How Web Design Can Help Local Businesses Convert Customers

Small and local businesses are at risk of falling behind in the race for digital customers. With 32% of the SMBs without a website believing a website is irrelevant to their business, what’s needed is a big dose of advocacy to confront the challenge local businesses will eventually face from their larger, hyper-digitized competitors.

Perfectly suited for that advocacy are web designers, but their reputation has too often come to be that of the “over-charger,” stiffing their customers for webpages that lack functionality, aren’t mobile-responsive, and don’t consider how to integrate websites with a full suite of applications. This reputation is patently unfair.

However, by incorporating simple engagements that make a website more than just window-dressing, this reputation can be repaired and even transformed. Similarly, more powerful, engaging websites can change the perception among the portion of SMBs that believe a website is irrelevant.

Engagement Apps Can Be Key

Web designers are often forced to meet the exotic design demands of their customers, and rarely have the ability to consider the implications of a website on a business’s processes. Web designers need to consider products and tools that bridge the gap between a business’s digital portals and its actual customer interactions. Tools like online scheduling, click-to-call, live chat, custom web forms and more are crucial to this process, because they can integrate with centralized CRMs that define a business’s ongoing success.

Not only are engagements like this critical, but they add value to CRM purchases that are now crucial for SMB automation and growth. CRMs that serve SMBs are gaining more traction, permitting small businesses to more effectively map their customer journeys. While it’s important to consider how customers come to businesses and develop relationships, tools that produce tangible engagements are necessary anywhere and everywhere that a business can face a consumer.

All Websites are Landing Pages

In effect, this makes the website the first line for a business relationship with a customer – not a phone number or storefront – and this means that businesses need to implement tools that create real interactions from their digital presence. Despite the many SMBs who lag in adopting webpages, the group as a whole will spend $83 billion this year on digital marketing services.

Web designers and digital marketing agencies are thus prime candidates to provide services beyond hosting, design, listings management, SEO, social media, email marketing and mobile apps, but also implement the tools that integrate those presences with one cohesive customer database that provides real time information and helps increase revenue.

Proving ROI makes Local Business Stronger

Local businesses value loyal customers, who can often make up 80% or more of their revenue. These businesses rarely base their success on advanced sales and marketing practices, but rather on the quality of their craft. SMB entrepreneurs value their work and service more than anything, and that’s what their customers come to them for.

However, this craft and dedication to quality deserves the most exposure possible, and that’s why web designers can be the ones to show their clients the value of local customer engagement. Whether it’s booking appointments or more, any of these tools can measure and record interactions, allowing these agencies to prove their ROI to their customers.

This not only works on skeptical SMBs that may wonder what their digital marketing dollars are really worth, but can also help agencies develop a meaningful value-proposition, growing themselves and their clients over time.

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