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Unless you’re blissfully living life in a cave, surrounded by nothing but fresh air and mountains (sounds very appealing to me, I must say) you won’t have failed to notice that to grow your business and attract more clients, you need an online presence.

And the most important online stage?

Your equine business website

Yep. Not an engaged Facebook page.

Not a beautifully cohesive Instagram feed.

Not even a business-centric LinkedIn profile.

No. The humble website is where your power lies.

All the rest pale into comparison when faced with the biggest, boldest, most valuable business asset you can own.

“Domain names and websites are Internet real estate”

Marc Ostrofsky

Social media pages don’t belong to you

I’m not even going to trot out the well-versed line of don’t build a house on rented land, as I’m sure you’ve heard it before, multiple times. If Mr Z decided to shut Facebook down, or you lost your Instagram page, where does that leave your business? With a website, you own the content, the data, and the ground it’s built on.

But unlike the price of land these days and the huge obstacles in the way of building a real-life house for you and your family, you CAN build a beautiful, welcoming residence for you and your business to live in happily ever after…on your own land, for minimal cost and effort.

Choose a website host (I recommend Siteground), pick a website platform (I recommend WordPress) and decide on a domain name (this is up to you but I have some thoughts on that, too.)

And…build.

But WHY do I need a website when I have social media profiles?

Is a question I see pop up on social media forums all the time.

There’s many, many, MANY statistics available that will spell out in big, fat numbers exactly why you need a website for your business.

But to save you time that you could spend writing your new website instead, I’m going to break them down for you here.

1. There are 77000 online searches performed on Google every second

That’s a big number. And a giant opportunity for your business to pop up, leading to a click-through and then a sale.

But if you’re not online in the first place, you won’t get any bite at all of this substantial pie.

And Facebook doesn’t cut it. You can’t optimise a Facebook shop or page to get found in search engines. You take what you’re given and you watch Google sending all your potential clients to your competitors who HAVE optimised their websites to top the search.

2. 84% of today’s consumers think a website makes your business more credible

Again, having social media profiles in the big, bad world of business today won’t do it, I’m afraid.

To appear professional, you need a credible online presence. To be credible, your customers need to see your website.

Plus, having your own website means you can have a branded email address (e.g. sarah@thecopyjockey.com) which is the ultimate in professionalism.

Ask anyone – ask yourself – “Would you prefer to do business with someone with a business email, or a generic Gmail one?”

What’s your answer?

3. 56% of people say they won’t trust a business that doesn’t have a website

Following on from the previous statistic, this one’s even more conclusive.

Over half the people that do hear of you, won’t use you because they don’t trust in you! That’s a lot of business to be losing.

Having a business website where potential clients can check you out and see who’s behind the screen, as well as your terms, or processes, or guarantees, really does help someone make their mind up whether or not to buy from you.

4. 81% of consumers will research a business or service online before making a decision

How will they research you before deciding whether to contact you if you don’t have an online ‘residence’ to invite them into?

Your website is like your bestest salesperson, working 24/7/365, inviting people in, offering them a cuppa, showing them around and chatting to them like an old friend. Even better than an actual employee – you don’t have to pay it overtime!

Even if a lot of your work comes through referrals, people still do their own research, and we can say with certainty that even referrals will want to check you out. Let your website be your best brand ambassador. Let it sell for you even while you sleep.

“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that”

Paul Cookson

5. 76% of consumers will conduct their initial product research online

You’re a business selling products. Your potential customer has found you, checked you out, trusts you’re the real deal, but are they going to buy your product?

If you don’t have an online shop with categories, product descriptions, and reviews, how will they even see what you offer, let alone compare to other similar products out there?

By the time they’re ready to click Buy, they won’t have even seen your product so they won’t even know how much better it is than the one they’re about to spend hard earned money on. Lose-lose for everyone.

6. The total number of websites on the internet is 1.95 billion

You might think, that’s a huuuge number of competitors, how will my humble little website compete?? But they’re not all your competitors.

Plus, ever heard the saying, “If you can’t beat em, join em”?

You’ve got to be where the majority hang out and like it or not, that’s online, intentionally Googling and clicking on the websites that pop up, not just scrolling social media.

7. It’s estimated that by the year 2040, 95% of purchases will be through eCommerce

Ok, so you might think you have nearly two decades to get a website created, designed, and noticeable online before you’re completely invisible, but what about your business in those 20 years?

Not to mention your lifestyle, which is why most of us ride this crazy journey, right? To allow us more time and money to spend with family and/or our horses!

Think of the missed opportunities, the lost sales, the FOMO you’ll experience if you’re NOT already in the online race.

Don’t wait a lifetime to get your business online, don’t even wait another month, that’s all I’ll say.

And the double whammy…

8. Loyal customers are worth 10 times as much after they make their first purchase and it costs at least 5-6 times as much to get a new customer than to keep an existing one

How do you retain your customers and turn them into loyal, repeat buyers if you don’t have a website?

You may take their details in store, if you have a bricks and mortar building. Maybe when you sell off your Facebook page you ask them for their details to add them to a mailing list.

But if you had your website set up to do the selling for you 24/7/365, they could come back anytime in the future and buy when it suited them!

Plus, a website saves you heaps of time following up with these customers as you can automate, customise and utilise your website’s features to make keeping – and selling – to existing customers easy as falling off a horse!

Over to you

There’s no doubt that to be in it to win it, you’ve got to have your business online, housed in its very own website.

The statistics don’t lie. And you own your website and everything surrounding it. And most importantly, you can optimise a website to roll up to the top of page 1 in online searches, leading to more traffic, more conversions, and ultimately more money pouring in!

Do you have a website for your equine business? Or are you still renting a Facebook page off a very rich landlord?

Can you possibly have any excuses left for NOT having a website after learning these statistics? If so, I’d love to hear them!