As a small business owner, you might say, ‘’Oh, a website isn’t exactly a necessity to my business,’’ especially when it’s already booming and doing well on its own with the traditional business setting.
In today’s time, it’s essential to consider the changes that are happening around us. The world officially entered the age of the Internet—the Digital Age—decades ago.
This generation has been quick to adapt to such changes, especially when the pandemic hit. Most consumers have learned that it’s easier to find services and products they want or need online. Studies show that the number of consumers that use the Internet to search for business websites increased to 97% in 2020 and is expected to go up even higher.
Surveys show that consumers like visiting social media pages, but they prefer to look up business websites that directly provide complete or detailed content. More and more business owners figured it’s better to cater to consumers’ expectations than stick to the old ways.
While having social media accounts and pages for your business is absolutely helpful, it’s pretty different if you have your own website. With the Internet being more and more relevant as time goes by, you would have to change your mind if you want your business to keep up with the times.
So, the real question is...why wouldn’t you want to have a business website?
To get things started, we’ve listed ten solid reasons why a website for your business is the way to go.
The majority of consumers tend to think that a business with a website is more trustworthy than those without any.
Try to put yourself in their shoes. Any consumer would want to check a business's legitimacy. Potential customers would do the ‘legit check” action, especially when transacting online. It’s essential to provide any certification to prove your business is real and to earn your customers’ trust.
Boosting ads on social media platforms like Facebook might be the cheapest option for small businesses, but nothing beats the outreach of an official business website.
By having a website, you can target customers both locally and internationally. Putting your website on Google or Google Maps makes people find you easier.
FUN FACT: A vast percentage of consumers use the Internet to search for local businesses, and most of them start with a search engine. This is one of the main reasons companies invest in websites with search engine optimization (SEO).
Add your personal touch to your business website with your brand logo and theme preferences.
You are free to choose colors, layouts, and designs to make it look good and embody all the things you’ve been wanting to show the world about your business.
Keep in mind, though, that it’s important to make your website suitable for your ideal customers. Navigation should be easy, and stuff must not be all over the place. Don’t put unnecessary content that could make them lose interest and leave your website. It’s also a must to make your website mobile-friendly.
Another great thing about having a website is that you can update information, images, and videos in their best quality. Social media sites could ruin the quality of your uploads over time with their ever-changing policies, affecting your customer’s experience.
You have the power to convince people to choose your brand by showcasing your products in the best light possible. You could even give them a taste of what a great choice it would be if they worked with you.
And that’s not all! Your website can also function as an online shop.
COVID-19 has really made a significant impact on the global economy and consumer behavior. The new normal has led people to use the internet more, as we all experienced being quarantined for weeks, months, and even longer.
Even before the pandemic happened, online shopping has been a thing. A website can help you sell your products online. If people buy directly from your website, your brand will continue to rise.
Having a ‘CONTACT US’ page or feature on your website helps potential clients to get in touch with you easily. This can lead to new business offers, sales opportunities, and an increase in engagement. It’s also easier for you to determine what the client wants as they fill up the form you provided.
Customers prefer to talk to a real person, not a bot—automated responses could make them feel uninterested. If your social media page is booming and has too much spam, it might be difficult for them to reach you. You probably won’t even notice their messages.
Your website gives you the means to be attentive and responsive to their inquiries, and these days, being responsive is always a plus point for your brand.
If your business doesn’t have a website, potential customers may get snatched by your competitors who have already set up theirs. That would be such a shame, wouldn’t it? After all, the masses are attracted to a business that has credibility, and yours wouldn’t have much of that without a business website.
Not to mention you’re missing out on great tools that can help you grow your business, such as analysis of where your customers are coming from, which pages they visited on your website, on which page they stayed the longest (or shortest), and the like.
Having a business website can give you all these critical information for your all-important business decisions.
A website is also a platform. It’s your opportunity to showcase your services and products. If you know how to appeal to your customers, they will undoubtedly choose you over the rest.
You have shown great promise, and they trust you will deliver. Your business has something that others don’t, and that’s how you capture a customer’s heart.
Take note that a lot of people also purchase products because of VISUALS. If they look at something pretty or exciting, they will want to have it. A website with a bad design will definitely not help your business at all. The first 10 seconds of impression are crucial.
If one potential customer leaves without even checking the rest of your content, you’ll have a bad bounce rate (the percentage of visitors that leave your website after viewing only one page on your site), and this will heavily impact your website's SEO score as well. A well-constructed, well-designed business website goes a long way toward your brand’s reputation.
A visitor will always look for these three important factors:
If those are evident on your website, then you’re all set!
We all know that consumers tend to believe other consumers. In Craig Bloem’s survey, it was shown
that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends or even family.
If a customer likes your products or services, they’ll give you a thumbs-up! It’s no secret that most of us take time to scroll and read reviews made by other satisfied buyers or clients.
Reviews and feedback play a big role in a consumer's buying decision. It will definitely bring you more interested visitors when they see that you’ve earned your customers’ trust. If the people who availed your products or services share it with their peers, then this has the potential to become a big buying cycle.
TIP: You can add interactive features to your website, like a survey or poll.
You may hear some people say building a website is insanely expensive. That’s not really the case!
In fact, you can make your own website at a low cost. Many tend to start out with an automatic business website builder, mostly for free! Some of the popular free small business website builders are Wix, Weebly, Site123, Strikingly, and WordPress, to name a few. Go ahead and give it a try.
But if you want a serious business website and don’t have the time to design a website by yourself, the best path to take is to consult an expert. Free website builders are good, but having a professional web designer construct your website for you could be the better choice.
Find yourself a company or a team that offers website design services. They can do all the dirty work for you, so you get to work ON your business and not IN your business. Just tell them what you want for your brand identity and the stuff you want to put on your website, and they’ll take care of the creative and design work and everything in between.
If you’re curious, here are some of the components needed for your professional business website:
Domain Name - simply put, this is yourbusinessname.com (there are other options but .com is commonly used for commercial websites)
Hosting - this is where your website technically resides (or is hosted from)
Design and Copy - includes the graphics, videos, and text content
Tools and extensions - for customizations and other non-standard, advanced website features
Professional freelancers or design agencies have different rates, so make sure you negotiate well with a win-win mindset. Some offer budget-friendly design packages, while some come with full-range, all-in website service plans. The choice is yours.
Algorithms change, and social media sites can shut down in a heartbeat. Customers will always look for you, no matter what happens on other platforms. Your website will never go away, and that gives them a sense of relief. You can keep it for as long as you want because it belongs to you.
Plus, you decide everything that’s shown on your website. Your words matter to your customers. Social media platforms and other review sites may say something different about your business, but on your website, you have the power to influence a person’s way of thinking about your brand’s narrative or story.
If you prove with your website’s content that your product or service is better than your competitors, you will gain many loyal followers and customers.
Nowadays, it's becoming easier to build a business website with all the tools available for website design and development. Many platforms offer intuitive, drag-and-drop style interfaces that can help you set up a website at a rapid pace, even without coding knowledge.
The more important thing to consider is to plan your website well. If you're thinking of DIY, make sure you know the critical factors that make a great business website.
Yes, many platforms offer free plans, but most of these typically have limitations on features or functionality. You can try out free website plans if you want to test the waters; just ensure that you know what's available to you in terms of what you want your website to be.
A business website is an investment that can make or break your business, so it's crucial that you do it right.
If you decide to take the DIY route, creating your small business website will depend on the time you can put into its planning and development and how simple or complex you want it to be. As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. Depending on what stage your business is currently at, you could probably allot anywhere from 2 to 5 hours a day to construct your website. At that rate, you could likely launch a decent website in 2 to 6 months.
Remember that if you're doing it on your own, you're in charge of all content your website should have, including photos or videos and all texts that come with your web pages. If it's your first time doing it, it surely won't be a walk in the park, but it will definitely be a great learning experience.
If you're serious about your business, having a business website is a must. Your website could be your most valuable tool for business success. While you’re out there hesitating, other business owners are already on the go. Survival in business means adaptability. If you let yourself embrace change, your choices will not let you down.
So what’s it gonna be?
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2021 and has been updated for freshness and accuracy.
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