9 reasons why creating a website for small businesses is important, especially to increase your business sales!
If you’re a small business owner or just starting out, like many, you might think there’s no benefit to having a website when you can do everything on social media. Or maybe you think you can’t afford a professional website so you get a freebie and do it yourself.
Maybe you’re in the generation that didn’t grow up with computers, you don’t use a computer so you think your customers don’t use it. You think if you are not tech savvy why bother with a website. But even if you’re an established business that has relied on word of mouth and you think it’s doing great thank you, there are a number of reasons why your business needs an institutional website as well.
I believe that even with all you can do on social media, and even if you’ve been in business for several decades, unless you don’t want to grow your business or you’re about to retire and travel the world, your business you need a website and preferably one that is professionally developed by a webdesign agency .
Here are 9 reasons why your business needs a website
1. Your business will gain credibility
More and more people are looking online for things they want, for solutions to their problems, to compare prices, or just to get some information about a store, restaurant or company before buying from them. If you don’t have a website, potential customers will go to your competitors who do.
Having a website will not only give you the information they are looking for, but it will give your business credibility. A website says, I’m here, I want to do business, and I’m in it for the long haul.
You might be thinking, I have a “free” website that I built myself, why should I pay someone else to do it for me? There are several reasons why I don’t recommend “free” sites, which I run elsewhere, but even a “free” site is better than no site at all.
If you have a giveaway website for example, ask yourself, is it providing you with the professional image you want for your brand? There’s nothing less professional online than a website that says “Hey look, I used a free website builder!” Your business will gain much more credibility by having a website agency to help you develop an institutional website .
With careful planning, responsive design, and your customers’ needs in mind, your website will provide a professional image and give potential customers a great experience when they visit, whether on their computer, tablet, or mobile.
2. Saves you money in the long run
As a small business owner, especially one just starting out, you’re probably thinking you can’t afford a professional website. But you really can’t afford not to.
While the cost of developing a website will vary depending on your needs and skill level, once it’s up and running, a professional website is worth the initial investment.
Compared to the cost of traditional advertising media such as newspaper ads, radio commercials, promotional materials and even networking events that often include the cost of a meal or trading tables, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it’s a very cost-effective way to promote your business in the long run.
Even if your skill levels are meager and you have to continually pay your website development agency to maintain and update your website for you, the maintenance costs are still lower than traditional ongoing marketing , and the investment is certainly worth the money. number of potential customers who will find your business online each year.
When it comes to comparing the cost of a professional website to a free website, unless you are quite skilled, your website will cost you in time and effort that could be better spent elsewhere in your business. Not only that, but if you are unprofessional, or cannot be found in a Google search , you will lose customers and that will cost you dearly as well.
Saving money is definitely a great reason why your business needs a professional website, but there are several other reasons.
3. Customers can stay informed easily
At its most basic, think of a website as an online brochure or catalog that can be updated at any time. It is much easier and faster to update information about your products and services on your website than in a printed brochure or catalogue.
A website is an effective way of introducing your customers to new services, informing them about new products, announcing upcoming events and special promotions. You can also provide added value by posting tips, resources and other information via a blog on your website. Unlike print ads, newspaper articles and brochures, which quickly become outdated, your website can provide you with current information and news. And if you discover an error after publishing a page or posting, it’s a quick fix.
A website can be much more than just an online brochure or catalog though. We now have YouTube videos, Podcasts, Webinars, eBooks and other online media to showcase our skills, expertise and products, offer online classes, courses and workshops. Not to mention social media integration, which allows you to share information on your website across multiple other channels and reach an even larger audience.
4. A website is always accessible
Unlike a physical space, which is only open a few hours a day, a website is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can provide regular and potential customers with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed.
Not only that, with so many interactive features and add-ons available, your website visitors can contact you, enroll in your courses, schedule appointments, and even shop directly through your website, even when you are away from your desk. or after closing.
With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.
5. A website allows you to target a wider audience
Sites are accessible from anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection. Since more and more people have access to the internet, even in remote locations, you can reach a much wider audience if your business has a website.
If you offer products or services, or you are business or consumer based, your website provides an alternative place to sell. As a retailer, an e-commerce site is a great place to sell your products to a wider market. Think of all the people who can’t make it to your bricks and mortar store you could sell your products to.
Even service-based companies can offer their services globally through a website. Now that we have so many affordable ways to communicate with people, we can do business with anyone, anywhere, anytime. A website makes it much easier to attract customers from a global market.
6. Provides a means to showcase your work
No matter what kind of business you are in, a website is a great place to showcase your work or showcase your skills. By including a portfolio , image gallery or videos, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your company or you unique.
When I first wrote my original article, there was no Pinterest or Instagram . Now, 9 years later, many people are using these social media channels to showcase their work. But is your target audience on Pinterest or Instagram?
On Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and other social media channels, the quality of your photos or graphics is compromised and the size can be substantially reduced. Not only that, but Facebook and other social media channels control how people interact with them and even who can see them.
If you have a website, your portfolio can be seen by anyone anywhere and you are in control of what people see, the quality and size of your photos, and how people interact with those photos.
Not only that, but did you know, in most cases, once you post your work on these social media channels you no longer own the rights to those photos and they could be being sold to use in those sponsored ads you see along the way? your timeline?
7. A website saves time
I touched on this point in number 2. Time is money, so they are often linked together. Saving time is another great reason why your business needs a professional website.
Time is an important commodity in our increasingly fast-paced world, even if you don’t place a monetary value on it. Most people nowadays don’t have enough time for leisure, pleasure, family or healthy activities. Having a professionally designed website saves time in both the short and long term.
By providing information to your customers online, you can save a vast amount of valuable time that you would otherwise spend communicating with your prospects.
Talking to customers on the phone, via messenger or emails, in person at meetings, networking events or trade shows, all take time. Creating flyers, brochures and other promotional materials takes time – time to plan, research, communicate with your designer, printer, and so on. Not to mention the time it takes to distribute your marketing material.
With a website, you can save time by providing information about your products and services in a variety of online formats — graphics, videos, ebooks, flip books — or as direct text on the page — with no distribution required. Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time from having to communicate the same message over and over again to different people.
8. A website can improve customer service
A website is a great way to provide value-added service to your customers, and it’s a great way to keep them coming back to your website when they need your products or services.
No matter what products you sell, you can share tips with your customers on how to use or care for the products they buy from you. If it’s clothes, you can give tips on how to wear your clothes. If you sell beverages, such as tea or coffee, you can provide brewing times and temperatures.
If you offer a service such as accounting, you can provide your clients with valuable advice to help them pay less tax at tax time or how to simplify their accounting. Or if you have an insurance company, you could give advice on how to choose the right insurance policy for their or their family’s needs.
By including an FAQ page or a resource section, you can regularly add articles or send newsletters to answer all your customers’ questions, you can keep them better informed and up to date.
9. You own and control your website
There are many free or low-cost ways to gain a web presence or claim your space online, but in most cases you have little to no control over everything that is contained in it. With a professional website, you have everything under your control.
Social media is a great way to bring traffic to your website and it’s a great way to share what’s on it. However, relying solely on social media to attract customers is not only preventing multiple prospects from doing business with you, but you are not in control of what happens to them.
The stuff you uploaded to your favorite social media channel can disappear anytime without notice when they pull the plug for whatever reason and you could lose everything forever.
The same goes for a free website. When you decide it’s time to move on, you can’t always take your site’s content with you (at least not easily) and you’ll likely need to start from scratch.
With a professional website that is hosted in a secure location, I guarantee you will be renting space for your domain, but you will be able to access everything that is contained within it. If ever you want or feel the need to move to a different hosting, you can take everything with you (provided you have backups and/or do this before your account expires).