The city of Pittsburgh is known for more than its steel industry and Heinz ketchup. It’s also considered a hub for technology and innovation. If you’re operating a small business in the Pittsburgh area, you’ll need a modern website with an attractive and responsive design to stay relevant and competitive.
Key Takeaways You Will Get From This Article
1. A website is typically the first place your customers will go when they want to learn more about your business or contact you with a question.
2. Having a website will help you build credibility, stay competitive, utlize digital marketing strategies, display your products and services, and monitor data.
3. A responsive website is a site that is designed to “respond” to the screen size of the device it is being used on.
4. If a customer visits your site and can’t find the information they need easily, or if your text is dense and difficult to read, they’ll often look up one of your competitors instead.
Do I Really Need a Website?
Yes! Even if you have a Facebook page for your business, you still need a website. This is typically the first place your customers will go when they want to learn more about your business or contact you with a question. If you need more proof, here are five reasons to get your Pittsburgh business online.
- Build Credibility
Frankly, your customers expect a website. If you don’t have one and a competitor does, you may be missing out on the opportunity to win the customer’s patronage. Your website should tell a visitor everything they need to know about your business. From the aesthetic colors and images you choose to use, to the language spread across the site pages, everything on your website should speak to you as a business.
- Stay Competitive
Your website goes a long way to show your customers who you are. Without one, how will they get to know you? How will they learn to trust you? If you don’t have a digital presence, you absolutely cut yourself short and risk losing new business opportunities to your competition.
- Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing through TV, print ads, flyers, billboards, and radio advertisements quickly exhausts resources and can be extremely expensive. If you choose to take advantage of digital marketing instead, you can save money and directly connect with your customers. What is at the heart of a digital marketing strategy? You guessed it – your website!
- Display Your Products and Services
Many consumers will research a product or service on Google before they decide to make a purchase. Without a web presence, they won’t find your business when they are searching for the product or service you offer. You can leverage your website to offer helpful information on your offerings to encourage customers to choose you over the competition.
- Monitor Data
There are many tools available for monitoring your website analytics. Google Analytics is one of the most popular, and can provide insight into how many people are visiting your website, how much they explore once they find your site, what content they are engaging with versus what pages go unnoticed, and more. This knowledge can help you make tweaks to your website to improve the experience for your customers.
What is a Responsive Website?
The answer to this question can be found within the question itself. A responsive website is a site that is designed to “respond” to the screen size of the device it is being used on. For example, let’s say you run a plumbing contractor business. The header of your website would most likely consist of a menu with a list of your services, pricing, contact information, info on accreditations or certificates you have received, and more. Everything will probably display very nicely on a desktop or laptop computer, but what about on a smaller screen, such as a mobile phone? A responsive website adjusts for a smaller display, resizing images and adapting your content to be readable and easily scrollable. This makes it easy for your customers to find the information they need.
Why a Responsive Design is Important
When you go to an ice cream shop in the summertime, do you want your ice cream to be sideways, practically falling off the cone when the server hands it to you? Anyone who gets a cone that like that can’t help but be disappointed, and often will ask for a new one. Your website works in a similar way. If a customer visits your site and can’t find the information they need easily, or if your text is dense and difficult to read, they’ll often “ask for a new cone” by looking up one of your competitors instead.
It’s no secret that your customers are online. The internet is no longer the limited service it once was. It’s powerful, and in almost everyone’s pocket. According to Internet Live Stats, there are more than 3.5 billion Google searches per day – over 40,000 per second. A 2018 study by BrightLocal also showed that:
- 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34)
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before trusting a local business
- 40% of consumers only consider reviews written within the past 2 weeks
- 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has a 4 or more star rating
- 80% of 18-34 year olds have written online reviews – compared to just 41% of consumers over 55
- 91% of 18-34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 89% of consumers read businesses' responses to reviews
Website Design with Electronic Merchant Systems
If you don’t have a responsive website, it’s time to build or upgrade to one. If you’re not a web developer, don’t worry! The creative team of web designers at Electronic Merchant Systems can help you build an attractive, responsive site that is unique to your business.
We design websites that adapt across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices to provide a consistent and appealing user experience. When you choose EMS for your website design needs, you can also leverage our web tools and ecommerce experience for business success. Along with a responsive web design, we offer:
- Web Hosting
Gain virtual real estate on the web with our secure hosting.
- Shopping Cart
Control the shopper’s buying experience while on the web.
- Payment Gateway
Handle online transactions securely. Our virtual terminal is compatible with most commercial shopping carts and always PCI Compliant.
- Additional Tools/Services
- Data Storage
- Web Transfer
- Design & Administrative Tools
Contact us today to talk about building your digital presence and taking your Pittsburgh business to the next level.