A small business website may seem like a luxury, especially if your business runs on thin margins. But the reality is that websites for small businesses have become necessities. Consumers want to make smart choices about the companies they do business with, and increasingly they’re turning to the internet to research these companies before committing to them. If your business doesn’t have a website, those consumers are likely to pass you over no matter how great your products or services are.
The benefits of a company website go far beyond ranking in search engine results. Below are four reasons why your company needs a small business website.
Small Businesses Need Websites To Establish Credibility
People today expect reputable businesses to have an online presence. In fact, 84% of consumers say that having a website makes a business more reputable. Having a website shows that a business is professional and the people who run it take the business seriously. “Not having a business website raises questions in customers’ eyes,” explains Susan Ward of The Balance. “Are you a technological luddite? Just still haven’t gotten around to it? Or such a shoestring startup that you can’t even afford to do this?” When customers ask these questions, it erodes their confidence in you and your ability to meet their needs.
In contrast, a website offers a central hub where prospective customers can learn about your product, contact you, and figure out what your company is about. That transparency assures customers that they won’t regret doing business with you.
You might be thinking that you don’t have tons of time to develop an extensive website while also running your business. But websites don’t have to be extensive to help your business seem more trustworthy. Even a two or three-page website can be enough to convince people that you’re professional enough to do business with.
Small Business Websites Help Customers Find You
An SEO-optimized website can increase your online presence substantially, helping clients find you more easily. We’ve mentioned before that people no longer use phone books, instead turning to tools like Google’s Business Listing and Facebook pages for information about businesses, products, and services in their area. Because of the way search engines work, the bigger your online presence, the higher you will come up in search results when people look for businesses like yours online. Since 75% of searchers never make it past the first page of their search, ranking high for your industry is a really important step to being found by customers.
Websites can also increase sales in physical stores. In 2018, 53% of shoppers reported that they always do research online before buying a product, even if they buy that product in a brick and mortar store. Customers want to be able to educate themselves, compare prices, and consider features before committing to a purchase. Offering them the chance to do that through your website can go a long way toward convincing them to buy through you.
Small Business Websites Help Generate Leads
Once you’ve got a client, a good website can help you keep them. Encourage visitors to complete contact forms, sign up for your newsletter, or follow you on social media so you can easily keep them updated on sales, new services, or updated products. You can even offer special coupons or free downloads to encourage them to check back with you or return to your store. A website is a perfect place to implement automated interactions that make your customers feel appreciated and excited by why you offer.
Branding Is Established On Your Website
It’s hard to over-emphasize the importance of branding. Establishing a personal identity for your business is essential if you want to stand out from competitors. Your brand gives customers a sense of your company’s mission and values, which is important since today’s consumers are more likely to support companies whose values align with their own.
A website is where your company’s branding is most clearly defined. From your logo and colors down to the fonts and images you use, your business’ unique aesthetic is established on your website before it’s carried over to other places like social media. And importantly, what you say on your website and how you say it plays a big role in helping customers connect with your brand on an emotional level.
Do I Need A Website If I Have A Facebook Page Or Other Social Media Account?
Some business owners argue that maintaining a Facebook page or similar social media account for their company is just as good as a website. Social media is free and takes less setup, so why bother with a website?
They make a good point, and for very small businesses who are just growing a client base, this can sometimes be an effective way to start. However, social media has limitations. For one thing, despite customization options, your branding will always take a backseat to the social media company’s branding. For instance, you might upload a snazzy cover image to your Facebook page, but at the end of the day it still looks like every other Facebook page.
Another problem with social media is that the functionality of your page is limited by what the site offers you. Since these platforms are always changing, you run the risk of building up leads you may lose in the next algorithm update. Features come and go all the time from social sites, meaning you will constantly have to adapt your approach to the site.
Small Business Websites Have Lasting Benefits
The time you invest in your small business website is time well spent. Even a small, but well-made website will make your business look more professional and help expose your company to new clients.
One thing that holds back many companies from having a website is the time and skilled needed to build a website. If that’s your situation, then check out TracSoft’s web design services. We provide beautiful, custom websites that are affordable, secure, and optimized for web search. You can even pair your new website with our digital marketing services to see your website work even harder for you. Contact TracSoft today and learn how you can get a branded website for your company.