Some small businesses feel that a website is only necessary if you sell online, but that’s simply not true. There are many reasons why your small business needs a website, and the majority of them relate to encouraging your audience to visit your business.
Having a website makes things much more convenient for your target audience; they can find out about your business, products, and services easily without leaving the house.
Here are 5 ways a website can help your small business.
Most searches begin online
When someone is looking for a product, service, business, or a solution to a problem, their search will probably begin online. If your business hasn’t got an online presence, then you won’t be a consideration. Not having a website now, is like not being listed in the Yellow Pages in years gone by.
Talking of the Yellow Pages, it’s also important to make sure you have a listing on trusted online directories such as Yell.com or 118.
Be careful when setting up directory listings; online add your business to trusted directories and directories that are edited by actual people. Adding your business to hundreds of sketchy looking directories can harm your search rankings.
A lot of people like to find out as much as possible about a business before they make a decision on which business, product, or service to buy from. If they can’t find out a lot about your business, or your offering, they make stop considering your business because the lack of information is inconvenient to them.
Yes, they could call, email, or visit you, but during the research stage, people want to use as little effort as possible. If a business makes information readily and easily available, that’s much more convenient and easier than having to call, or wait for a reply.
A website is a place to share important information
Your website gives you somewhere to share important information about your business such as:
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- The services, products, and brands you offer
- Your price list
- If you run a restaurant, you could include a copy of your menu
- Upcoming events
- Current offers
As we mentioned earlier, your website is about making things easier for the customer. If you can give them all the information they need, they can make an informed decision about which product / service / business they want to buy from.
If they don’t get that information from you, then they may buy from a competitor who makes things easier for them. Having information about your opening hours can be the difference between someone choosing to visit your shop and buy from you, or going to your competitors instead.
Show off your work
You’re probably aware of the saying “sell solutions, not problems”. People want to see the end result of what they’re buying.
Let’s take one of our clients, Mawson Floors, as an example. Flooring is the kind of thing you definitely want to see examples of; you want to know that the business you’re considering can do a good job and won’t waste your money.
To help potential customers, Mawson Floors show examples of their work on their website, which shows the quality of the work.
Showing the results of your products / services can also help to set you apart from your competitors.
Imagine your target audience are considering two websites:
- One contains images and information about the end result
- The other doesn’t contain images or information about the end result
What do you think sounds more appealing? Being able to see the end result can also help to relieve potential customers’ concerns by showing them that they will get high quality, and it won’t be a waste of their money.
The quality of imagery is also important; a poor quality image (blurry, or dark) could give off the impression that your work is poor quality. High-quality cameras aren’t expensive anymore, in fact most smartphones have good cameras on them if used in well-lit conditions.
If you’re concerned about the quality of images, you could always consider hiring a photographer.
It’s a place to show off your achievements
One of the most important things your website can do is alleviate your audience’s concerns.
None of us want to waste money, and a website can provide reassurance that you are a knowledgeable and experienced business that will not waste people’s hard earned money.
Your website can show:
- Awards you have won, or been nominated for
- Any accreditations you have
- Information about customer feedback – for example, you might say ‘99% of our customers would recommend us’, or ‘over 10,000 happy customers’
- Media coverage
- Testimonials and case studies
- Product reviews – read ‘why customer reviews are important and how to get them’
If you haven’t got a website, you’re losing business
The final point wraps up everything in this post so far, and is the biggest downside of not having a website.
If you haven’t got a website, you are almost certainly losing business.
- Your audience can’t find your business
- They don’t know where you are
- They don’t know how your products or services can help solve their problem
It’s not enough to just have a website; it needs to be kept up to date as well as looking up to date.
Consider your own experiences – if you come across a website which looks dark, old, and out of date, you may discount that business entirely because it looks bad and out of date. The appearance of a website can impact how people perceive your business also. If someone sees an out of date website, they may assume that your business is out of date, or not very modern.
If your small business hasn’t got a website, get in touch to talk to us about how we might be able to help your business.
If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.