Do I Need a Website?
You run a small business and have found yourself asking “Do I need a website”? I’ve heard some business owners say that they have a Facebook page and think it is enough.
A website allows you to communicate with your customers and deliver your products and services to more people, organically. Customers will also be able to find your business through search engines, leading to more customers, leads and sales.
It’s 2019 so the real question you should be asking yourself is “Why don’t I have a website”?
Why You Need a Website
1. Competitors are stealing your business
This is one of the most important and overlooked reasons as to why every small business needs a website. So felt it deserved the number #1 spot on this list.
Unless you’re happy handing over customers to your competition, then you need a website. Without one, you are essentially just handing them money that could be yours. With a website, you will be able to remain competitive and really compete with your rivals!
2. A website is an investment
While it may be difficult for some business owners to understand, a website can actually be a profitable and worthwhile investment.
But cost shouldn’t be the deciding factor when you’re ready to put a website online. You should concentrate on performance over price and consider the larger picture.
If you spent 1,000+ on a new website and made 10,000 over the next 12 months… that’s a great investment. In this case, your website has become a steady stream of extra income and will continue to pay for it’s-self for many years to come.
On the other hand, if you only think of the cost and try to do things as cheap as possible, the result could be quite the opposite.
Sure you could get a website for less than 400, but it could bring in no business, no money and leave you 400 out of pocket.
3. You’re selling something, even if you don’t have a shop
Business owners might not think they need a website because they aren’t selling anything online. But this isn’t actually true. Just because you aren’t selling a physical product, it doesn’t mean you aren’t selling anything. You are still selling your business or service you’re offering to potential customers.
4. People are looking for your business
The internet is usually one of the first places people turn to when they are looking for products or services. Google alone boasts an average of 5.6 billion searches PER DAY. If you don’t have a website your business will never be found. This means that your business will remain unknown to the many people looking for businesses like yours.
5. Word of mouth might not be enough
If a customer had raving reviews about your company and was recommending you to their friends, chances are they won’t have your details to hand, so might only provide your company name. If those people were to go home and try to google your business, you won’t show up.
6. Demonstrate your expertise
A website is a great way for you to demonstrate your expertise in your field. Depending on the type of business you own, you could showcase your work portfolio to demonstrate the high-quality services you offer.
If you own a counselling business or consulting firm, you could provide details about the qualifications you have acquired in your niche and link to academic websites or peer reviews about you that show you’re qualified to provide the services you’re offering.
7. Websites are always open
Unlike a brick and mortar business with opening and closing times, a website is available 24/7 365 days a year. This means that your business website can be working for you day and night, no matter the time of day.
8. Part of a wider marketing strategy
A website combined with social media advertising and/or Google Ads can compliment your digital marketing strategy and help increase your sales.
If you’re advertising on Facebook, for example, delivering a visitor to a page on your website will allow greater control over their actions and likely increase the chances of converting them to a customer.
9. Provide support and answer questions
Your website can become part of your customer support and provide information people are looking for. Visitors can read about what you offer and you can provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions you receive about your business.
10. Your business will look more professional and modern
Like it or not, we’ve moved into a digital age where people are always connected to the world wide web. As a result, most people expect a business to have a website. Businesses that don’t have a website might be viewed as old fashioned and lose the opportunity to connect with their younger audiences.
11. Provide reviews
If your business has many happy customers, you can share their experiences with you in the form of reviews or testimonials to show potential customers why they should choose you over others.
12. Show your personality
Because you own and control the content on your website, you can inject your personality and show people who you are and what you’re about. It will allow you to connect with your audience on a deeper level and help you outshine your competition!
13. People do most of their research online
Did you know that 82% of users do their research online when considering a purchase? People also research different companies and their services until they find what they are looking for. The only way to be in with a chance of being considered is if people can find you.
14. Advertise to a larger market
While this may not apply to all business types, online shops (especially) can reach a far wider audience and open themselves to an international audience. Being able to reach more customers will allow you to vastly increase your sales and reach.
15. Find what your customers want
You can find out what your customers are looking for using a number of different analytics tools. By looking at the data provided by tools like Google Analytics and Search Console, you will be able to find out the most popular products or services your visitors are looking for.
This will allow you to focus your efforts on your best performing product/services and also see where you might need to make improvements and where you can expand.
16. Low Cost
While there are various costs involved in setting up a website, the long-term gains that can come from it far outweigh what you initially pay.
17. Social media isn’t the same as a website
Some business owners feel that being on social media is the same as having a website. While having a social media presence is most definitely a good thing, it won’t help people find you at the moment they are searching.
Social media is a great form of advertising but a website should really be the hub of your online presence and the place for you to present information about your business. Especially if you offer services locally.
Even though the popularity of social media platforms continues to rise, websites are still just as important for those offering products or services, even if you aren’t selling anything directly online.
If customers like what you’re selling then social media can help you reach more people. If your followers are liking and sharing your content or your actual page it will be seen by their friends. This will increase your chances of reaching new customers.
At it’s most basic level though, Facebook is more like an online “word of mouth” form of advertising and would allow customers to endorse your company to their friends.
18. Organic social reach declining
Another reason to consider a website over using just a Facebook page is that organic reach on Facebook has declined. Gone are the days when you could build an audience and acquire free traffic.
A well-designed site optimised for search engines will help you reach local users searching for the products and services your business offers right when they need it. Which is something social media won’t be able to help you with. So businesses have to be more pro-active in reaching their target audience.
Let’s say you have a plumbing business “Joe’s Plumbers”. People will be able to find your Facebook page by searching for it directly on Facebook or they’ll learn about you because a friend shared your page and was giving your business rave reviews.
They can also find your business using a search engine but only if they’re searching for “Joe’s Plumbers”.
If a local customer had an emergency and was searching for “24-hour plumbing services” or “emergency plumber”, they may not find you.
While you can apply some SEO principles to a Facebook page it’s very limited. So unless a user is searching for you by name, you could be losing out on a lot of business by relying on Facebook alone.
19. Not everyone uses social media
Another reason you shouldn’t rely on social media for your business is that not everyone uses it (shock horror). So this combined with the above point about reach declining should be reason enough to have your own website.
You’ve got to spend money, to make money
You don’t have to spend a fortune on setting up a new website. But without one, you’re excluding yourself from many new and exciting opportunities to make more money.