This is pushing small business owners to more creatively and effectively reach their ideal customer. Yet, some question online marketing and whether or not website investment is worth it.

We hear things like: My customers aren’t online, online marketing is a fad, it costs too much for a website, with some going as far to say online marketing doesn’t work for me.

Consider this:

Daily, nearly fivebillion Google searches are conducted and over one billion active Facebook users log-in. It’s hard to argue that at least some of those users won’t be interested in searching for a local products or services such as yours. 

Kara Mulder shared in a recent Huffington Post articlehanks to the rapid growth of the Internet, small businesses are better positioned than ever to compete alongside big companies through the utilization of an online marketing strategy.” 

Your strategy starts with your website. Without a strong presence online, any company will struggle attracting and retaining new customers. Thankfully, websites have become more affordable than ever. 

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Consumer expectations have changed.

When consumers hear of a new business or product, they Google it to learn more, often looking for a reputable website with decent information. If they know you, they enter your address into their smartphone and use Google maps to get there. 

People expect reputable businesses to have a website, especially a mobile-friendly website. The site should have reliable, up-to-date information and good design. You website needs to look professional, have your information simplified, easy to navigate, and most importantly, make it easy for customers to contact you. It’s not a question of how pretty the website is, but rather, how effective it is in converting online visitors into customers.

It is incredibly important to keep your website up-to-date. Having old staff lists, expired offers, last year’s show announcements, etc. give consumers pause and may deter them from coming to you for business. A careless website conveys a careless businesses.

A good website and online marketing go hand-in-hand. It makes it worth your time and investment of paying for online advertising to drive website traffic to bring you more business. You just need a creative, smart, strategic plan. And a team to help you execute that plan.

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