Top 4 Reasons Every Small Business Needs a Website in 2021
A website is necessary for any serious business venture – whether big or small. Yet, many small businesses still don’t realize that a majority (81%) of their customers will visit their website before making a purchase.
Having a strong online presence, particularly a website, can be the difference between a highly successful business and a failed venture.
When done right, a website not only helps small businesses promote and sell their products and services, but also allows them to distinguish themselves from their competitors. This is particularly true for customers who rely heavily on the Internet to learn everything about a company.
Today, people turn to the internet first for information about businesses and products – whether they are shopping online, or simply looking for a business’ contact information.
The benefits of owning a website for your small business cannot be overstated. If you still need convincing, here are the top four reasons your business needs to have a website:
Build Your Credibility
One of the main benefits of having a website for your business is to build your credibility. Think about it for a second. The more you can establish a human connection with your potential customers, the more they will be willing to do business with you. Because, let’s face it, no one ever does business with someone they don’t trust.
Globally, 65% of small businesses with an online presence believe having a website for their businesses makes them look more credible. What’s more, 56% of people say they won’t trust a business without a website.
There are already several other businesses offering a similar service to yours. One way you can stand out is by having a website that looks and feels like you.
The 21st-century consumer is a skeptic; without a website, consumers may question your legitimacy as a business. Having a website is an opportunity to make a great first impression and convince people that you’re a real business.
Attract New Customers and Make More Money
Perhaps, one of the most intriguing reasons to have a website for your business is because it can get you more customers and help you boost your sales.
Truth is, reaching thousands of people using traditional marketing methods like direct mail or print advertising can be expensive and unreliable. Getting online enables you to reach more people locally or outside of your region while paying less for the exposure.
It’s hardly a secret anymore that 81% of people research a business online before making a buying decision. If you don’t have a website, you have no chance at capturing a share of this market.
Once your potential customer finds you online, becomes interested in your product or service, and wants to know more, they’ll know how to contact you because you provided that information on your website.
Besides, once you're online and have an SEO-optimized website, you have a chance of showing up in Google search results. This means when someone searches for a product or service that your business offers, there is a chance your website will show up in the search results, allowing you to get new customers via search engines.
Have Control of Your Brand
A website shapes the online perception of your business in a way that your social media channels cannot provide. If you build your audience on another platform like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn,... you have to play by their rules and their rules are always changing.
The best example is Facebook where people would have thousands of likes on their page and it was almost like free marketing; any time they sent out a status update on their page, it went out to thousands of people. But over time, Facebook decided you could only reach about 5 to 10% of people who like your Facebook page.
The downside is you have to pay to reach the rest of your potential customers. The bottom line is, it’s Facebook’s platform, it’s their hosting, and it’s their rules. That’s why it’s important to have your website so you can play by your rules and reach as many customers as you want.
Even worse, there are going to be negative reviews out there on your business. Generally, the only people who leave reviews online are those who are extremely happy or extremely disappointed, and most of the time, it’s the people who are extremely disappointed.
Plus, 79% of users who read online reviews, believe them. So, if you have any negative reviews on sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google My Business, and other business directories, you can outweigh that by putting positive customer testimonials on your website.
Save Time & Be Available 24/7
If you run a physical business, chances are, you get a lot of calls from prospects and existing customers asking simple questions about your location, hours of operation, and what you offer. Such calls can distract your staff from focusing on the most important parts of your business.
But having a website can reduce these calls by helping customers find useful information without needing to call, thereby saving you time.
Also, if you rely on phone calls and in-store visits, you’re not going to be open 24/7. But people sometimes, want to research, know about your company, and your products and services on their schedule and not on yours. The easiest way to do that is to put as much information as you can about your business online.
Websites have become an essential asset to businesses today. It doesn’t matter whether you’re big or small, or on social media platforms, you still need a website to shine.
If you’re going to do one thing today to help your business be more successful, it’s to make getting a website your top priority.
BY Emmanuel Atoh Ngwa