Why does my small business need a website?

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If your company doesn’t have an online presence you might be asking yourself “why does my small business need a website?” In this article we’re going to discuss 5 big reasons why you should already have a website. There are a lot of excuses that business owners have for not being online so we’ll discuss three of those as well, and show why you definitely should be online.
Nowadays it is very easy and affordable to have a website for your business, even a basic one. It is important to understand the benefits of being online with a hub for your existing and potential customers to visit and engage with your brand. 

Bring in new customers

Sure, your business might have a steady flow of customers coming through the doors, but having a website gives you so much potential to reach new customers. Just as a physical store is the home of a brand, your website is the most important part of your online presence. All of the techniques you use to attract new customers should be leading them to an informative, helpful website.
A website is a great place for new customers to become familiar with your business before they make up their mind whether to visit your physical store or purchase your product. It’s a great way to show off what you have to offer and entice people to choose you. One survey found that 30% of people decide not to use a business if they don’t have a website. That’s a big chunk of potential customers to lose. 

Provide a better experience for existing customers

If you already have a solid customer base you may not think you need a website. But there are many ways a website will improve the experience your customers have with your brand.
These days it is so easy and natural to seek answers on a mobile device. Imagine you own a restaurant and one of your regular customers is out buying groceries and decides they really cannot be bothered cooking. They already love your restaurant so you do not need to use marketing to convince them to dine with you. But in that moment they want to check your opening hours and see if you have any specials that day. Gone are the days when they would have to either go home to check the Yellow Pages or use their desktop computer. Now they can just look up your website and get all the information there, saving them time and hassle. 76% of people who look up something nearby on their smartphone will visit the business in the same day

Appear in search engine results

Utilizing Search Engine Optimization on your website will allow you to show up high on search engine results like Google or Bing. It is important to be searchable so that new and existing customers can find you when they are using relevant search terms on these search engines. If you are an organic burger joint in Portland, you’d want to show up on the first results page for someone searching “best burgers in Portland” or “where can I find an organic burger in downtown Portland?”. If your SEO isn’t good enough to get you onto the first results page, chances are that they won’t find you at all as 75% of search engine users won’t click onto the second page of results This has lead to the joke “the best place to hide a body is on the second page of Google”.

Create credibility

Although a business’s basic details can appear in search engine results, a potential customer will look for a website for credibility. Not having a website can give the customer an impression that your company isn’t legitimate or is unreliable. This becomes a factor in their decision to use your services or buy your product. As mentioned previously, there’s a large number of people who won’t even consider using your services if they can’t find your website. 
Another way you can show your credibility is through the reviews and testimonials held on your website. By giving your customers the opportunity to leave you a review it shows that you are a legitimate company. Hearing what previous customers have to say about a business is very reassuring for potential customers and a great way to build trust. Even negative reviews can be useful; people might get skeptical about your reviews if they are only 100% glowing, it might look like you have deleted the bad stuff. They also give you a chance to reply to the feedback and perhaps even amend the situation.

Offer 24/7 service and/or sales

Take a different business as an example; a dog grooming service. There are so many ways a website can benefit your business and help customers access your service whenever they like. Perhaps they love the shampoo you use for their dogs and decide one night to purchase it for home use. They do not have to wait for your store to open to buy some if your website has eCommerce set up. 
You might also decide to add a booking calendar to your website so customers can book appointments for themselves. This allows them to jump on your website and pick a time whenever they like, and not rely on your opening hours to do so. People nowadays are so accustomed to doing everything online and if they’re already visiting your website, why not make things easier for them and give them the option of online booking? 
Your business may not be big enough to have someone manning an online chat service 24/7 but you could consider having the option. If you have diligent staff who run your store in the daytime meaning you don’t have to be in the store all day, you can still engage with customers online. You might man the chat service for a few hours from home.

Why does my small business need a website if I already have customers on social media?

A lot of small business owners establish themselves on Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram and other social media platforms and gain an audience through them. Of course it is possible to sell your products or services purely through social media but that is only one of the marketing tools that you can use. These should all drive customers to a common place and that can be your website. There are so many advantages that a website has over social media alone, and those different social media channels can bring in different audiences. 

Why should I spend money on a website when I already have enough customers?

We’ve covered a lot of reasons why a website is a great asset for any small business in this article. It might seem like a daunting task, especially if technology isn’t your forte, but don’t let that scare put you off. You’ll get a great return on investment with a website, and even the initial cost may surprise you. These days it is really simple to set up a website and really should be an important part of your business plan.

We make the process smooth and easy so you can look forward to final product. From start to finish, we’ll work with you to create a website that fits your needs and is tailored to attract the right audience to turn them into customers. Get in touch so we can get you online!

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