As a small business owner having a website is a must to reach an every growing digital audience, if you don't have a website that's first problem, right there.
About a 1/3 of small businesses(1) don't have a website, whilst many of these may use social media platforms, the glaring lack of website means that its difficult for a potential customer to get a complete picture of a business in one place.
Whilst we may all look at a business' social media feeds, its easier to look at a website to get a fuller understanding of what the business is, what it does and sometimes more importantly when it's open and where it is!
We list some of the reasons why we think its important for your small business to have a website:
SEARCH & LOCAL SEARCH
Searching online replaces the phone book. People expect to be able to find a business online. With the mass use of mobile devices, people also expect to be able to find local businesses instantly and get the details they need quickly and easily. If your business isn't featuring in any search, then that's potential customers you're missing.
LEGITIMACY & CREDIBILITY
Following on from search, if you can't be found, it raises questions about your businesses authenticity. There are, no doubt, plenty of alternative businesses that do have websites who are welcoming potential customers. Once visitors reach your website a professional looking, well structured and engaging website helps to build your reputation as a credible business. Combine this with online reviews from your customers and you become a trusted business.
COST EFFECTIVE MARKETING CHANNEL
A website really is a cost-effective marketing tool. It's an online shop window to entice and welcome your potential customers. You can build rapport by keeping your audience informed about your business 24/7 as well as provide offers as well as helpful information and industry insight. Your business doesn't need to be traditionally "open" to be selling to someone, it can happen whilst you sleep!
DATA CAPTURE & LEAD GENERATION
A website is a great place to start capturing the data of your visitors to turn them into prospects and then customers. Adding forms and asking for email addresses (whilst providing them with the correct legal notices under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)) allows you to start to nurture your prospects. To get a visitor to give up an email address you need to offer them something worthy, a helpful download or a newsletter subscription and from there you can keep providing them support and ensure your business is at the forefront of their mind when they come to make a sale.
I think the need for a website is very clear - and to further emphasize this, very recently I did a tour of my local town asking about business. websites. Whilst most people had, or expected to create a website in the next 12 months, a few were steadfast that they didn't need a website. Interestingly, one of them offered services, I had googled in the last month - and not surprisingly gone elsewhere as I couldn't find them online. This isn't the first time I've had this happen either.
Don't underestimate the additional reach and revenue a website could bring you.
If you would like some help working out what your small business website needs, then don't hesitate to get in touch for a chat on 01752 65414 or email us email@example.com.
If you want some advice on how to choose a web design company to work with, check out our blog post Help! I need a website.
Go to our more information page on small business website design if you would like to find out more