If you’re a small business owner in 2019, you likely know you need a website to represent your business online. If you’re still on the fence about having a website for your small business, then I suggest you continue reading.
In this article, I hope to convince you of the value of having a website, regardless of the size of your business.
According to the 2018 Clutch – Small Business Website Survey only two-thirds (64%) of small business have a website.
Of the remaining third (36%) without a website, nearly three-quarters (72%) plan to build a website in 2019 or later.
“Over 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while conducting a search on their smartphone.” (Google, 2018)
Most Common Objections Small Business Owners Use:
1. A website is relevant to my industry.
2. It costs too much money.
3. We use social media instead.
4. I lack the technical knowledge to build or maintain a website.
These objections are understandable, and 10 years ago they would have been valid.
Why Your Small Business Needs A Website In 2019
Like it or not, the world has gone digital and everyone from your niece or nephew to your great aunt or grandmother uses the internet.
The Yellow Pages are a relic of the past, and search engines have replaced the word-of-mouth referrals that were once the life-blood of many small businesses.
11 Benefits of a Website:
- Reach new customers online
- Add credibility to your business & brand (A lot of people view businesses without a website with skepticism)
- Advertising is significantly more cost-effective compared to offline mediums
- Control information and branding
- A Website is easy to update
- You Can Answer Basic Questions
- Differentiate Your Business From The Competition
- Establish A Local Presence
- Generate Brand Awareness
- Consumers Use Websites To Find And Engage With Businesses
- Social Media Doesn’t Replace A Website
1) Reach New Customers Online
Everyone turns to search engines when they need questions answered or have problems to solve.
Having a website allows new customers to find you online and get their questions answered.
A website will increase your visibility and as a result the likelihood of a site visitor becoming a first-time customer.
Additionally, customers can connect with you from anywhere in the world using contact forms, comment sections, and chat apps.
You can also build rapport and trust by providing prospective customers with quality content.
“72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles.” (Wordstream, 2016)
2) Add Credibility to Your Business and Brand
Your current and prospective customers expect to be able to find information about your company online.
Customers may view your business with skepticism, especially considering that at least two-thirds of businesses have a website.
When a prospective customer can’t find your business online they’ll turn to your competitors, that do have a website.
You don’t need to have a robust or complicated website.
A few pages containing some information about your business and the products or services your offer will suffice. At the very least, it’s better than nothing!
3) More Cost Effective Than Traditional Advertising
Placing ads in newspapers or the Yellow Pages isn’t cost effective or targetted.
Furthermore, you have no way to measure the reach of your advertisements in print media.
Whereas, advertising on your website provides meaningful analytics that you can use to measure the impact of your strategy, as well as track customer behaviors.
You can even use retargeting to advertise to customers who’ve visited specific pages on your website or abandoned their shopping cart before purchasing.
4) Control Information and Branding
Having a website allows customers to leave comments and reviews.
Even negative comments can be turned into a positive interaction.
By responding to negative comments or reviews and offering to solve the customers’ issue, you can turn a negative into a huge positive for your business.
Having an SEO Friendly Website for your business provides a central hub for all of your digital channels, and creates an official digital presence to convey your brands’ message.
5) A Website is Easy to Update
10+ Years ago updating a website took a considerable amount of specialized experience and talent, and certainly wasn’t cheap.
Nowadays, however, there are plenty of CMS (Content Management Systems) that you can use to make updates or changes to your site with minimal technical skill.
I personally prefer WordPress, but there’s no shortage of options out there (Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Shopify).
6) You Can Answer Basic Questions
Even the most basic of websites can make your life a lot easier.
Consumers are searching to find answers to their questions or to solve a problem, so your website doesn’t need to have all the “Bells & Whistles” to get the job done.
When a visitor arrives on your site, they should be able to answer the following questions right away:
- Who Are You?
- What You Do/What Do You Offer?
- How Can I Contact You?
Naturally, this would necessitate having a website for your small business, which if you’ve been paying attention so far, you absolutely should.
7) Differentiate Your Business From The Competition
Being a small business owner is tough, and competition is fierce.
We’ve all seen small businesses come and go.
You should make every effort to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
You can promote special offers, educate customers about your products or services, and highlight any accomplishments or awards you’ve received.
According to Status Labs, “90% of consumers haven’t made up their mind about a brand when starting their search.”
Your website could be the deciding factor that convinces a consumer to do business with you.
8) Establish A Local Presence
A well-designed website gives you the chance to show prospective customers what you’re all about and who you are before they ever step foot inside your store.
Having a website is an essential component of an effective Local SEO Marketing Strategy.
Entice customers with images of your products or service offerings and pictures of happy customers using a product or making a purchase.
Highlight the personality of your business.
Show off the ambiance of your restaurant, or highlight the quality of the finished work at your auto-body repair shop.
Having these things on your website helps to humanize your brand and gives customers an idea of what to expect when walking into your business.
9) Generate Brand Awareness
Your website can be your most effective brand management tool, regardless of your business.
When meeting someone for the first time, you probably like to make a good first impression.
When it comes to the digital world, your website is essentially your business’s first impression.
The better the first impression, the better off your business will be in terms of awareness.
Alternatively, NOT having a website prevents you from ever making that first impression.
That missed opportunity will likely end up at your competitors’ website.
10) Consumers Use Websites To Find And Engage With Businesses
In the LSA’s (Local Search Association) 2017 “Digital Consumer Study” they reported that sixty-three percent (63%) of consumers primarily use a company’s website to find and engage with the business.
That’s a significant percentage of consumers, which has certainly risen since the study was conducted.
Furthermore, research conducted by YellowPages and LSA found that 30 percent (30%) automatically strike a business from consideration if they don’t have a website.
Therefore, not having a website means your missing out on a significant amount of ready-to-buy, high-intent potential customers.
11) Social Media Doesn’t Replace A Website
There is a pretty common misconception among small business owners that assume because they are on social media; they don’t need a website.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. In January 2018, Facebook announced a change in its algorithm that will prioritize posts from friends and family.
Now, users have the option to opt into seeing posts from brands and companies, which means if you’re relying solely on Facebook to promote your business, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
Instead of relying entirely on social media to take the place of a website, you should use social media to supplement your website and promote the content you publish to your site.
Also, take into consideration how quickly trends change; customers that are on Facebook today might be on SnapChat or a new platform that no ones heard of tomorrow.
Unlike digital trends, a website is stationary and isn’t subject to arbitrary changes in social media algorithms.
EVERY Business Needs A Website.
This list could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Don’t be the only small business in your area that doesn’t have a website.
You can build one yourself using a platform like WordPress, Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace with pretty limited technical knowledge.
If you’re too busy running your business, or just don’t feel like taking the time to learn how to build a website on your own, don’t worry.
Being a Premier Phoenix SEO & Digital Marketing Agency we help small businesses just like yours, by building beautiful and mobile-friendly websites to represent their businesses online.
Feel free to Contact Us to discuss getting a website built for your business.