Why do small businesses need a website?
In today’s digital generation, having a website is important for small businesses to reach countless numbers of potential customers. A website serves as a foundation for your online marketing efforts to attract a loyal audience. In this article, we’ll go over the importance of having a website for your small or local business as well as the benefits that come with it.
Importance of Having a Website for Small Business
The importance of a website for small businesses in terms of marketing reaches every aspect of your digital marketing strategy. As the foundation of your online presence, every kind of communication, piece of content, or ad that you put online will drive the customer back to your website. As such, your website must offer its visitors a clear idea of who your company is and what kinds of services or products you offer.
For instance, with social media marketing, you use third-party social media websites (such as Facebook and Instagram) to reach and engage with potential customers. Eventually, they’ll want to find out more about your service, so having a website will be a great place you can send them to for more information.
Your website works like your “online storefront” where you can send potential customers to when they want to make a purchase or find out more about specific services or products you offer.
The importance of a website for content marketing is important as well. Your content needs a place to live. Whether it’s blog posts or item descriptions, you must have a place to display that information so that potential customers can see it.
Your site is perfect for keeping all of the awesome content your business produces to inform and engage your target market – similar to this post, that’s providing you with more information on why small businesses need a website.
Your site is also crucial to your email marketing efforts. If you are using e-mail marketing to reach and engage your customers, then you need someplace to send them to convert. Your website is the best place to send your e-mail subscribers to where they can learn more about a product or service you provide and even buy or book a call with you.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of having a website for small businesses to reinforce the impact it can have on your business.
Benefits of Having a Website for Small Business
Having a website for your business can provide you with many benefits to reach your business goals. Here are 7 benefits of having a website for your small business:
A website helps you not only make sales, but it also brings in traffic that can convert into sales. Your website can have the potential to be a strong lead generation tool for your business.
By creating a call-to-action that enables website visitors to join your email subscription list, download a free resource, or book a call, you can produce a database full of highly qualified leads.
Your potential customers will most likely try to gather as many details about your service or product as they can before they choose to purchase it (especially for pricey or detailed tasks).
You can use your website to help clients get the information they need by including a portfolio to your website that consists of case studies and photos of your past jobs.
For instance, a roofing company might use a website to consist of some video walk-throughs of before-and-after shots of their larger or more comprehensive jobs. The videos can be shot on a point-and-shoot digital video camera and rapidly uploaded to their site, supplying a great way to showcase to the clients what their business is capable of.
Your Competitor Already Has A Website
All your competitors more than likely have an established online presence. This includes having a modern-looking and responsive website, active on appropriate social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, and even YouTube), and a local company listing on Google My Business.
Think about it for a moment. Not having a company website raises concerns in the eyes of customers. Does your company not care enough to have one? Or are you so cash-strapped that you can’t even afford a site? Or is your business even legit? All the things you don’t want potential customers thinking of your business.
It’s important to consider that with all the other businesses that also offer the products or services you offer, your average customer is exceptionally impatient. Put simply, you are losing a big piece of revenue to your competition online if you don’t have a prominent online presence.
Reach A Larger Target Audience Locally
Having a website offers a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to get in touch with clients in the area they service. In truth, 70 to 80% of consumers research a business online before visiting in person or making a purchase.
Search engines focus on local searches and typically rank results according to location, which is a benefit to local businesses. In fact, “near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years.
With local search, if you’re looking for “chiropractor Toronto,” Google won’t show you a chiropractor in Vaughan. It will utilize a local search to reveal a list of neighbouring clinics.
According to J.D. Power, 42% of customers prefer live chat compared to just 23% for email, and 16% for social media or forums.
You can enhance how you assist your customers. By having an online chat on your website your potential customers can speak to someone in your company immediately. This can likewise assist in responding to concerns from potential customers and can save you time and money.
Having an online chat on your website also increases customer satisfaction. 99firms state that live chat has the highest consumer satisfaction rate at 92%.
Aside from having online chat available, include a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page on your website as well. You know your market better than anyone. Why not answer frequently asked questions right on your website?
The importance of this benefit is timed saved for your business. Your website can have a huge impact on your business, as it can continuously provide the information your potential customers are looking for as well as being able to answer any questions they may have.
Would you trust the credibility of a company if they don’t have a website?
In today’s digital age, your clients expect your business to have a website. According to Blue Corona, 30% of consumers won’t consider a business that does not have a website, and 63 percent of consumers primarily use a company’s website to find and engage with businesses.
Your potential customers are already looking online for your products or services. 97% of consumers go online to find and research local businesses. Prospective customers are utilizing their smartphones and tablets to decide where to go and what to purchase.
Google is responsible for 94% of searches online, so if you do not have a company website, today’s digital-savvy customers will merely find another company online without the smallest hesitation.
In addition, over 88% of people trust online reviews as much as individual recommendations. So, having customer testimonials on your website is an excellent method to attract possible customers.
Simply put, having a website is crucial to developing your credibility online.
Effective Marketing Tool
While traditional marketing methods (print, flyers, signboards, radio, etc.) are still used by bigger businesses, they are not the best solution for small and medium-sized businesses.
The greatest factor, of course, being how expensive it is to run such projects. And apart from being expensive, there are several significant disadvantages of traditional marketing:
- Lower engagement rate: Traditional marketing is a one-way street. You can’t engage with your potential customers.
- Minimal customization: You can’t personalize your marketing strategy, nor can you segment your audience based on market or age group.
- Intrusive: People do not typically buy the paper or listen to the radio for advertisements.
- Poor measurement: Measuring the results of your marketing efforts is crucial for long-term success. You don’t want to waste your efforts and purchase the wrong display. Unfortunately, determining the outcomes of traditional marketing campaigns is rather difficult.
Whereas, digital marketing flips all these downsides into something advantageous for business:
- Extremely economical;
- Higher engagement;
- Potential for huge ROI;
- Capability to effectively segment audiences and personalize;
- Analytics for tracking precise and real-time results.
Now, at the heart of any digital marketing strategy is an SEO-optimized, fast, and working website. Your site is the “online storefront” of your business and it’s the one place online where you are entirely in control of your message. No matter how active you are on your social media, absolutely nothing can change the power of your company website.
Besides, you must strive to establish a comprehensive omnichannel online experience for your customers. This means exceeding and beyond with content marketing, email marketing, and social networks, treating them as pillars of your website.
Showcase/Sell Your Products Or Services.
A website can act as a catalogue or a brochure for your services and products. If something changes, like costs or plans for your services, you can simply change it.
Again, this is your “online storefront.” You can instantly put your company in front of countless prospective clients. Of course, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to do anything else. You still need to promote your website and business.
You should have an SEO strategy, content marketing, and social media exposure. Everything is linked and works better together. All this combined can likewise be called Growth-Driven Design. This suggests your site must be ever-evolving and be flexible for changes in the market.
Collect Customer Information and Feedback
Acquiring client data such as email addresses for lead generation or gathering feedback for improvement can be quite tough if all your marketing efforts are offline.
However, getting website visitors to type in their email address and/or other information in exchange for free, useful resources such as a unique e-book, newsletter, or whitepaper is a tried-and-true method to obtain that all-important customer data
And once you have your customer’s email address, you have opened another excellent digital marketing technique: email marketing which will help you nurture your leads and eventually convert them into loyal customers.
All these reasons listed above is enough for you to start considering building a website for your business or having a professional do it for you. But your website must be responsive across all devices to benefit from the true value of having a website.
What is Responsive Web Design?
The function of responsive web design is to have one website, but with various elements that react differently when viewed on devices of various sizes.
Let’s take a standard “fixed” website. When seen on a desktop, for instance, the site might reveal three columns. However, when you view that same layout on a smaller sized tablet, it might force you to scroll horizontally, resulting in poor user experience. Or components of the site might be hidden from view or look distorted.
On a small smartphone screen, websites can be much more challenging to see. Big images may “break” the design. Sites can be slow to load on smartphones if they are graphics-heavy.
However, if a site uses responsive design, the tablet version might immediately adapt to display just 2 columns. That way, the content is understandable and simple to navigate. On a smartphone, the content may look like a single column, perhaps stacked vertically. Or potentially the user would have the capability to swipe over to view other columns. Images will resize rather than misshaping the design or getting cut off.
The point is: with responsive design, the website instantly adjusts based on the device the viewer sees it in.
What are the Benefits of a Responsive website?
1. More Mobile Traffic
Google is responsible for 96% of all smartphone search traffic and 94% of total organic traffic. Therefore, it’s significantly important for a business to have sites that render appropriately on smaller screens so that users don’t come across distorted images or experience a sub-optimal website design.
In addition, Google has put an emphasis on ranking mobile-friendly websites higher with its Mobile-First Indexing update.
While some businesses still pick to have a separate version of their website for mobile users, responsive design is becoming the norm because it offers higher flexibility at lower advancement costs.
2. Faster Mobile Development at Lower Expenses
Making one responsive site takes significantly less time than making a stand-alone mobile application in addition to a basic desktop site. Since time is money, responsive design naturally costs less.
Even if the initial financial investment of a responsively designed website does come out to being more expensive than creating two separate websites, you’ll end up saving in the long run due to upkeep expenses, setup expenses, etc of a site that uses 2 different variations.
3. Lower Maintenance
Maintaining a different mobile site requires additional testing and support. In contrast, the process of responsive design utilizes standardized screening methods to guarantee optimal layout on every screen.
Having different desktop and mobile websites also necessitate 2 content strategies, two administrative user interfaces and potentially two design groups.
Responsive style’s “one size fits all” technique means less headache for developers, company owners, and consumers.
Spending less time on maintenance likewise frees up time to concentrate on more vital things like marketing and content creation.
4. Faster Web Pages
Mobile users, in particular, have less patience. Studies reveal that 47%of mobile users expect a maximum of 2 seconds of loading time for an average website and 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load.
If a website isn’t optimized for smart devices and tablets, it will take more time to load, which can frustrate customers, which results in them leaving your website.
Making sure that your responsive site utilizes modern-day performance strategies such as caching and responsive image displays will help enhance your web page’s loading speed.
5. Lower Bounce Rates
A responsive and enhanced mobile site provides a much better user experience for the visitor. For that reason, it is far more likely that they’ll remain for a longer period and explore various pages of your site.
Alternatively, if your website isn’t responsive, it is much more difficult to keep the visitors engaged and for that reason, they most will likely leave your website, resulting in higher bounce rates.
6. Higher Conversion Rates
Reducing your bounce rate is only half the battle. Creating a consistent user experience throughout all devices is crucial to converting brand-new clients.
When users are deciding whether or not to register for a service, they do not wish to be redirected to device-specific websites because the process frequently takes longer.
Having a single protected site that looks professional on all platforms makes users less likely to get disappointed or go to another competitor.
7. Easier Analytics Reporting
Understanding where traffic is coming from and how users connect with your site is needed to make informed improvements. Handling numerous versions of a website requires designers to track users’ journeys through multiple conversion courses, funnels, and redirects.
Having a single responsive website greatly streamlines the monitoring process. Google Analytics and comparable tools now accommodate responsive sites by condensing tracking and analytics into a single report so that you can see how your content is performing on various devices.
8. Enhanced SEO
Responsive website design is as important to SEO as quality content. Stronger backlinks and lower bounce rates equate into higher search rankings, but there’s an additional SEO benefit for mobile-optimized sites.
Google has put an emphasis on ranking mobile-friendly websites higher with its Mobile-First Indexing update.
Having a single responsive website instead of different desktop and mobile versions avoids the issue of duplicate material, which can negatively impact your search ranking.
9. Enhanced Online Surfing Experience
Impressions are everything, so whether somebody is checking out a website for the first time from their desktop or their mobile phone, you want them to have a positive experience. In fact, 88% of online visitors are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
If visitors should do a great deal of zooming, shrinking and pinching their screens throughout their very first visit, they’re most likely going to leave your website and view your competition’s site.
In addition, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. Therefore, it is important to understand that user experience is a top priority for your website.
It isn’t hard to see why having a website is so valuable for any business, big or small. Having a website for your small business makes it easier for your potential customers to find you online, connect with existing customers directly, and market your products or services.
The case for having a website in today’s digital-savvy world is strong. In fact, 92% of business owners believe that having a website is the most effective digital marketing strategy. Bottom line is that a website for small businesses, and any other business, is the cornerstone of a digital marketing strategy.
Make it a priority to have a website that demonstrates what your company stands for as well as being tailored to your target audience’s expectations.