Having a website seems like a standard and you’re probably already thinking about launching a website for your small business. Although keeping up with competition is a valid reason for creating a website, only doing so because it’s what everyone does is not a solid foundation to a successful online presence. so why does a small business need a website?
Especially when it comes to a service based small business like construction, lawn care or HVAC, having a website can be a great asset in selling a service as a product. In the end, it’s about generating leads and creating more sales, no matter the industry.
Here are 15 concrete reasons why every small business should have a website.
More often than not, people judge a business by the state of its website, if any. By having a professionally designed website, you can make sure customers think of you as a legitimate and thriving business. No matter the size of your company, a website can make or break your image.
2. More customers
2017 statistics show that 51% of all Americans and 67% of Millennials prefer to shop online (source). It also goes without saying this will only increase over time. Not having a website means missing out a huge market of potential customers by not offering them an easy way to discover your business.
3. 24/7 Customer support
A website never sleeps. Your customers can log on any time of day and receive some form of support. Thorough FAQ’s, articles, and contact forms, you can provide your customers with some peace of mind that their question will be answered or issue resolved. There are also more advanced solutions like chat bots that allow customers to have a lifelike interaction for commonly asked questions.
To successfully compete in the digital space, you need a website, without question. The truth is that most of your competitors probably already have websites that are working for them to bring in new customers. These are customers you’re giving away to your competition by simply not offering an alternative. How will online consumers that find your competitor even know you exist?
5. Brand equity
What makes brands like Nike, Apple, and Microsoft different? They are instantly recognizable no matter where you go or who you talk to. Through years of growth and product development, these companies have built towering brand equity. A website will begin to build the brand equity for your small business in your city or service area through the marketing and advertising possibilities it offers.
6. “Productize” your service
For small businesses in the service industry selling your service is different than selling a concrete product. With a product consumers can add to cart and buy, but with a service there is usually a period of estimation and more customer interaction to close the deal. By “productizing” your service you can be proactive by putting your consumers in the right mindset to buy a product. By packaging the value of what you offer, users will be more inclined to pay for it.
7. Connect with customers on a deeper level
A website allows you to speak to your customers the way you want to, and to give them the information you think they’ll like. By carefully crafting the content in the right tone of voice, you can elicit an emotional connection with readers that’s sometimes lost through word of mouth alone. A customer can get a sense of your company’s vision and personality before ever reaching out.
Educating users proves to be an effective method of gaining credibility, especially with search engines. By providing articles and materials that will teach users about your product, service, or industry, you position yourself as a source of knowledge. When working with small businesses in a clearly defined service area, this becomes extremely important. If people see you as the expert, there is no doubt they will call.
9. Control your image
A website will give you complete control over how you present your small business and the people who run it. You decide exactly what to show and how you want it to sound.
10. Better advertising
As a solid foundation to all your marketing strategies, a website will give you the ability to quickly try something without having to invest too much money. Want to showcase a new product or service? Simply advertise on your own website and monitor the reaction of current customers.
Everything is trackable on your website. The number of visits, clicks, bounce rates, time spent on each page. You can see exactly where your customers are spending most of their time and what parts are not working so well. Analytics allows you to continuously improve and craft your small business in a way that most effectively meets the needs of your customers.
By having a contact form on your website, you can drive all questions and inquiries through email allowing you or someone on your team to respond when you have time. Especially with a service based small business, you’re not always in a position to answer a phone call. Through email, you can take the time to answer a question and make sure you answer it in the best possible way, instead of being rushed on the phone.
13. Business growth
Going through the process of creating a website will force you to take a hard look at your small business and how you want to present yourself. This will undoubtedly cause you to reevaluate what you offer and how you offer it, leading to potential growth.
14. More comfortable communication
Not all consumers are comfortable picking up a phone and talking about their needs. A website with alternative contact options will allow you to communicate with customers whichever way they feel comfortable.
15. Press releases
With a press release, you want to drive more traffic to your small business. With a website you give all that new traffic a clear resource to look at, presented exactly how you want it. Some press releases also require your business to have a website, so without one you’d be limiting your pr options.