Why Alaskan Small Businesses Need a Website
Does your business have a website? If not, you are missing out on the present, and the future, of advertising and marketing.
Nowadays an online presence is mandatory to attract and develop relationships with new customers: 70% of local shoppers find their shops online, people find and use online reviews, and hardly anyone uses the yellow pages anymore.
These are the general facts, but there are specific reasons why your Alaskan business needs a website.
Many of our small businesses are not on proverbial Main Street, but instead are spread out across our vast state, often with just a single road sign announcing their existence.
Even in an urban area like Anchorage, it is hard to maintain visibility if you are not located in a busy shopping mall or high traffic area like midtown. How do people find you then?
Because folks get information about the business before they go and find it, you really need to make sure that your business is easy to learn about.
Who really drives down every road to find what they're looking for? Potential customers are relying on either word of mouth or online search, and are often using online apps or maps to find your location.
Alaskan climate is another reason why Alaskan customers prefer to use online searches for products or services. Many of us are having Alaskan products shipped to us from purchases we made online. It saves us another trip on icy roads or through snow storms. Plus most of us spend a lot of time indoors during the long winter months, which means we have the time to make online searches and orders.
Then there are the tourists, of course. Over 1.5 million people visit Alaska every year. That's more than double the population of the whole state! This means the two out of three people here (in tourist season) are visitors.
How are they going to find what they need? You guessed it - they'll search for your products or services online. Many will do it before they even arrive in Alaska.
And lets be clear: even if your product is not a typical tourist commodity such as a guided raft tour or bed and breakfast enterprise, you should still take into account the tourists. Who knows when a visitor might need a auto-mechanic or a pet groomer?
And speaking of people from out of state, why limit yourself to Alaskan customers? When you have an online presence, you can communicate and do business with people from all over the world. Alaskans know about isolation, but with online business there is no reason not to expand your market beyond state borders.
Having an online presence presents more opportunities than just selling your products or services. You can use social media to build new relationships, enhance existing relationships, spread the word about your business, and draw people to your website.
Some of the major social networks to be aware of, and to create business accounts on, are Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. There is a large body of literature, online and offline, that will educate you on the hows and whys of using social media to your benefit.
WHEN WILL YOU BEGIN?
There really is no time to wait. It takes time to build a website, and time to grow your online presence and your online relationships – and your competition is already doing it.
Website design is affordable and available from a variety of providers both in Alaska and elsewhere on the internet. Don’t be afraid, be excited! Whether you are selling online, advertising online, or using social media to turn your customers into advocates, you will be doing yourself and your business a huge favor.
My name is William and I'm an Alaskan Web Designer. If you're ready to start your website design process, I can help. You can contact me through the comment section below, or visit my website here: Website Design Alaska