As people who have worked in the digital marketing field for about a decade, we always encounter people who have absolutely no belief in having a website! These are some of the statements we hear on a weekly basis: “Our clients don’t search for our website”, “We find our clients the traditional way”, “Why does my business need a website”, “I’ve gotten this far without a website! and … . Little do these clients know, is that on average they are losing 70% of their potential customers without a website.
If you have a small or medium-sized business and you are not sure if small businesses need a website, read on to find out all the necessary information to make a final decision. In this article, we’ll count 20 reasons why your small business needs a website and we’ll tell you where to start for getting one.
1. It’s unprofessional not to have a website in 2021!
Let’s start with a few statistics as the main reason to have a website:
- According to a survey by BrightLocal, most consumers prefer and trust local businesses with a smart and working website.
- Based on a survey on U.S Internet users, 84% of today’s consumers think a website makes your business more credible than companies who only have social media profiles
- A KPMG survey found out that 55% of people will search online for reviews and 47% visit company website before purchasing.
We could go on and on and bring more facts, but instead, we’ll just get to the main point:
Data shows that users trust a business with a smart, modern, and working website.
Of course having an online presence isn’t limited only to websites. For instance many businesses leverage social media as well. But even social media users prefer to see a full “website field” in bio.
Without a website, part of your digital identity is missing. Even a simple yet well-designed one-page website would give a more professional sense to your business.
Now we feel that something important must be mentioned here: Having any kind of website is not enough for building trust. An old, out of date website is no different than having none at all. A professional website must be at least well designed. Stating the obvious, but worth reminding.
2. Target a much bigger audience with a website
And this was only back in 2019. That’s a mind blowing number. How can you be among the results of some of these searches? Well, that’s easy. You need a website.
- Picture this:
You have a small cleaning company in Sydney. The key phrase “cleaning services” is searched about 2400 times per month in Australia. That’s 2400 new possibilities every month. Just imagine what would happen if your website shows up for even a quarter of these searches.
- Let’s discuss another example:
You and your team provide Graphic design services. Because of the nature of this service, you don’t even need to be present locally. You can sell and operate completely online, which basically means you can target worldwide. Now the search term “graphic design services” is searched for about 10,000 times per month. Your website could show up for many of these searches.
I don’t think there is much need to elaborate further, astonishing possibility, isn’t it? Of course there are various ways to show up for various search queries, such as SEO, Google ads or even Google my business, but nevertheless you’ll need to have a quality website for any of these items.
3. Reach untapped potentials and new customers with a website
One of the main reasons many businesses don’t consider getting a website is that they already have customers through other or conventional methods and they are content with it. This situation could be misleading, especially to small or medium sized businesses for 3 main reasons:
- Customer turnover is a common condition in many businesses, in fact only in America typical businesses lose 15 percent of their customers each year.
- Add unpredictable situations such as COVID pandemic to this number, and it becomes clear as day how crucial it is to keep finding new customers.
- Besides, even if you are happy with your current business status, you might probably have a dream of expanding it someday. After all, who wouldn’t like more money?!
By creating a beautiful and converting website, you can reach untapped colonies of potential customers, connect with them and convert them to new loyal customers, all the while expanding your business to a more successful one.
4. Website is more cost effective compared to offline marketing
Digital marketing methods are not cheap, especially today with the high competition. However, they are still much more affordable than conventional marketing methods.
- Why design and print out brochures or catalogues, when you can have an online catalogue with unlimited pages?
- Why rent a billboard or a light box with extremely high prices with a non targeted audience, when you can get to the first page of Google for the exact audience you are looking for?
- Why spend endless hours of direct marketing, desperately waiting for a response, when you can show up as the number one result for shoppers with your website and online ads?
The list can go on, but we’re sure you get the point!
Just to be clear, having a website and maintaining it, isn’t going to be cheap, but it’s definitely more economical, even in the short term and especially in the long term.
You can see in this chart how digital marketing tools (including websites) could be much more cost effective in comparison to traditional marketing methods especially media like tv and broadcasting.
5. You can run online ads with a website
Through our experience with SMEs, we know how crucial it is for a small business to supply even a small yet steady income for survival at the beginning of their work. Usually owners of these businesses aren’t patient enough to get to the higher Google search results organically as it could be a time consuming process.
A great solution for small businesses is to leverage online ads, for instance Google ads to show up instantly for users searching for their service/product. In addition to finding actual customers and generating income, this could also be a great way for testing the market.
In our experience small or medium sized businesses usually become more hopeful and get a better sense of their market after running online ads, since it shows them the capacity there is to digital marketing solutions.
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In order to set up and run online ads, you need to have a website that users can go to after they click on the ads. This website could simply be a landing page collecting contact info and leads from visitors, or even a small online shop, ready to sell on the spot to visitors or any other type.
In this screenshot, you can see how Google Ads for a psychiatric clinic show up at the top of results for the search term “psychologist in Perth”.
Hold your cursor on the image to see that these ads have showed up even before Google My Business results and organic results.
6. Drive lucrative long-lasting traffic to your website with SEO
You’ve probably heard of SEO before. If you’re still unsure, SEO is a collection of actions and techniques that lead to better experience for visitors of your website, which ultimately leads to higher ranks on search results.
After you reach the top results of search engines (especially Google), it’s basically like a billboard! Only much better! Anyone who’s looking for your product or service, will see you first and is more likely to click, visit and buy from you. Of course actually making it happen is not THAT simple, but you get the point!
The thing you need to know about SEO is that it needs budget and time. But when the results show, they will be long lasting and much more lucrative.
If you don’t have a website yet, it is greatly worth considering getting one and leveraging SEO for driving constant quality traffic to it.
7. Use your website as an online catalogue instead of social media
We know, we know! You probably use Instagram as your online catalogue! But just hear us out. Instagram and other social media are good options for showing off your products. But as you may have noticed so far, they are what they are: Just Social media, meaning they are limited and not entirely customizable.
If your business has grown to some extent and you are hopeful for its future, we suggest you consider using a website as your online catalogue from now on.
With your own website, you get to customize your product pages anyway you like, leveraging tools such as tables, 3D images and … for better user experience and more conversion.
Also keep in mind that Social media trends change, first it was facebook, then instagram and now suddenly everyone is dancing around on TikTok! In addition to trends, Social media visibility algorithms change too such as instagram, and it gets more challenging to be seen on them.
8. Get Instagram shopping with your website
Instagram shopping is an attractive feature that allows you to set up a shop and add products to it in the app. This way users get to search and view products, their features and prices on the Instagram app.
Now in order to set up Instagram shopping, first you must confirm your eligibility. Instagram states in its guide for businesses that “Your business owns a website domain in which you intend to sell from”. This way you can send users interested in your products through Instagram to your website and ultimately to check out.
The combination of Instagram shopping and website is especially super useful for small online shops and ecommerce businesses. Currently 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month. Why not be there among those posts?
9. Link your website and social media for optimum efficinecy
Many businesses provide services rather than tangible products. Although these businesses can use social media to connect and communicate with their clients, it might be hard to use these platforms to showcase their service in comparison to tangible items. This is where websites come in really handy.
If you already have social media accounts, you can link your accounts to your website, driving users to your website and intriguing them to find out more details on your website.
10. Use website plus Google my business
Google my business is basically a free listing platform for promoting your business in Google search. Google my business helps users find you much easier since with it, your business appears for local search results.
If you have a website, you can also add and promote it, getting potential buyers to visit, engage with your content and convert into customers.
In the recent search results’ appearance, Google My Business results are very dominant as you can see in this image. They mostly show up even before organic results for local searches. Actually they may even work like SEO. Even if you’re not the top organic result, your website link and business info will be shown at the top.
A research into consumers’ use of Google My Business and local business websites found that 64% users have used Google My Business to find details for a local business – and this figure is likely to grow.
11. A website is the best platform for publishing content, especially blogging
“Content is king!”
You might have heard this saying all over the internet. Just in case you haven’t, you must know that this saying points out the importance of quality CONTENT in driving success to businesses.
Many small or medium sized businesses have understood and leveraged the power of content marketing, producing various types of content such as videos, articles or images.
If you own a business and believe in content (which by the way we think you must), then you should know that websites are great tools for content marketing, especially for blogging. Whatever your content is, you can share it on your website and even link to or from it for other platforms you’re on.
In addition to that, don’t forget quality content on a website can lead to amazing impacts on SEO and your rank in Google search results. Talk about 2 birds with 1 stone!
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12. Get an e-Commerce website
Website design is the best step for creating an online presence, especially for businesses selling tangible items.
With a website, you get to showcase your company’s information in the beginning of your work and you also have the possibility of expanding your website into an ecommerce platform.
With an ecommerce website you can sell any product right on the spot. For instance, look at the juice shop in this image. A business that sells juices could seem too small to have a website, right? WRONG! By creating a small online shop, this business can present its products beautifully to a much wider range of audience, local or not, without even needing a physical store.
13. Get more credibility & advantage in competition with a website
You can hardly find a business these days that doesn’t have any competition. Many businesses even work with the exact same features and benefits, but each target different territories or simply haven’t clashed yet.
If you are trying to survive in a highly competitive market, having a well-designed and rich website could give you great advantage over your competitors.
14. Be there before others with a website
- 46 percent of product searches begin on Google.
- A study by BIA/Kelsey suggests that 97 percent of consumers research online before purchasing a product.
Be there for all these searches and considerations when potential customers search online before your competition. Let’s face it, you might get some customers elsewhere, but every time your website is not there when users search on the web, you are losing to your competition and leaving the battlefield empty.
Also there’s another point of view to this reason. It might be a little upsetting, but it’s the truth. If you don’t have a presence on the web, you are essentially leaving the canvas empty and ready for bad and incomplete reviews from enemies.
15. Websites could be more Time effective for small businesses
Connecting to your audience through a website could be less time consuming as the connection doesn’t have to be entirely direct like phone calls or meetings.
Sometimes all your target audience needs is an extra piece of information. This information doesn’t necessarily have to be exchanged in calls or messages. If users can be referred to a rich and useful website, they can find it sooner and therefore are more likely to convert sooner.
Even on social media, you would be challenged to spend a great deal of time answering comments or direct messages. This could especially be challenging for small businesses that are understaffed.
Don’t get us wrong though, all these tools have their own specific use. However a website for a small business could be much more time effective, both for the business and the audience.
16. Run A/B testing on a website for small businesses
As you can probably guess from its name, A/B testing is an experiment that tests user reaction and engagement to variables A and B of the same project.
A/B testing is a highly practical method for improving user experience and it could especially be useful for businesses providing online services. You might have even been tested for it yourself at some point on social media, since platforms such as facebook or linkedin use it for improving their services.
With a website you can run A/B testing to figure out your customers’ pain points, their actual needs and optimize your sales funnel. You can even use it for determining product prices or color.
A/B testing could be an effective yet economic way for small and medium sized businesses that don’t have huge research budgets.
17. Your business is open 24/7 with a website
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a more digital world. The changes we make now will have lasting effects as the world economy begins to recover.
In a survey done by UNCTAD regarding COVID 19 and ecommerce changes, which covered Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey, it was found that half the users shop online more frequently and rely on the internet more for news, health-related information and digital entertainment.
This only makes sense, because after the corona pandemic hit, many businesses were forced to close down due to health protocols. Even after they opened up, people now avoid public crowded places.
Of course after the pandemic settles down, we’ll see yet another shift in consumer behavior all around the world, but survey results suggest that this shift towards online businesses will outlast the pandemic to a high extent.
All this information makes it more clear how vital it is to put ecommerce and online presence at the heart of any small or medium sized business.
With a website for your business, you will be always open without being limited to the borders of your physical office or stores or working hours. Your audience can find you anytime and anywhere, giving you a highly competitive advantage to other small businesses that don’t have a website or any online presence yet.
18. Collect leads with a website
Leads to prospects who’ve shown interest in a product or service are of value to any business. A website could perform as an outstanding lead collector platform. By giving out useful pieces of content such as free e-books or even special price offers, your website could collect valuable contact information from your potential customers in a much organized and useful way.
This bakery store in California collects potential clients’ emails as leads by offering a 10% discount on their first offer. These emails could be used to further connect with users for future offers, discounts, surveys and more.
19. Get international with your website
Being a small business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think big. Many SMEs might have the dream of expanding their business greatly and even beyond borders. By having a website you can also present your service/product internationally and to users with other languages, with less challenges of establishing a physical business internationally.
20. A website doesn’t have to be that expensive anymore!
The last reason is actually the answer to WHY NOT HAVE A WEBSITE for a small business! There was a time when having a website for small businesses was quite an expensive decision. Well that’s not the case anymore.
There are many options and prices for having a website for a wide range of business resources. Of course all of them might not be of actual good quality, but you will find doable options. With the ease, convenience and the amount of information online, there will be no excuses not to have a website.
The final truth about having a website for a small business!
If you ask us, there are countless other answers to the question “Why does my business need a website”. In fact we can not think of any reason, NOT to have a website, and not just because we provide web design services! It’s because we’ve seen what a well-designed website and a sophisticated online presence can do for a small business.
The final truth is having a website for small businesses is not easy in terms of money, energy and maintenance and yet it’s extremely necessary to have one. But it is worth every penny of it. You just have to be careful where you spend your limited resources and make the most optimum decision.
What to do now?
If you are convinced that having a website in the digital age is a must, now is the time to start the process of actually getting one.
There are various web design companies or designers that could do this for you. Before you reach out to them, its best to write down the key business information you already have (including texts or images) and the number of products and services you’d like to include in your website. This gives you an estimate of the number of web pages you’ll be needing.
Also it’s an absolute necessity to discuss the goal you have from having a website. We know that at this stage, you’ll probably think of many goals, but it’s best to come to a conclusion on the one goal which is your priority. For instance, selling online or just explaining about your services. This helps the price estimation for your new website become clearer.
With these 2 pieces of information in hand, it’s time to do some research to find the best web design service provider in terms of quality, price and communication.
Now you might ask: well if this is so easy, then the competition for small businesses’ websites must be so tight. Well it’s not …. But only for now, because: About 30% of small businesses still don’t have a website. However, 44% of them plan to create one in 2021.
Need more info or convincing?
We understand that starting a website design process could be a hard decision for small businesses due to limited resources.
If you feel determined to have a website for your small business, but are still unsure, have any doubts or have questions, feel free to have a 30-minute consultation with us. Our consultation sessions are held online on Zoom or Google meet platform and are free of charge. During these sessions, we will paint out a very clear picture of your way to establish your online presence through a beautiful website.