Does Your Local Business Need a Website in 2017?


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Your website is dead…

A growing number of “experts” say it is. These experts suggest that websites, as they exist now, are obsolete and unnecessary. Some are more cautious, stating that a mobile friendly website is enough.

Are they right?

It’s 2017. Why do local businesses need websites? Aren’t general social networks (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) and specialized review sites (e.g. Zomato, ZocDoc, Avvo) enough?

Local businesses want it to be enough

Many don’t even want a website.

Wait, what?

That’s right. In 2016, almost half of U.S. small businesses did not have a website.

That makes sense.

It’s so much easier to rely on Facebook, Yelp and Google. It’s much easier to focus your time and attention on growing your business, right?

There’s a dangerous misconception lurking behind the scenes.

It’s the idea that websites are nothing more than brochureware. In fact, it’s common for local business owners to view websites as an unnecessary expense. Something that eats up precious time and resources.

This misconception is dangerous, because it’s true.

The vast majority of local businesses don’t see a major increase in business. That’s because most local websites are failing.

Local businesses don’t want a website

The research is clear.

While there’s a slow increase of business owners with websites, there’s a significant portion of local businesses that rely on offline tactics.

But, is it working?

Research suggests that marketers are experiencing a case of diminishing returns. Traditional advertising is dying a slow death.

Without a website, local businesses die a slow death

Local businesses can use 3rd party websites, like Facebook, to give prospective customers the information they need to buy. But that’s the problem.

It’s a case of operating on “borrowed land.”

3rd party websites (e.g. social networks and review sites) allow you to use their products and services. These benefits come with a significant downside.

You have to play by their rules. Case in point?

IKEA.

In 2012 IKEA ran a contest on Facebook. They came up with an ingenious way to spread the word about a new store opening in Malmo, Sweden.

They wanted to attract the locals so they created a viral campaign. They played by the rules, keeping everything above board.

Take a look.






The results were amazing for IKEA.

Facebook wasn’t pleased.

Shortly thereafter, “viral campaigns” were outlawed. Users and brands weren’t allowed to run a campaign on Facebook unless they got a cut.

Read the rest of Andrew's post here about the need for a website in 2017 for your local business.

What do you think? Is it a necessity? Any other reasons why you're Pro/Anti local business websites in 2017?