Do I Need a Website For My Small Business? Yes, You Do! 6 Reasons Why You Need a Website
Lately, this question has been popping up in my conversations with small business owners and soloprenuers (a person who sets up and runs a business on their own). One solopreneur I know who runs a small marketing business, stated that she didn’t need a website because she is using social media, which frankly surprised me considering her field.
In surveys, many business owners say they don’t have the skills, the time, or the money to build a business website. And, like the solopreneur I know, a surprising number say that their business doesn’t need a website, either, because it’s not required or because they use social media instead.
It’s 2019, my friends. Consumer behavior changes over time to adapt to modern technology and consumer behavior has changed to adapt to the digital age. The number of people that go online to find a local business has jumped to 97%! If you want them to choose your company, you need to be found online – this means you need a website.
WHY YOU NEED A WEBSITE IN 2019 – NO MATTER WHAT INDUSTRY YOU’RE IN
There is no way around it. You need a website, pronto.
Perhaps you’re in the generation that didn’t grow up with computers, or you don’t use a computer so you think your customers don’t use computers. You think if you are not tech savvy why bother with a website. But even if you are an established business that has relied on word of mouth and think you are doing quite well thank you, there are several reasons why your business needs a professional website too.
I believe, even with all that you can do on social media, and even if you’ve been in business for several decades, unless you do not want to grow your business or you’re about to retire and travel the world, your business needs a website and preferably one that is professionally designed and developed.
At Kat Collins Design, I specialize in creating professionally designed modern websites for soloprenuers and small businesses. I WANT you to succeed!
If you’re ready to liberate your company’s success and get started with a website, you can contact me here.
6 NON-NEGOTIABLE REASONS WHY YOU NEED A WEBSITE
Deloitte’s analysis in Connected Small Businesses in the United States found that digitally advanced small businesses:
Earned two times as much revenue per employee
Experienced revenue growth over the previous year that was nearly four times as high
Were almost three times as likely to be creating jobs over the previous year
Had an average employment growth rate that was more than six times as high
This applies to all industries, even industrial and manufacturing. Digital advancement starts with a website. If that’s not enough to convince you, here are six non-negotiable reasons you need not just a website, but an optimized, accessible one.
REASON #1: 30 PERCENT OF CONSUMERS WON’T CONSIDER A BUSINESS WITHOUT A WEBSITE
Think about one of the first things you and your friends do when you want to know more about a business. You look them up online. I know that’s what I do! Your website is your number one marketing asset because we live in a digital age.
American spend an average 23.6 hours online per week and are on their mobile devices for up to five hours per day. By now, people expect to be able to find information about your company online. In fact, most consumers now do research online before they make a purchase of any kind. If you don’t have a website, you’re sending a message that your business isn’t as professional as others, you’re still stuck in the Dark Ages, and that you’re not interested in new customers. Most likely, none of these are messages that you want to say. Research by YellowPages and LSA found that, on average, consumers use approximately three sources before making an individual purchase decision, and 30 percent automatically strike a business from consideration if they don’t have a website.
You don’t need a mega website (think complicated, multi-page encyclopedia) or a lot of info about you. Just a few simple pages are usually more than enough, as long as it has basic information that’s tailored to their needs, very easy to find, and most importantly, accurate and up-to-date.
As a side note, out-of-date info is one of people’s top pet peeves when it comes to using local business websites.
REASON #2: YOUR BUSINESS WILL GAIN CREDIBILITY
One of the benefits to having a website for small businesses is to be where your people are. Have you heard of search engine optimization (SEO)? There’s a reason so many companies invest in a website with SEO. As I said, 97 % of people go online to find a business, and 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. There are over 3.5 billion searches on Google per day. Someone in your area is online and searching for your exact service. Guess who’s getting their business? Not you. Having a website will not only provide the information they are looking for, but it will give your business credibility. It says, I am here, I mean business, and I am in it for the long haul.
REASON #3: YOU CAN CONTROL INFORMATION AND BRANDING
User reviews and comments are great, and vital to a business. But what is equally important is the brand message that you are presenting to the public. Having a website for your company instantly creates an official presence on the internet so that you don’t have to completely rely on others speaking for you. Plus, an added bonus is that you can make it look exactly the way you want with your own logo, colors, photos, and fonts. You tell your brand story which in turn, connects people to your business, builds a relationship with them, and inspires them to use your services and/or purchase from you.
It’s important to have your website professionally designed. In 2018, 75 percent of people admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on website design. People are more likely to do business with a company they trust, and a website is the first place they go to check for credentials, reviews, and awards. What does this mean? Kudos to you for having a website, but if you have a bad website design, it won’t help you at all. You have 10 seconds to leave an impression on a website visitor and tell them what they’ll get out of your website and company.
REASON #4: IT SAVES YOU MONEY IN THE LONG TERM
As a small business owner, especially one that is just starting out, you’re probably thinking you can’t afford a professional website. But you really can’t afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies depending on your needs and budget, once it’s up and running, a professional website is worth the initial investment.
Compared with the cost of traditional advertising such as newspaper ads, radio commercials, promotional materials, and even networking events, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it’s a very cost-effective way to promote your business long term.
Even if your skill levels are slim to none and you need to pay someone to maintain and update your website for you, the upkeep costs are still lower than ongoing traditional marketing, and the investment is certainly worth the number of potential customers that will find your business online each year.
REASON #5: YOUR CUSTOMERS STAY INFORMED
In its most basic form, think of your website as being an online brochure or catalogue that can be updated at any time. It is much easier, quicker, and cheaper to update information about your products and services on your website than it is in a print brochure or catalogue.
But your website is also more than a basic brochure. It’s an effective way of telling your brand story, building relationships with your customers, introducing your customers to new services, new products, news, and announcing upcoming events and special promotions. You can also provide additional value by posting tips, resources, and other information through a blog on your website.
There are also YouTube videos, podcasts, webinars, e-books, online classes, courses, and workshops and more to showcase your skills, expertise, and products. Not to mention social media integration which enables you to share information on your website across numerous channels and reach an even wider audience.
REASON #6: SOCIAL MEDIA REACH IS DIMINISHING
So, you don’t think you need a website because you’re on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram, or whatever new platform is out there.
Let me tell you something…so is every other business in the world. You need a website even if you have a Facebook page or any other form of social media.
Let me repeat that.
You need a website even if you have a Facebook page or any other form of social media.
Why? Algorithms change, rules change, and what’s working one day might not work a few weeks from now (as many businesses who depended on Facebook have recently learned). If you have a website, it belongs to you, and you control the content and the message. It’s getting harder for businesses to connect with users on the platform.
Within a week of the last Facebook algorithm update, organic reach plummeted lower than it was already. Another bummer? In 2018, people spent 50 million fewer hours on the platform than they did in 2017. As people switch from one tool to the next, your website acts as an anchor. No matter what platform customers prefer, they can always find your website in the same place, available to everyone.
Social media is a great way to bring traffic to your website and it’s a great way to share content from your website. However, relying solely on social media to attract customers or clients is not only preventing several prospects from doing business with you, but you do not own your content and you cannot control what happens with it. The content you’ve uploaded to your favorite social media channel could disappear at any moment, without warning, when they pull the plug for whatever reason and you could lose it all forever.
While social media can help your business grow, don’t bank on using it as your sole marketing channel, especially in the future.