If your business has gotten this far without a website, you might be wondering: do I need a website for my business? What’s the point if my business is already successful without one?
The short answer is that there has never been a better or more important time to invest in a website for your business. A website offers a wide variety of benefits for small businesses, and most of these benefits increase in value exponentially year over year, just like the Internet itself.
If you’re a business owner on the fence about creating a website, I’ll save you some time—you need one. A good one. A professionally designed, lead-catching, sales-increasing, brand-differentiating website.
We understand the reasons why you might resist building one for your business: “I’m not tech savvy”, “they’re too expensive”, “I don’t have the time”, or the infamous “I have enough business and I don’t need one”. The reality is – not having a website is costing you time and money.
Trends do change, too. If your customers are on Facebook today, they might be on a new platform tomorrow. As people switch from one tool to the next, your website acts as an anchor. No matter what social media service customers prefer, they can always find your website in the same place, available to everyone.
Here are eighteen more reasons why you need a website for your business.
1. Your customers expect it
If this were the only reason on the list, it would be enough. If you don’t have a business website, today’s digital savvy (and impatient) customers may look elsewhere.
People visit your website when they want to know something or do something. They also expect immediate gratification, which means visitors receive answers to three critical questions within three seconds of landing on your website:
- Who are you?
- What do you do/offer?
- How do I contact you?
2. Having a website will attract new customers to your business and make you more money
82% of people research a business or service online prior to making a purchase decision. If you don’t have a website, you have no chance at capturing a share of this market.
Websites help you convert more of your existing referrals, because most people still do their own research and stack you against your competitors.
3. Your website can attract new customers through search engines such as Google
You may be happy with the current size of your business, but every company experiences customer turnover. To encourage continued success, you need to attract new customers, and one of the best ways to do it is by making yourself visible on Google.
A well-optimized website can help your business rank well for a variety of search terms and attract a steady stream of new customers.
If 82 percent of consumers perform online research before making a purchase, it means they go to Google and type in one or more keywords, for example “outdoor event locations” or, if they know what they want, “best outdoor wedding event locations in Westlands, Nairobi.”
If you don’t have a website for your business, the chances of showing up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) are zero. But if you have a site, you can optimize it for search engines, thereby increasing your chances of appearing at the top of Google’s results and getting more visibility with potential customers.
4. It provides social proof
Ninety percent of consumers claim that online reviews influence their buying decisions.
You could rely on Google, Facebook, and other review sites to host reviews for your brand, but you can kill two birds with one stone on your own website.
Since potential buyers are already looking for you online, including customer testimonials on your site is a great way to impress potential buyers.
5. Add instant credibility to your business simply by having a website
The 21st century consumer is a skeptic; in fact, 51% of people won’t trust a business without a website. Having a good website instantly boosts your credibility as a legitimate business.
First impressions count, and websites allow you to make a very strong impression with a well-designed introduction for your business.
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.
6. A website makes you look professional
A majority of today’s consumers think a website makes your business more credible than companies who only have social media profiles. Your website is also the perfect place to show off any professional certifications or awards your business has.
Beyond that, having your own website lets you create a branded email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) which adds a level of professionalism to all of your correspondence, especially if you’ve used a personal email address to conduct business up until now.
7. It’s not as hard, or expensive as you think
You don’t need to be tech savvy to get a website. Many web development companies have very simple signup processes which make the process quick and painless for you.
Having a website can be very cost effective as it offers a better return on investment than any other form of advertising. If you’re planning to market your business, a website should be your first priority.
Over time the relatively low investment of getting a business website will pay dividends by driving you new customers and building your brand. Plus, it’s a legitimate business expense.
8. 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 company blog helps business owners get their message, mission, and personality in front of their target audience faster than print ads or brochures.
Plus, social icons linking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other networking platforms make sharing your content easier for your visitors who like what they see.
9. Having a website will end up saving you time
Whether you’re trading emails, chats, taking calls, or sending out proposals – communicating with potential customers takes time. Your website can save you that time by providing answers to common customer questions and inquiries. What does this mean for you? You can spend your time doing more of the core activities of your business.
10. A website can encourage customers to contact you
A website is a great place to make your contact information easily available to potential customers. You can even publish your contact information in the header or footer so it appears on every single page.
11. Position yourself and stay in control of your brand
A website acts as a platform for your messaging and shapes the online perception of your business in a way that your social media channels cannot provide.
The platform allows you to position yourself in the market to get the exact type of customers you’re looking for.
Many business owners have been reviewed online, sometimes unknowingly and/or negatively. How does this affect you? 79% of users who read online reviews, believe them. Combat that negativity by posting your own positive testimonials.
12. Your competitors have business websites
This might sound awkward, but it makes a great deal of sense. You are not in the business alone. Thousands of businesses now offer the same goods and services as you are offering, and most of them will have their own websites.
If I look at all the points already addressed in this article, they’re already in a positive spot. They seem to be more trustworthy on the market, have established their initial trust with the public, showcase their products/ services as well as gain from Google searches.
Consumers typically start their buying journey with research and recommendations from peers and social network connections.
Studies show that once a consumer has an idea of what they need or want, they start researching, and a large percentage of them go online to find educational material, reviews, and testimonials.
So, if you’re not staying competitive with your competition, you’re giving customers a reason to buy from another brand.
13. Your website establishes your place in the industry
If your competitors aren’t online yet, they probably will be soon. Establish yourself as a leader in your field by building a high-quality website first.
If your competitors are online, you have a different kind of opportunity: you can build a website that’s completely different from your competitors’ sites, showing potential customers what makes your company stand apart.
14. A website ensures your success over the long term
As at 2020, almost 4.54 billion people (59% of the global population) were actively using the Internet, and more and more people are getting online.
Without a website, your business is invisible to these people. As we progress further into the digital era, your business will become invisible to everyone unless you invest in a website.
So to stay competitive in this increasingly digital world, your business needs to get online.
15. Never put up the “Closed for Business” sign again
Nobody wants to work at 3 a.m., but some people like to shop then. Having a business website or e-commerce store means that you can sell your products or services all the time — not simply between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Your website can be available 24/7/365 even when you’re not. A website acts as your “always-on” business advocate during and outside of business hours.
An online store can mean a dramatic boost in sales, especially when you factor in additional customers who are not restricted by geography. Your online presence also supports marketing campaigns, customer service, client relationship building, brand recognition, and almost every other element of the revenue stream.
Combining your website with marketing tools, like email marketing, helps you reach new customers and generate repeat business.
16. Showcase your products and services
Not only can you display your products or outline your services in detail with beautiful images, but you can provide short video tutorials or downloadable PDF instructions to give hesitant customers no reason to go elsewhere to purchase.
17. A good website can win against big brands on search results
Are you conscious that a website offers you a decent opportunity to contend with the giants in your industry?
Optimizing for correct keywords will improve the traffic to your website and affect your customer path, which normally starts with analysis, feedback, and reviews that we call SEO. One of the many opportunities to get a bigger share of the market is to get a leading position in the search results list.
18. Social media reach is diminishing
So, you think you don’t need a website because you’re on Facebook.
Great, so is every other business. You need a website even if you have a Facebook/Instagram page.
And guess what? It’s getting harder for businesses to connect with users on the platforms. Within a week of the last Facebook algorithm update, organic reach plummeted lower than it was already. Another bummer? In 2019, people spent 50 million fewer hours on the platform than they did in 2018.
While social media can help your business grow, don’t bank on using it as your sole marketing channel, especially in the future.
To summarize… You need a website, and it’s easier than ever to get one.
So again, while we believe that not every person needs a website, we’ve shown you why every business needs a website. There’s a very small and inexpensive barrier to entry, and there is a massive opportunity to help grow your business.
If you’re going to do one thing today to help your business be more successful, it’s to make getting a website your top priority.
It’s easy to be a better business. Get a website.
Need help setting up your small business website?
Here at 3L, we have been designing websites since 2010. The websites designed by our web developers are not only beautiful but also improves conversion of your visitors.
If you sell services, click here to get started.
If you want an ecommerce website, click here to get started.
If you want to blog and sell, click here to get started.