Are you a small business owner wondering whether to invest in a website for your business? It’s a dilemma for many owners of new small businesses. Read on to discover 10 benefits of a website for small business.
Why Don’t Small Businesses Have a Website?
According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 50% of our small businesses do not have a website. But why?
Three of the top factors work together to stop small businesses from investing in a website.
Mistaken Views About Potential Customers
According to Digital.com data, one of the top reasons for not having a website is that many small business owners don’t believe that enough of their customers shop online.
Yet, according to SEO Tribunal:
- 97% of people learn about local businesses via the internet
- Half of all searches are for local products and services
- 88% of people follow up their search with a call or by visiting a brick and mortar store.
A study by the Australian arm of Go Daddy, showed that another one of the top three reasons why small businesses don’t have a website is the money they need to pay someone to create their website for them.
But websites don’t have to cost a fortune. I specialise in building quality and affordable websites for small, local businesses.
Still, when coupled with the belief that few of their potential customers shop online, the money needed to build a website may cause some small business owners to see a website as an expense rather than an investment.
Upkeep & Maintenance
A third common reason too many small businesses don’t have a website is that they are not confident in keeping them updated and maintained.
And, when coupled with the previous point – they don’t want to pay someone to do it for them.
It is true that website content, such as products, staff lists, etc. needs to be updated from time to time. But it isn’t:
- Hard to learn how to do
- Expensive given the return on your investment
You need a website for your small business
Top 10 Reasons Your Small Business Should Have a Website
So, after having debunked common reasons small business owners give for not having a website, let me outline 10 key reasons why you need a website for your small business.
#1 A Website Provides a Virtual Business Location
People need to be able to visit your business. If you run a brick and mortar store, then that involves having a physical business location.
In the same way, if you want your business to make money online, you need to have a virtual business location for customers to visit. And, as explained in the next point – a website for your small business is the best online presence you can have.
#2 A Quality Website Helps You Look Professional
Many small businesses create a Facebook page (or other social media) when they first open. And a Facebook page is a good first step for establishing your online presence. But, on its own, it is not enough. Nor does it look as professional as having your own website.
There are likely to be similar small businesses competing with yours. A well-designed website can help your business to look more professional and credible.
#3 A Business Website Offers a Landing Point for Your Marketing Efforts
Like any small business, you need to attract customers.
One common way to do this is through advertising, be it on the radio, in a local paper, on Facebook (or other social media), or in several other places.
When people hear or see these ads, they need somewhere to go to find out more. A website is a perfect landing point for both your traditional and digital marketing efforts.
#4 Your Own Website Lets You Shape Your Brand
Your brand defines what you offer and why people should buy from you (rather than a similar small business).
Your brand is reflected in many aspects of your website, including practical things like your business name and your logo. It communicates the personality of your business and seeks to evoke emotions in potential customers through less obvious things, such as:
- The language you use
Having your own small business website allows you to deliberately shape people’s perceptions of your brand.
#5 A Website Allows You to Showcase Your Products and Services
Having a website for your small business is the digital equivalent of paper catalogues and flyers. A strong web presence allows you to highlight your products and services to the world. And you can keep doing so as long as you wish.
The power of a small business website can go even further depending on the products and services you sell. Customers can buy or book some products and services straight from your website.
#6 Your Website Can Power Online Leads & Sales
The most important reason for your business to invest in a website is that it helps you secure leads, which in turn boosts your sales.
In this way, a website for your small business generates income that you would not have received without such a web presence.
And, increased income for a modest investment = more profits for your business.
#7 A Website Can Increase Repeat Business
If you run a brick and mortar store, you understand that once people have visited your store and had a good experience, they are more likely to become repeat customers.
The same is true for people who visit your business website – provided they have a good experience.
User Experience or UX
There are many aspects to nurturing a good online experience, but 3 stand out:
- Offering great products and services (as with a face-to-face experiences)
- Making it easy for website visitors to find what they are after
- A website that looks great on all devices
And, if you connect your website to an email marketing service, your chances of getting repeat customers increases dramatically.
#8 A Website Lets You Easily Share Other Key Business Information
Creating a website for your business also allows you to share other key business information.
This includes practical things such as the address, phone number, and email for your business. But it also includes more subtle things such as customer reviews and inspiring about stories.
#9 A Website Can Build Your Reputation as a Helpful Expert
People value expertise when shopping for things they don’t know a lot about. You can build your reputation as a helpful expert by offering helpful advice.
It’s Called Content Marketing
This advisory content can include:
- Blog posts
#10 Websites Come with a Business Email Address
WordPress website hosting packages include email addresses linked to your domain (e.g., email@example.com).
Having a business email address looks far more professional than firstname.lastname@example.org and best of all it is free with your hosting.