6 Reasons Why Every Small Business Needs a Website

You may be wondering, “Does my business need a website?” Well, the short answer is probably. Business websites have many advantages over social media pages and other forms of an online presence. Let’s take a look at what a website is, why it’s important, and then get into the details of 6 key reasons a website will help your business!


What is a Website?


In simple terms, a website is your (or your business’s) domain on the internet. It’s your territory. Anything that happens here is under your control. That means you can brand it the way you want to, offer your products and services here, create helpful content to put on it or anything you can think of. Some business websites are focused on E-Commerce with carts and product pages, but others are more of a business card of sorts. Sometimes you just need a place to put information about your business, like your mission, your team, and your contact details or location. There are a lot of things you can do with a website. But why is having a website better than… perhaps, a social media account?


Why are Websites Important?


As touched on above, a website for your business is your company’s own slice of the internet. That’s the big differentiator from social media, where your content and your following are never truly owned by you. With a website, your company can allow customers to create accounts, sign up for an email list, or purchase your offerings directly. Importantly, no other company can choose to take this away from you. Your business will still be held accountable to federal and local laws, but depending on where your company operates, that’s a lot less restriction than you might face on social media websites like Facebook or YouTube. Now, let’s get more granular about some of the big reasons that, as a small business owner, you should have a website.


Reason 1: Credibility and Professionalism


It’s no secret that having a website gives your company a leg up in terms of professionalism and credibility. Think about the last time you wanted to interact with your favorite brands. Did you go to their Facebook page? How about their Instagram? It’s quite possible you did, but more likely is that you signed in on their website and did whatever it is you went there to do. That’s not to say your business shouldn’t be on social media, quite the contrary. However, without a website, you risk your business appearing unprofessional or unsophisticated.


Reason 2: Online Presence and Visibility


Simply put, your customers can’t interact with your brand if they can’t find you. Social media is an incredible tool for reaching new audiences, and sometimes it gets the job done when it comes to returning customers as well. However, don’t you think your brand would be immensely more visible and accessible if your website was one of the first results that showed up on Google? You don’t want to take the risk that customers are typing the name of your business into Google’s search bar and failing to find you. After all, Google search still makes up over 93% of the total global all-platform search market share in February 2023.


Reason 3: Customer Engagement and Experience


This may seem like a small reason or even a non-reason. Unless, of course, you’ve tried to run any sort of business without a website before. Relying on Instagram’s shopping features and Facebook reviews just doesn’t cut it for most businesses. With your own business website, you can control the website design and put relevant information and features at the forefront of the experience. You can add chatbots to your website to assist customers with frequently asked questions, which can connect them with a customer support agent if needed. You can highlight customer reviews or testimonials right where new customers need to see them or create forms that gather feedback to improve your systems and offerings. All of this can be done in a way that’s branded with your company’s logo and according to your values, which leads to the next reason.


Reason 4: Branding and Marketing


Your business has access to more tools than ever before in history for building a recognizable brand name, logo, image, and personality. Unfortunately, a lot of that goes wasted by companies that prioritize social media marketing because some of their efforts go into building up the brand images of Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. Do your brand a favor and give it every opportunity to stand out by putting your own style on your most important content.
A business website can also be a strong central hub for marketing campaigns that extend beyond the site. For example, let’s say you’re offering a flash sale on jackets. You might post images of the jackets on Instagram with details, send out branded deal emails to your email list, and create posts on other social media sites as well. However, wouldn’t it be great if the first thing visitors to your website saw was a huge banner with the details of the sale just below the header of your site? It’s like a massive free advertisement for everyone who already loves your brand!


Reason 5: E-commerce and Sales


On top of simply marketing more cohesively, you can actually sell your products in the same place. Following the above example about jackets, imagine your massive advertisement on your website’s homepage is linked to the product page for the discounted jackets. One click can take someone from your homepage to your product page, where you can host glowing reviews, beautiful product photography, and red-hot deals that are impossible to ignore. You can accomplish a lot of these things without a website, but nowhere else offers as much control over the buyer’s journey and what they see.
Equally important is your ability to handle payments directly through your website. This allows you to offer whatever payment methods you prefer. Offer Mobile Wallets, BNPL(buy now, pay later), Bank Transfers, Debit Cards, Prepaid Cards, or anything else your customers might have. This improves the chances they’ll be ready to pay when they want to buy, which is precisely what you want!


Reason 6: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


As highlighted above, with proper SEO, your business will appear easily to customers searching for your brand’s name. However, did you know that there is also unbranded traffic? This is the type of traffic where somebody searches for something on Google, usually with the intent to buy something or look for information about something, and your content appears in front of them. Creating optimized product pages and an informational blog can bring in troves of people at various stages of the buyer’s journey.


Conclusion


Overall, it’s clear that a business website is an immense asset in many aspects of running a business. You’ll be more credible, reputable, and discoverable, and your business can offer a better customer experience and DTC (direct-to-consumer) sales. It’s also the best way to pack your brand up into a pretty little package and make it as recognizable as possible for new customers and returning customers alike.

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