Today there’s a website out there on pretty much any subject you can think of – from local services advertising their offering to pet dog fan pages. But for some reason, an estimated 30-40% of small businesses in the UK are not yet online. What gives? We’ve heard many reasons by business owners why they think having their own web design is a bad idea; “Websites are too expensive”, “I’m not tech savvy enough”, “I don’t have the time”, “I use Facebook” or “I have enough business and I don’t need one currently”.
The reality is, there’s never been a better time to invest in a new website! You’ll be glad to hear that you don’t need to be tech savvy and it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg either. If anything, not having a business website could result in you missing out on a steady stream of online web traffic from potential searchers and buyers. It also means you’re missing out on today’s most effective weapons for influencing buyer behaviour and turning leads into customers – reviews, case studies and testimonials.
We’ve put together some specific reasons why your small business should have its own website. A website offers a wide variety of benefits for small businesses, and most of these benefits increase in value exponentially year on year, just like the Internet itself. Read on to find out more:
1 – Customers now expect businesses to have websites
Now more than ever, customers want to be able to find information about a business on their business website. Most consumers do research online before they make a purchase. According to Clutch, two-thirds (64%) of small businesses have a website which means 6 out of 10 of your competitors already have a website aimed at attracting and converting your target audience. If you’re without a website, it sends a message to the consumer that your business is stuck in the Dark Ages, that you’re not open anymore, or that you’re not interested in finding new customers. If this is the case, your odds of becoming a dinosaur are remarkably high – and we all know what happened to them.
2 – Your competitors are doing it
Consumers typically start their buying journey with research and recommendations from peers and social network connections. Without a business website, there’s absolutely nothing stopping potential customers from searching for your products or services but finding your competitor’s fully optimised, mobile-friendly business website instead.
It’s important that you cover every corner to compete in 2020. Even if the majority of your sales come from face-to-face interaction in store, 81% of people research a business or service online prior to making a purchase decision.
3 – A website adds credibility
The 21st century consumer is a sceptic. With this in mind, having a professional looking website instantly helps boost your credibility as a legitimate business (in a very similar way to a business card). The trust factor, in such a saturated world, is essential. It is estimated that more than 50% of people struggle to trust a business without a website and rate the business according to the design of their website.
Top tip: A website can help showcase your expertise and better position your business. A website can be your number one tool for standing out in a crowd.
4 – Online 24/7/365
Never put up the ‘closed for business’ sign again. A website acts as your always-on business support during and outside of office hours. Unlike a physical store or a service telephone number, your website is accessible to existing and potential customers 24/7/365. This allows you to continue taking inquiries, and selling products and services even while you’re sleeping or on holiday.
4 – Increase your business exposure
There is a great restaurant near my house. The food is amazing, the service is impeccable and the variety they offer on their menu is so large that you can find just about everything you want to eat. Despite this, the restaurant has very few visitors when I pass by after work and late into the evening. Reason? Despite their amazing food and great customer service, not many people know about it. There are several other restaurants in the same town that seem to be acquiring more customers despite average services and average quality food. The difference? Those restaurants have a website.
The truth is, a business without a website is nothing but a small boutique. It doesn’t matter how good the products you sell are, how efficient and rewarding your services may be – with limited exposure not many people will be able to find out what you do.
5 – Benefit from organic search
As previously mentioned, 81 percent of consumers perform online research before making a purchase. That means they go to a search engine (such as Google and Bing) and type in one or more keywords, like “plumbers in Wrexham” or “restaurants in Wrexham that sell burgers”.
If you don’t have a website for your business, the chances of showing up in the search results page are zero. If on the other hand you have a business website, you can optimise it for search engines, thereby increasing your chances of appearing at the top of search engine results and obtaining more visibility with potential customers.
6 – You control the narrative
It’s true that you cannot control what others say about you on social media channels, but you can influence public perception by creating your own story via a business website. A blog helps business owners get their message, mission, and personality in front of their target audience. Also, displaying your best reviews and/or testimonials prominently on your website is a great way to establish social proof.
Top tip: social icons linking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other networking platforms makes sharing your content easier for your visitors who like what they see.
7 – Massive return on investment
Our web design prices range from £495 – £1200 depending on the features and industry we are building for. Not only is a business website for life, but we believe the return on investment you will get from having a website is massive. Some of our service clients are consistently receiving 10-15 extra leads per week. Some of our product selling clients are earning an extra £100,000 a year in revenue. For a relatively small upfront cost, you could literally transform your income both short and long term.
8 – Helps to simplify customer service
Websites provide an easier way to handle customer service. Offering answers to regularly asked questions in a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, you can reduce customer service costs and save yourself time and money.
9 – Showcase your products and services
A website is a permanent forum on which to present your offering. Whether you opt for a static, brochure-type website or something more interactive and dynamic, it’s essential to make the most of the opportunity to present yourself to potential clients in a positive light.
10 – Conclusion
A business’s online presence, regardless of industry, can have a massive impact on its success. In this day and age, some businesses still don’t realise that a majority of their customers will visit their website before making a purchase. Having a strong online presence, particularly a website, can be make or break for generating more revenue.
We’ve helped various businesses create and grow their digital presences online. In some cases, business owners are hesitant to get online because they feel they are not tech-savvy enough and don’t understand how to manage a website. Other times, businesses are concerned about the price. The good news is that there’s a solution. We offer quality web design, online marketing, SEO and graphic design services in and around Wrexham and the North West. For more information on the services we offer, click here.