It might seem an obvious part of starting a business, but a surprising number of entrepreneurs don’t consider setting up a website when they’re starting out.
Reasons for this could include not being sure of where to start, only aiming to attract local customers, or relying too heavily on word-of-mouth. Or ultimately, just not understanding the benefits of having a website.
Whatever business you’re in, it’s worth having an online presence, both to attract new customers and to reassure existing customers of your longevity and durability.
Here are five reasons why small businesses need a website:
It’s more common for businesses to have websites than it’s not. There is a general expectation that all businesses have some sort of online presence and it can provide that instant credibility simply by being visible. A website is also a great platform from which to publish helpful content and link to social media accounts, expanding your reach and credibility further.
However, just by having a website doesn’t mean that instant credibility is guaranteed. Old design and layout, poor use of colours and font, spelling mistakes and bad navigation can leave consumers with a negative impression.
When people think of branding, they usually think about a logo. It’s true that a logo is a big part of a company’s image, but it’s so much more than that. A brand is the entity of a business and it’s what stays alive in the minds of customers. It not only makes a business recognisable from the rest, it’s the personality that users come to know and trust.
A website is the most relevant and useful platform to make this personality known. There’s hardly a limit to how you can develop your brand online. You can both illustrate and reflect your brand with design, layout and content, but most importantly, you can tell your story.
Competition is fiercely digital these days and this is a major reason why small businesses need websites. Whether they have a website, social media accounts or both, small businesses, in general, are catching on. But those that don’t have a website, simply can’t compete with the companies that do. Users are only going to see the businesses that have websites. That means those that don’t have a web presence will stay in the dark and will be outshone by businesses who do.
The best thing about having a website is that people can find out about your products and services 24/7. Customers can buy your goods or research your offering at any time convenient to them without having to wait until you’re physically open for business.
Business owners are at the steering wheel of their website. You can drive and control what people see and how you’re perceived. There is also a lot of data available on a website if you use the right tools. Google analytics for instance can let you know where your audience are from, what time they’re viewing your site, which pages are the most popular and what keywords they’re using to find you. This means there’s less guesswork and more concrete evidence on people’s behaviour and in turn you can better understand your audience. Social media has also made it easier to understand audiences and offers the added bonus of direct engagement with your consumers.
If you’re thinking about setting up a website or need an existing site updated, then get in touch. We offer a free no-obligation consultation to discuss the most effective way forward.