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Whether you have just started a small business or you have been established for a few years, it is essential that you have a website. A profitable and successful website can be built by either using an in-house digital designer/developer or by outsourcing a web development company. Either way, you need to ensure that you have a well-built, user-friendly website that draws customers in and convinces them to purchase your product or service. There are many implications that can arise due to not having a website (some of which are explored below), so in order to operate to the best of your ability, you need a website.
So what are the top five reasons why every small business needs a website?
To display your service or product
This might go without saying, but the first key reason as to why your small business needs a website is to showcase what it is offering to potential customers. Within the website, you can outline what you are offering, put in eye-catching images, PDF’s (perfect if you are running a restaurant or cafe), an about us page, etc. This will allow your customers to get to know your brand better and it breaks down the barrier between you. If you are unsure as to what you should include, you should try to keep up to date with the trends that exist online. This will make sure that you aren’t missing out.
A beautiful website will also make your website aesthetically pleasing to the customer and showcases your brand as being professional. When you are first starting out, you need a good website as without one, customers might not think that what you’re offering is worth investing in.
Yes, you might have a TripAdvisor page (or something similar) that showcases reviews. But this simply isn’t good enough. It won’t include all of the information you want to display to the customer and might even showcase bad testimonials that don’t fully represent what your brand is all about. A website should be the first thing you are setting up once you establish your business – and especially important when you have been operating for a few years. It is an inexpensive tool that you should utilize as much as you can.
People expect you to have one
When customers/clients are looking for your business (maybe they have heard about it through word of mouth or you have paid for a radio advert etc,) the first thing they will do is search online for it. But if you don’t have a website, they might look elsewhere for similar products or services. A website can act as an avenue for both growth and expansion and in the modern day, without a website you are making your business seem unprofessional. You should be able to move with the times and use your revenue to invest in a tool that will benefit you in both the short term and the long term.
Your competitors will have them
As mentioned above, it is clear that if you don’t have a website, your customers might go to your competitors. Without one, you are missing out on sales and shooting yourself in the foot in the long term. Have a look at what your competitors are showcasing and see how you can create a website that differs to theirs, is more eye-catching and overall more user-friendly – this will give you the upper hand that you require.
Your website will show up on Google
Many people conduct online research on a product or service before investing their money on it. They will type in a keyword or question and see what the top ranking results are and which one is appropriate for their needs. If you have a website you can ensure that it is optimized correctly, that it has an enticing meta description for each page and that it has more visibility to customers.
It is especially important for small business’s websites to display in local search results. For example, if a customer is looking for a nearby restaurant, a local jewelry store or a boutique cafe, suggestions will appear of ones nearby. If you want to compete with similar chains (and larger chains), it is crucial that your business shows up. You should never solely rely on traditional advertising methods (such as word of mouth) in order to become successful.
It’s essential for your marketing campaigns
A website is a crucial marketing tool that can be utilized in campaigns. Allowing you to connect with users, you need to demonstrate how valuable your product/service is. In order for your website to rank, consider hiring an SEO executive. Alternatively, if you don’t have the funds (many startups don’t at first), a cheaper way of implementing an SEO campaign is through hiring externally. SEO is key for any business that wants to succeed and to get the word out about what you’re offering. Similarly, on your website, you should consider that the content within it will be a commodity to your business. A website is an optimal space for this and will better its performance.
They are just some of the reasons as to why a small business needs a website – no matter what stage of progression that your business is in. If you want your business to be profitable and for your brand to grow it’s essential that you branch out and invest in a website. Before you invest in a website, make sure that you have fully planned out what you want on each page (i.e what content you want to include), have established a full catalogue of clothing/food/whatever product you are selling or alternatively all of the information about the service you are providing, know roughly the design you want and how you will stand out from your competitors. A web developer will guide you on a look for your website, demonstrate ways to make your website seem aesthetically pleasing and will ensure it is user-friendly.