For new small businesses or well established local businesses that have yet to invest in a website, it can be hard to determine how a website will directly benefit your business. Even if you know it will, it can still be challenging to know when the time is right to make the investment.
There is no doubt that in 2019 every business needs a website. Every single one. The internet is just so widespread at this point that not having a business website means you effectively don’t exist. Everyone is online.
Whether you have no online presence at all or have been trying to get by with just social media, this blog will help you identify if your business truly needs a website (spoiler alert: It almost certainly does).
Your Business is Not Well Known in Your Local Area
If you are having trouble gaining recognition in your local area, chances are high it’s time to invest in a website.
You may think you can get away by just using social media. But a Facebook or Instagram business page is not a good substitute for a website.
They are great compliments to a business website and can be used to drive traffic and leads to your site, but they aren’t a replacement.
For one, you have to compete with other brands for people’s attention on those platforms. It’s also hard for people to learn about your business because people will likely only see a few posts with no context.
And you will always be at the mercy to the algorithms of those platforms. If they tweak the algorithm and it results in less visibility for your posts, there is going to be nothing you can do. We’ve already seen this with Facebook, resulting in less organic impressions for businesses.
With a business website, you don’t have to compete with other brands, so you have a person’s full attention. You can explain the story behind your business and the services you offer just the way you want to without any compromises.
A website will allow people to learn about every aspect of your business. This is especially true if you optimize for local SEO which will allow your business to show up on Google when people near you search for businesses or services like yours.
Revenue is Flat or Falling
If your business isn’t growing, it’s probably time to shake things up. And if you don’t already have a website, it’s the first thing you should consider.
That’s because it can be your most effective sales tool.
A website allows your business to generate potential sales leads. As long as you put in place the basics steps of inbound marketing and produce quality content for your audience, there is no reason why your website can’t help your business produce significant revenue.
This is why we always tell potential clients to view the cost associated with a website as an investment, rather than an expense. Hopefully, over the long run, the website will produce more revenue than it cost.
Here’s a short version of how it works. By producing helpful content in the form of blog posts, ebooks, webinars, case studies, videos or podcasts, you can attract people (traffic) to your website.
That’s because this content will help your site rank on Google. Once that happens, people that are searching for terms about or related to your business will be able to find your content. These people are likely in the market for the services provided by your business.
If it is helpful and they view it as valuable, they will be much more likely to do business with you in the future (or right away). Perhaps they’ll subscribe to your blog to keep getting more helpful content. Or maybe they’ll reach out to you right away to request a quote.
That’s where forms on your website come in. By having them in strategic places, people can easily get in touch with your business without having to dig for your contact info.
Once they reach out to your business and give you their contact info, that person becomes a lead.
From there, you can offer them other pieces of content through email marketing or have one of your sales reps follow up directly. This all depends on the quality of the lead and what stage of the buyer's journey they are in.
Hopefully, this simplified example of how a website can generate leads for your business illustrates what a powerful sales tool it can be.
Instead of being reliant on paid advertising to get your name in front of people, you can produce content that will attract people to your website organically. Instead of you going to them, they will come to you.
And when they interact with your business this way, you will have built up trust and authority with them –making them much more likely to do business with you.
Your Competitors Have Websites
If other businesses in your local area that offer similar services to you have a website then you need to invest in one too. There’s really nothing else to say.
Because the truth is, if they have a website and you don’t, you are going to be at a massive disadvantage. Quite frankly, it’s going to make it almost impossible to compete against them. This goes back to the ubiquitous nature of the internet today.
Without a website for your business, you will have practically no online presence.
This is going to make it extremely hard to compete against similar businesses with websites that outline their services, processes, prices and other things that prospective customers find valuable.
Think about it in your own life. Are you more likely to do business that has all of the info you want on their website or one with no online presence at all?
You will also have no chance to gain customers that are searching for local businesses on Google. A local SEO report from Hubspot found that 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day. 34% who did so on desktop/tablet did the same. That's foot traffic you're missing out on by not having a business website set up.
With so many consumers unwilling to consider businesses with websites and with local searchers ready to make a purchase, it’s clear that not having a website while your competitors do is going to be a massive hurdle.
You Want to Expand Your Operation
Many small businesses don’t invest in a website right away. That can make sense - perhaps startup costs are tight and you want to test your business idea before going all in.
If you’re ready to go all in on your business idea or you’re looking to grow your business, getting a website up and running needs to be your first priority.
This goes back to the lead generation and brand awareness benefits a website offers to businesses.
Nothing can do more for your business on those two fronts than a well-designed business website. If you're serious about growing your business, you’ve got to get a high-quality website up and running.
You Want To Start Marketing, Digitally
Digital marketing is the most effective form of marketing. It includes search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, paid and organic social media, and display/video advertising.
What makes digital marketing so effective is that you can be super specific with who you target online with your ads. This allows businesses of all sizes to advertise online, because you can advertise with any budget.
And with the targeting so specific, you can make sure your ads are only shown to people that are likely to do business with you.
This saves you money.
Now, where does a website come into play? Well for starters, you can start to rank on Google and do SEO unless you have a website. But in general, a website will allow you to increase the ROI of your digital marketing efforts.
How? Well, let's say you want to run Facebook or Instagram ads. By installing Facebook’s pixel, you can retarget people who previously visited your website with ads on those platforms. You can even tailor the ads to the actions they took on your website - for example by matching the ads to the services they viewed.
Retargeting is effective because it shows your ads to people that not only are in the market for your services but because they are already familiar with your business. The numbers don’t lie - re-marketing works.
But the benefits don’t stop there. You can also build out landing pages which allow you to tailor your digital offers (ebooks, consultations, tutorials, etc.) to your website.
Instead of trying to convert traffic from ads or search with a general contact page, a landing page can be used to increase your conversion rate (the percentage of people that complete the action you want them to such as downloading an ebook).
Landing pages allow you to fit your messaging and offer to the segment of your customer base viewing the page. They are essential for lead generation and can help you get the most ROI out of your website.
Having a website for your business in 2019 is non-negotiable.
Of course, that’s exactly what you would expect us to say, being a web design service. But the fact of the matters is that everyone is on the internet today. EVERYONE.
And that means all of their attention is focused online. After all, the average internet user spends about 7 hours online per day.
The best way for your business to be effective is to be where that attention is at. And that means investing in a high-quality website for your business.