Here are top reasons why you need a website
According to statistics, an estimated 30-40% of small business owners don’t own a website. Why is that? It’s because most small business owners assume having social media presence is enough. However, relying only on social media means you’re at the mercy of algorithm changes and outages.
When you have your own website, you control the content and the message.
Trends also change, and new social media platforms are coming on to the scene, which can be hard to keep up with.
Read on to find out why websites are important for a small business, and the importance of a website in digital marketing.
1. Your competitors have websites
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you would no doubt have noticed that the COVID pandemic forced everyone to go digital, and that includes your competitors. Even prior to the pandemic many businesses already knew the importance of a digital presence, but the extended and harsh lockdowns accelerated digital transformation exponentially.
A McKinsey Global Survey has found that COVID has accelerated digital growth by a few years – in other words, what would have taken years to accomplish took just months. And they believe this trend will not stop, but will continue to keep accelerating many years from now. This trend applies to small and large businesses alike.
Let’s face it, the pandemic changed the world forever. If you want to compete in this new business environment, you need to have a website.
2. Your customer expects you to have a website
A website is the first impression someone will have of your brand. While social media like Facebook and Instagram can help you build a relationship with your customer, your website is best for communicating what your brand is about. Your branding is the first thing that will help your customer determine if you’re the right business for them.
63% of purchases begin online, and they mostly start in Google or Amazon. This means that your customers are googling products or services before they buy, and if you don’t have an online presence, you will not be found by your potential customer.
Although social media accounts can be found on Google search results, it seems most customers prefer to buy from a website rather than a social media account.
3. Your customer prefers to buy from a website rather than from a social media account
While more people prefer to do brand research on social media (particularly social proof), when it comes to purchasing, they’d prefer to purchase from a website.
And although social media platforms like Facebook are rolling out their ecommerce tools, more shoppers still prefer to purchase from a traditional website. In their 2022 report, HubSpot found that 40.5% of consumers surveyed preferred to purchase from a website, compared to 36% who preferred to purchase on Facebook and 24.5% on Instagram.
You might say that’s only a small margin – that’s true, however, using Facebook to do business still has its limitations.
4. You’ll show up in Google search results
93% of business decisions start with a search engine query. And 49% of shoppers use Google to discover a new product. For a small business, this means that a search engine optimised (SEO) website will bring in more customers and leads for you in the long run, even though in the short term it would mean you have to spend a bit of money on it. It is well worth the investment though, as businesses who have an SEO optimised website grows twice as fast as businesses who don’t own one.
If you already have a website and can’t afford to pay for a copywriter to optimise it so that you’ll show up in Google search results, there are easy steps you can implement yourself to make Google take notice of your website.
5. You’ll look professional, reputable, and trustworthy
An advantage of showing up in Google search results is that customers are more likely to see your brand as reputable. What’s more, 75% of consumers judge a business’ credibility based on their website. So, having a website, and having a good one, will really put you in the big leagues when it comes to attracting all the right customers and converting them.
The most compelling reason for having a website though, is that 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a product or service through content and articles rather than ads. This is where your website can provide the most value for your customer, through well-targeted content that answers the customer’s pain points. When you capture your customer through exceptional content, they are more likely to come back to your website.
I cannot stress enough how important content is for your business. 80% of small businesses do not invest in content marketing, and experts warn they are missing out on a key opportunity.
6. You’ll save more with a website as traditional advertising is expensive
Most small businesses are reluctant to spend money on a website due to the ongoing cost involved in paying for hosting, paying a web developer, paying a copywriter etc, and instead prefer to advertise on Facebook to get their business out there.
Statistics reveal that 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a product or service through content rather than ads. The reason for this is because consumer behaviour is different now than it was a decade or more ago. Back then, advertisements made a killing – that’s because more people watched T.V. than surf the web, and advertisements worked well in the T.V. format because its goal was to engage the viewer and target the viewer emotionally.
Today, most consumers turn to the web when shopping, and the traditional advertising model doesn’t work on the web as well as on T.V. This is because the web is a cognitive medium. It is a user-driven experience, where the user determines where they want to go – they are not passively consuming media as they would on T.V. and are less likely to be distracted by emotionally-driven advertising.
What’s more, Facebook advertisements, where a lot of small businesses advertise, can be problematic when outages happen or when algorithms change. One day your followers will be seeing your posts and advertisements and the next, they can no longer see it.
7. You can display your best reviews and testimonials on your website, and not have to worry about trolls
With social media, you can’t always control people’s comments. Some comments can be really nasty and it’s not always easy to monitor the comments that come through. With your own website you can choose which testimonials to include, troll-free.
8. You can integrate your website with Google maps so your customers can find you easily
46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. By embedding a Google map on your website, you not only help your potential customers find you, but Google also rewards you by increasing your ranking, boosting your online presence.
The key take-away
As you can see, having a website has multiple benefits for your business, and in this current business environment, it is a must-have. But if you’re unsure where or how to get started, or how you can optimise your existing website, get in touch and let me help you.