6 Reasons Your Small Business Needs A Website Now.
Updated: Mar 7
Have you been sitting on the fence when it comes to investing in a website for your business? Maybe you think your money is better spent investing in another area of your business?
Depending on your industry, there are still a lot of businesses out there without a website. Many small businesses and sole traders might choose to set up on Facebook and forgo a website altogether. They might see it as an unnecessary extra cost, and if that is you, you might also be wondering if you should bother having a website built at all.
In reality, there has never been a more important, or better time to make that leap and have a website built for your business.
Not convinced? Keep reading to find out some of the biggest benefits your business will get from having its own website.
1: Your customers are online, and you should be too.
It’s no surprise that businesses are focusing more and more of their time and money on attracting online customers. You only have to look around you on a daily basis and you will see people walking around whilst browsing the internet on their phone.
According to the CSO in Ireland, nearly 80% of people in 2019 spent time on the internet daily. The CSO also states: “Almost seven in ten (69%) internet users purchased goods and/or services online in 2020, an increase of six percentage points on 2019”.
Obviously these statistics only show trends in Ireland. So if your business is planning to, or already sells internationally, you can take advantage of the increase in the numbers of digital buyers year on year. Statista.com points out that: “In 2020, over two billion people purchased goods or services online…”
To attract these potential customers and showcase your business, goods and services you need a website. And if you don’t have one, those potential customers will click on your competitor's website. They simply won’t know your business exists.
2: A website gives your business credibility
A professionally made website can go a long way to increasing your business’s credibility. The chances are that you will have quite a few competitors who offer the same, or similar products and services. You need to stand out from the crowd, and attract potential customers.
One way to do that is to have a website which looks good, is easy to get around, clearly states what your business sells, and gives your potential customers great information to help them make an informed decision. You need your brand identity to shine through, and ensure that your website makes it as easy as possible for customers to buy from you.
Put yourself in the customer's shoes. Would you buy from the business with the professional looking website, who have all of your questions answered on their website alongside client testimonials.
Or would you buy from the business whose website has blurry images which are not the correct resolution, you can’t find their contact information and the pages don’t load properly.
Your website is also the perfect place to show off your qualifications, certificates and business awards. It’s the equivalent of hanging your masters on your office wall alongside the industry award you earned last year.
3: Use Google as a new sales channel and attract new customers
As every business owner knows, without sales you don’t have a business. You might be a one person business machine, or a small business which does not have the budget to hire a salesperson, let alone a sales team.
In these examples investing in a website that is easy for Google to find is a no brainer. It is my view that you should treat your website like an employee. Make it work for your business. Think of it as part of your sales team and invest in it with search engine optimisation (SEO) which is low cost but high impact, Google and Facebook ads if you’ve got a higher budget to spend. You should also make sure that it is well maintained, easy to navigate and visually appealing.
In the same way you wouldn’t like to have a sales person showing up at meetings in an unprofessional manner, you need to get your website freshened up so that it represents your business to the best of it’s potential. As Jacob Nielson puts it, “A bad website is like a grumpy salesperson.”
Once you have invested in your website and view it as an important employee, it is ready to enter the Google marketplace so to speak. This is where SEO comes into play, as without it your website will be doomed to reside in the depths of Google past page 10 where nobody ever goes!
Our blog post on “What Is SEO & How Does SEO Work For Businesses”, dives deeper into SEO if you want to learn more.
Having a website which is SEO ready, and user friendly gives you the ability to attract potential customers in the biggest sales channel of them all, the internet.
4: Show off your product and services range.
One of the advantages of having a website is that you can display your entire product range, or list the services which your business specialises in, without having to get a product catalogue printed.
Aside from the obvious benefit that customers can see what exactly they will be getting when they purchase from your business, you get the extra bonus of removing those tire kickers from your sales calls and shop visits. What I mean by a “tire kicker” is someone who is very indecisive and generally takes up too much of your time only to end up going to one of your competitors, or they decide not to buy at all.
With a menu of your services you can easily direct people to your website where you can have your full product and services listed, with detailed images, customer testimonials, product specifications, prices and links to other products and services which compliment the one the potential customer is interested in.
5: Display your best reviews and testimonials.
People trust other people like them more than a sales person! like to know that they are dealing with a reputable business and that the product or service they are thinking of buying is of good quality. One of the best ways to build trust and get new customers is to show them a list of quotes and testimonials from past customers. This will also give you more content for your website, and present you with opportunities to build backlinks with other businesses who have bought from you in the past(learn more about the importance of backlinks here.).
The testimonials can act as a kind of social proof for your business, giving people a sense of security in knowing that they were not the first one to purchase from you, but that they too can be in that attractive position where they feel so good about what they have purchased from you, that they want to give you a good review or testimonial.
6: Make it easy for people to find and contact you
For those of you who remember the old days before the internet, of looking through the yellow pages to find the business or service provider you need, you will appreciate how easily it is today to get exactly what it is you need simply by using a search engine like Google. For those of you who don’t remember these times and don’t know what the yellow pages are, count yourselves lucky! You’ll probably Google it anyway!
These days you can set up a Google Business Profile (formally called Google My Business) and enter all of the relevant information like phone number, address and email, and just like that your business is more visible for potential customers. If you need help in setting this up we have a short but detailed and helpful blog post called “Google Business Profile - A Guide For Small Businesses”. Have a read of it to help you get started with Google Business Profile. While it is not your website, it is a little bit like having a second website which focuses on the contact details of your business. So you give yourself an advantage in creating one for your business.
This Google Business Profile is easily linked to your website and helps get you in front of more potential customers.
On your website itself, you can set up contact forms so that people can fill in their queries, and ask questions. You can even pre-empt their questions and have a “FAQ Page” which covers all of the frequently asked questions your customers ask.
A professionally designed website will make it as easy as possible for people to find out how to contact you. It will have an entire “Contact Page” with all of the relevant details, including embedded Google maps links, and it will be easy to find.
So in conclusion, do you need a website for your business?
Hopefully after reading our blog post you understand the importance and relevance of websites for businesses today. The question shouldn’t be “do I need a website”, but should be “can I afford NOT to have one”.
Websites are a necessary part of modern business in every industry, some more than others. If you plan on starting a business which will thrive and grow into the future, then the answer is yes, you need a website for your business. Increasingly, this is where your customers are, it is where your competitors are, and it is for better or worse where many of us choose to spend large parts of our day.
Solid Consulting has built beautiful, engaging and SEO friendly websites for small businesses in different industries, and it is our mission to help small businesses find their feet and thrive. We can also help you to get in contact with your Local Enterprise Office, where you can find out about the Trading Online Voucher.