Do you hate throwing away money? If you don’t have an effective company website, you could be doing just that. Website sales in the US topped $1 trillion dollars last year, and forecasters have predicted a growth of over 20% on that this year. Whether you sell worldwide or only serve your local community, here are some of the key reasons that you should get online quickly.

1. People Are Already Looking For Your Company Online

The number one reason for having your own website? It makes you accessible to everyone. Whenever you are mentioned or recommended by word of mouth, you can guarantee that there are people searching Google for your website. Even if you don’t sell online, having a shop means that potential customers can get your opening hours and contact information at any time of the day, and plan a visit to you. If visitors can’t find your website, they may presume that you’ve closed down.

2. Your Competitors Definitely Have Websites

You can almost guarantee that if your closest competitors don’t yet have a website, they are planning to develop one! The Internet has made us impatient, so if your customers can’t find your website quickly, they’ll use a rivals instead.

3. It’s An Unbeatable Promotional Tool

Social media marketing is big, and it’s set to get even bigger. Recent HubSpot stats suggest that 87% of buyers get recommendations from Twitter and Facebook before they buy, and customers expect a response to enquiries or complaints within an hour.

It’s no coincidence that the average number of phone calls made to companies per day is dropping, either. Why waste time on the phone when you can send a quick Tweet instead? Your website will tie together all of your social media accounts, and it’s a great place to host a blog, too.

4. Google Places Helps Customers Find Your Physical Location

Google has recently spent a lot of time revamping the Google Places application, and Apple has a very similar app for IOS products. Both allow mobile phone and computer uses to quickly identify businesses around them, and supplies contact information and reviews at a glance. You won’t appear if you don’t set up a Google Places account, though. And if you have a Google Places account but it isn''t linked to a website, then you''re missing a major opportunity.

5. You Don’t Need To Make A Big Investment

One of the number one concerns small businesses have about websites is the cost. With so many adverts and website building companies around, it’s no wonder that most SMEs believe that a website is a serious investment. It doesn’t need to be, though. An online website builder can help you create a smart, functional website that is optimized for search engines, and even link up your social media accounts.

They are designed to be easy-to-use, and there is usually support on hand if you get stuck. Social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook are totally free to use, and you can even blog for free if you do it yourself, to boost your rankings further. It is likely to be much less of an investment than your usual marketing, and much more effective.

Twenty-three percent of small businesses are planning to spend money on creating and developing a website this year, according to eMarketer. Make sure you''re one of them, and you’ll soon see the rewards!

Author Bio:
Kati Blake is a professional freelance writer who specialises in legal, business and healthcare topics. Her articles have appeared on Mashable, Macys, eBay, Industry Insider and CNN.

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