If you aim to grow your brand, having a website is no longer optional in today’s marketplace. And while having a website can put your small business globally on the map, it’s just as vital for those SMBs operating locally. Adweek reports that over 81% of consumers begin their purchase journey with a web search.
Similarly, between 91-94% of all B2B buying decisions start with a web query. This means if you don’t have a website, even for your small business, you’re losing out on at least 81% of consumers looking to purchase the products and services you offer.
The good news is that building a website is easier than ever. You don’t need to learn code or spend a fortune, you just read a couple of tutorial articles on setting up your website, and before you know it you’ll be the proud owner of one of the cheapest yet most effective forms of advertising and branding.
What you must bear in mind is the fact that your website’s purpose isn’t just to sell your product or service, it also has to provide valuable information to its visitors if you want to have any chance of converting them into a paying customer. Web hosting costs next to nothing these days so you don’t have much of an excuse to postpone the next step in your business’ evolution.
Convinced yet? Still on the fence? We get it. Having a website built is an investment, and you need to make sure it’ll pay off big.
Ten reasons that your small business needs a website
1 . Meeting expectations
Studies show that six out of every ten consumers expect brands to have some form of online presence. The first thing a prospect does upon hearing about your business is searching Google to find your website, and if you don’t have one, today’s tech-centric consumers might just look elsewhere. If you don’t want to lose leads to your modern competitors, get your website live stat!
2 . Social proof
A staggering nine out of every ten consumers say that reviews online can partially or even fully dictate their final decision. While third-party review sites like Yelp and FourSquare exist, having a localized review point on your website is invaluable when trying to prove your company’s worth. Adding customer testimonials on your website is another great way to sway prospects.
3 . Brand management
When you set up your website, you regain control of your brand’s image. You could even set up a blog that spreads the word on your company’s messaging, goals, views, and personality. Being able to portray your core values to your customers will help with brand loyalty to ensure that you don’t lose your consumers to a competing brand.
Be sure to add social icons on your blog posts for easy sharing to social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn.
4. High reach, low cost
By using a free platform like WordPress.org, you’ll be able to increase your reach significantly without spending thousands on billboards, Superbowl ads, or flyers.
5. Easy as pie, easier than π
Due to the abundance of website creation tools that the market has blessed us with in recent years, you no longer have to worry about coding when making your website. The tools are intuitive and provide tutorials to help you get the hang of things.
Most hosting companies provide live technical support which is an added layer of assistance to those who don’t consider themselves tech-savvy.
6. Staying ahead of the competition
The first stage of research that consumers go through is mainly comprised of Googling and asking the opinions of friends. Studies show that as soon as a potential customer knows what they want to purchase, they begin researching, and a whopping 72% of those consumers go online to find information.
If you don’t have a strong online presence, you’re practically handing customers over to your competitors who have already modernized their marketing strategy.
7. Always selling, all the time
Clearly, you can’t have your employees working 24 hours, 7 days a week at your brick-and-mortar shop — at least not without getting sued. Having a website means your business is open all the time.
Customers can get information on new products and offers even outside of normal business hours. By leveraging the benefits of a website, you’ll be able to reach loyal customers who are on vacation in Brazil and decide to check their phone at 3 AM.
Having an online outlet for your store can greatly increase the number of orders that your company gets. It also helps with brand recognition and building relationships with your consumers.
Using a website to supplement your other marketing efforts can help you reach new heights and smash your revenue goals.
For more information on how to market brick-and-mortar locations, read our article here.
8. You’ll show up in Google search results
Here’s a statistic for you — 81% of all consumers conduct an online search prior to making a purchase. That’s why it’s so important to rank for high-volume keywords like “watches Los Angeles” or “handbags Miami.”
If you don’t have a company website, your chances of ranking for those keywords are about… 0%. When you have a site, however, you can optimize your content to rank high for such keywords on organic searches. Appearing on the first page of Google can do a great deal for your brand’s visibility towards potential customers.
Utilizing long-tail keywords, meta descriptions, and of course, content marketing, are just a few of the ways that you can use SEO to increase sales.
9. Create a resource center for your staff
Websites aren’t just beneficial to your employees but also to your staff. You can create a specific section on your site that’s only accessible to staff which contains guidelines, instructional videos, and other resources to help them handle any situation that they may encounter while on the job.
10. Showcase your products and services
Your website is the ultimate display case. You can use it to showcase your latest products or services and have the unparalleled reach of thousands of web users. Insert videos, pictures, and articles that cover the benefits of buying your product.
You can even offer discounts and announce sales on your website. Be sure to set up a newsletter for your customers to ensure that they hear about new offers as soon as possible.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you’re a business owner that’s been on the fence about having a website designed and built, now is the time to pull the trigger. Word of mouth, referrals and the like are all great sources of customers, but they will only get your small business so far.
In order to expand, grow, improve profit margins, sales and boost credibility, a website is the catchall solution to help you business reach new heights.