In a recent BrightLocal poll in which they asked whether local businesses need a blog, 68% think every local business should have one. OK. But they further asked, Do they need a website? The results here were interesting and not as clear cut.
Because of Google’s contribution to their own search engine results page (SERP), one might almost wonder
whether the effort is worthwhile. Google’s activity actually directs people away
from clicking on the individual website. While 97% of consumers looked online for a local business in 2017, only 80% visited a website as a result of their search.
“While visiting a business’ website remains the most common next step (37%), consumers are now more likely than before to get in touch directly. A significant 17% of consumers will now visit the business after reading positive reviews—a huge jump from 7% in 2016. And what’s more, 10% now contact the business as their next step—up again from 3%.”
Jamie Pittman notes in his article as a counter to this trend, “For SEO, link building, brand building, and meeting consumer expectations, having a great local business website is still critical.” He provides these specific six reasons an SMB needs a website.
- It’s (almost) a prerequisite for local SEO
- Consumers expect it
- It’s needed for link building
- Content improves relevance and links
- A website is essential for brand building
- A website is a great tool for customer service.
Local business websites should still be considered a crucial asset for marketing.
The article is worth reading. Especially if you are considering whether or not your business needs a website.