It’s 2020, are websites still critical to your business success?
In a word, yes.
No matter what your business does, or what profession you’re in, if you want your small business to grow or be found, either locally or internationally, you need a website to reach more customers.
Think about it – can you really advocate for your business, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to each and every person who might need your product or service? Or reach those people who don’t yet know that they need your product or service?
Because that is essentially what a website does. It’s your permanently on-duty salesperson, working hard to sell your business and its products or services all day every day, to every person in every country around the world.
But your website doesn’t necessarily have to be in sell mode to build your customer base, it only needs to provide value to customers and potential customers.
So how else does a website provide value?
Your small business website
1. A website is a digital version of you
A website is basically an extension of you. A simple version of your sales pitch, laid out in an easy to understand and clearly navigable manner, for anyone to look at and understand. You never have to put up the ‘closed’ sign on your small business ever again.
You don’t have to ‘be at work’ at 3 am if you have a website that provides the information your customers are looking for, or answers the questions potential customers are asking.
Plus, if you set up an e-commerce section on your website, you can be selling your services or products 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – no more shutting the doors early for Christmas, or late starts on a Monday when you missed the train.
2. Your customers expect you to have a website
We all have a certain expectation of what to expect from businesses in this day and age. How many times have you searched for a business online and if you can’t find its website have turned away from them to use their competitor instead?
We’ve all done it.
Having a website is seemingly synonymous with trustworthiness – so if you don’t have a website, you must have something to hide…
3. A website gives you social proof
Following on from the above point. If you don’t have a website, how can you provide social proof to customers and potential customers that you are worthy of their business?
Having a website that enables customers to leave reviews may seem like you’re opening yourself up to potential abuse, but you’re not. We live in a peer-reviewed world. Think about it:
- When was the last time you went out for a meal and didn’t check to see what other people had thought of the restaurant and the food before booking?
- Or watched a movie without reading a review before committing your time to it?
- Or when did you last purchase something online without looking to see what other customers had said about their experience with both the brand and the products they had bought?
If you want people to use your business, social proof it.
4. You can choose what your website says about you
You can’t always guarantee that people will like what you do, in fact, if you try to please everyone, you’ll more than likely end up pleasing no one.
You also can’t guarantee that every review people will leave about your small business will be a positive one.
Nor can you stop people talking about your small business, both positive and negative, on social media.
But what you can do is put your brand narrative out in the ether via your website – your story, the way you want it told. How? Start a blog and share your mission, your message, your company’s values, for starters.
Just make sure you’re creating valuable content, not just making noise for the sake of it, and your blog will help you get in front of your target audience.
5. A website will help you be found
Want to increase the organic traffic to your business? To be included in the search engine results page? Then you need a website.
Plus, with 81% of us only purchasing from a retailer once we’ve checked they have a website and appear legitimate, if you don’t have an online presence you are effectively shutting your digital doors to a lot of potential custom.
But what if you can’t design a website?
Or you don’t know what you should include when you’re designing your website?
And what do you need to be doing in terms of SEO strategy?
How about content marketing?
If you need assistance with any aspect of your small business website, why not get in touch with an SEO consultancy who can help guide you through your e-commerce SEO requirements? Because this is where a local website design agency comes into their own, helping you get better organic results and driving your business growth.