The more I’m on the Internet, the more I realize the importance of business websites. It sounds like an obvious statement, but you might be surprised how many companies don’t have them-especially restaurants.
A company website no longer means having a competitive advantage in your market, because it has become the norm. Maybe having a great website will leverage your brand, but you’re not necessarily going to get ahead just by virtue of having your own URL. I would argue, however, that not having a website is a huge competitive disadvantage.
Consider the amount of people that research online before making any sort of buying decision. You look up a menu before booking a reservation or ordering takeout. You check the new releases before making the trip to Blockbuster. You check out a store’s clothes before heading to the mall. The list continues depending on your personal interests.
Companies cannot afford to have their names not appear in the search engine results list, because it automatically disqualifies their brand from consideration.
Why do I care about this stuff? Because I am an avid online shopper.
I started thinking about this because I wanted to order takeout sushi, and the place I wanted it from didn’t have a website. I wasn’t about to call and listen to a long list of what they have available, so I went elsewhere. I got to thinking about how many times that has happened, how many times Sushi D on College (love it) has lost business by default.
Granted, a lot of sushi places are small with little to no budget set aside for self-promotion. But even a cheap (i.e. free) website with a menu would be enough for me. It’s a big city. And while local, neighbourhood reputation can go a long way, a website has the potential to bring in new business.