If you’re a small business owner still shaky about investing in building a modern website, this one’s for you.
There are at least a dozen reasons why any business, regardless of industry, needs a website. For starters, your customers are online. According to Internet Live Stats, there are (at least) 3.5 billion Google searches made every day. Check out a few more fun facts, courtesy of BrightLocal:
- 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business
- 29% of consumers search for local businesses at least once every 7 days
- 72% of consumers say search is their first choice to find information on local merchants
So, even if your business is strictly local, rest assured that investing in a website (and local SEO) is well worth it.
Speaking of investments, creating a modern, functioning website doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Instead of hiring designers and developers to build one for you, you can easily do it yourself. There are so many great website builders in the market today that are super affordable (less than $10/month) and easy-to-use.
But you’re still not convinced, are you?
Why You Need a Website
Well, you will be. Here are five indisputable reasons to build one right away.
To establish your business’s credibility
The simple fact of the matter is this: your customers expect a website. Six out of ten consumers hope for businesses to provide online content about their business on some form of digital property, and more than half head straight to the brand’s website for product information.
91% of customers have visited a store because of an online experience. Potential customers are using their smartphones and tablets to decide where to go and what to buy. So if you don’t have a business website, today’s digital-savvy (and impatient) customers will simply go elsewhere without the slightest hesitation.
According to Trustpilot, over 80% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So, including customer testimonials on your website is an excellent way to amaze potential buyers. In other words, having a website is the key to establish social proof.
To be truly competitive
All your competitors most likely already have an established online stronghold. This includes having a modern-looking website, an active presence on suitable social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, and even YouTube), and a local business listing on Google My Business.
If you think about it, not having a business website raises questions in the eyes of consumers. Are you a technological Luddite? Does your business not care enough to build one? Or are you so cash-strapped that you can’t even afford a website? All the things you don’t want people thinking about your business.
And it is worth mentioning again that with all the countless choices they have nowadays, your average customer is extremely impatient. Simply put, you are losing a huge chunk of revenue to your competitors if you don’t have a decent digital presence.
To leverage a powerful marketing channel
While traditional marketing techniques (TV, print, flyers, billboards, radio, and so on) are still exercised by big brands (the likes of Coca-Cola, Adidas, Samsung), they are not a good fit for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The biggest reason, of course, being how expensive it is to run such campaigns. And apart from being monumentally expensive, there are several major drawbacks of traditional marketing:
- Lower engagement rate: Traditional marketing is a one-way street. You can’t directly engage with your potential customers.
- Limited customization: You can’t personalize your marketing matter, nor can you segment your audience as per industry or age group.
- Intrusive: People don’t usually buy the newspaper or listen to the radio for advertisements. Ads here are considered disruptive and almost always ignored.
- Poor measurement: Measuring the results of your marketing efforts is crucial for long-term success. You don’t want to waste your efforts and invest in the wrong direction. Sadly, measuring the results of traditional marketing campaigns is quite difficult and often done inaccurately.
Whereas, digital marketing flips all these downsides into rewarding plus points:
- Extremely cost-effective
- Higher engagement
- Potential for huge ROI
- Ability to effectively segment audiences and personalize
- Analytics for tracking accurate and real-time results
Now, at the heart of any digital marketing strategy is a well-maintained, fast, and functioning website. Your website is the digital “home” of your business and it’s the one place online where you are completely in control of your message. No matter how active you are on your social media, nothing can replace the power of your business website.
Besides, you must strive to establish brilliant omnichannel online experiences for your customers. This means going above and beyond with content marketing, email marketing, and social media, treating them as pillars of your website.
To showcase/sell your products and services
As more and more consumers are turning to Google search for researching a product or service before actually going out to shop, your business website is the perfect opportunity to showcase your products or outline your services in full detail with beautiful images.
You can also upload short video tutorials or downloadable PDF guides/ebooks to convert customers on the fence about choosing you over a competitor.
Moreover, e-commerce spending is increasing each year. In the U.S alone, consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. In 2018, retail e-commerce sales including digital services amounted to nearly $526 billion and are projected to grow to $893.4 billion in 2022.
Clearly, people are becoming increasingly inclined to make purchases online. And so, you should actually consider expanding your operations and start selling online.
To collect data and feedback
Getting customer data such as email addresses for lead generation or collecting feedback for improvement can be quite difficult in an offline scenario.
But getting people to type in their email address or answer a quick survey in exchange for a free, useful resource such as an exclusive 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 unlocked another great digital marketing technique: email marketing.
So, still not convinced? What is holding you back? Let us know in the comments below!
Credits: Small Business Trends