In today’s digitally dominated world, having a business website is as necessary as it once was to be listed in the Yellow Pages. In fact, 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. If your business is not on the web, it’s not existing in a world where most customers are spending their time.
Your business needs a website because it provides additional details about your company that will boost exposure and visibility.
First, a website provides your business with an online presence. As previously mentioned, the vast majority of customers search online to find local businesses. Google and other search engines are an opt-in service, which means that unless you tell search engines your contact information, it will not be provided to people online. A website works to tell search engines information about your business including your address, telephone number, service areas, and business hours. If your business isn’t found on search engines, it essentially doesn’t exist online.
The second reason your business needs a website is because it creates a channel for customer engagement. A good business website gives people opportunities to intereact with your business, such as by requesting a free quote, scheduling an appointment, emailing your business, or even just looking up your address and phone number. The more information your customers can learn about your company in the fastest amount of time, and the more opportunities they have to engage with you, the more likely they will be to engage with you.
If you want potential customers to find and use your business over your competitors, your business needs a website. The more information you can provide about your products, services, and personality, the more you can distinguish your business from competitors in your local community.
Also, by using content reflective of the personality and culture of your business, your website can get a feel for the experience of your business, not just its products and services. The more familiar you can make someone with your business, the more they will be drawn to it.
Having a website doesn’t just lead your business to exist in the digital world; it helps it to thrive in the physical world as well. A website helps a business in various areas of growth involving your customers, your reputation, and your visibility in your community and industry.
A website helps your business by generating leads with calls-to-action. A call-to-action is a button or text on your website that prompts someone to provide their contact information for a specific purpose. Examples of calls-to-action include schedule an appointment, get a quote for a service, download a brochure or eBook, or request more information from the business. Having calls-to-action on your website that require visitors to fill out a contact form provides you with a list of people to follow up with and potentially convert into clients and customers.
A website can save you time and money as a business owner. Think of your website as a conversation you’d have with a person interested in your services, whether on the phone or in person. Answering questions they have will show that you are knowledgeable in your area of expertise, will increase their trust in you, and may potentially lead to a sale.
Having a website enables you to provide the same information you would in a conversation, but without you actually having to be there. Even better, a website works to allow you to have multiple “conversations” with potential customers at once because, unlike having a one-on-one conversation, more than one person can view your website at a time. Time otherwise spent answering these questions and informing customers can now be allocated to other priorities. In addition, the thought-out content on your website will, at times, articulate your business and services better than you can on the fly.
In addition to giving information about your business, a website allows you to showcase your business’s products and services. Depending on your business, you can have a photo gallery or portfolio of your work, a blog where you can stand out as an expert in your area and provide useful information, and even a section for customer testimonials. This allows customers to see how and why they should use your business, which makes their decision making easier.
One final way a website helps your business is by expanding your reach. Store fronts, hanging flyers, and business cards have geographical limitations in terms of who they can reach. With a website, anyone can find or stumble upon your work, not just people in your area.
SEO, or search engine optimization, works to get your business found by people conducting online searches, putting your business in front of more than just the people who are walking by. If your business website contains enough content that is relevant to your service and location and useful to your audience, you will show up on search engine results pages and get discovered by more people.
Related: Local SEO Guide
Customers often conduct local searches through Google maps to find businesses and services in their area. Having a website linked to your Google listing allows customers to seamlessly proceed to the next step of engaging with you after finding you, whether that step is visiting your store, calling your number, or something else. Clearly listed contact information to facilitate convenient engagement is one of the must-haves for a business website.
With the level of internet usage among customers today, it is imperative to get started with a website for your small business. Not only will a website allow you to establish a presence in a world where your target audience lives, it will make it easier more people to search, discover, and contact you. A website doubles your efforts in answering questions, providing details, and refining your brand identity—all of which makes it as easy as possible for customers to establish a relationship with you and turn into clients.