If you’re looking for some perspective on whether or not spending time, money, and other resources on your organization’s website will be a valuable investment, you’ve come to the right place.
The quick answer?: You need a great website.
Before we dive in, it’s important to know that the list below is not exhaustive. We are a website development company that provides many small business owners with affordably managed website solutions, so we’re somewhat biased toward the strategies that will best serve small and medium sized companies.
In this article we’ll cover:
- 8 reasons you should invest in your business’ website.
- A few common misbeliefs about websites.
- Additional resources to dive deeper.
1. Your website is the perfect place to showcase your industry authority
Small businesses are the backbone of the US Economy: they make up 99% of all businesses across the US and 47% of all employees work for small businesses. While large organizations in bigger cities like Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro, and others may have more significant resources, your business is likely at an advantage because of your ability to adapt to industry changes more quickly than most of those bigger players.
While you don’t want to change with every new trend or piece of technology that comes along, you need to stay authoritative in your industry and relevant to your market. Your website is the perfect place to showcase that authority. If done well, you can earn the trust of potential customers, show your long-term value to existing clients, and become a valuable resource to your stakeholders.
You may be asking yourself, how can my small business website showcase authority in a way that’s good for the organization, but doesn’t come across as boastful? Here are a few straightforward tips.
Use high quality images. Stock images are okay, but quality, authentic photos of your business are even better.
Ensure everything works. Your website may be in need of some TLC. Often, we work with clients who don’t realize areas of their website aren’t functioning properly. Broken links, images that don’t load, and forms which don’t function are big deterrents to establishing authority.
Case studies and awards. Showcasing honest results, awards, and testimonials from real clients and customers of your business goes a long way in building trust and establishing authority.
Create content. This will not just help with optimizing your site for search engines, but will also serve as a useful resource to those in the buying process for your industry. When you share honest and customer-centric content, you can quickly establish your business as an authority for the industry.
2. Your Customers Expect You to Have a Website
Year by year, technology and our lives become increasingly intertwined. Watches, phones, tablets, laptops. Computers are everywhere and your customers are using them to become more informed than past generations of consumers.
According to a report published by Salesforce and their research partners, users of mobile devices account for 92% of all e-commerce growth. These numbers clearly demonstrate that you need to have a website that’s optimized for mobile users.
You want to be where your customers are, right? 87% of shoppers begin their purchase process with online research, a trend that continues to grow. If you don’t have a website, or if your current site is out of date or has functional problems, you’re going to have a hard time bringing in new business or even keeping past customers coming back.
3. You can serve your customers better with your website
Can you serve your customers well without a website? Of course.
Can you serve them better if you keep that great service and add an online hub for all their needs and questions as it might relate to your business? Definitely!
Include a blog that functions as a long-form FAQ resource for your customers, answering their online search queries in depth and transparently.
Work in plumbing, HVAC, or other industries that lend themselves to urgent calls from customers with leaks, etc? Ensure that your contact information is clearly listed.
Offer free resources and tools to website visitors that may improve their buying process. Think of tools like home mortgage calculators, how to e-books, etc. You can also use these as a way to build your list of leads by requiring their email in exchange for the resource.
The possibilities for how you can leverage a website to better serve your customers are seemingly endless. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer, go through the buying process as if you were them, and figure out how a website can make their lives better.
4. Your Competitors Have Websites
This is simple. Your business is competing for the attention of the market and you know people search online before buying. If your competitors have websites, but you don’t, you’re losing business to them simply because you’re not visible.
Curious as to why “ABC Attorneys” down the street always end up getting the client? It’s because they’ve established authority and trust through their website and they show up on Google.
5. You Own Your Website
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google My Business. These are important digital channels for your business, but don’t be fooled. You don’t own those profiles. At any moment in time, all the work you’ve put into your Instagram profile and posts could disappear should something happen to these organizations.
You need a well-rounded plan for how to market your business in the digital world, and while multiple channels are often needed, the only one you fully own and control is your website.
Why wouldn’t you invest the most into the only online presence you fully control?
6. Websites Help Attract New Local Leads
Your website, coupled with some basic SEO planning and implementation, is a powerful way to attract new leads for your local market.
Are you a restaurant operator unsure if spending $6,000+ this year on a website will pay off? Assuming you find a web design company that builds with SEO at the forefront of the process, you’ll have invested that money, not wasted it. You’ll be able to start ranking highly across local online searches, and recouping the cost of your website with new customer sales.
This seems like a good place to add a quick disclaimer: No amount of money you spend on marketing (i.e., website, Google Ads, social media, billboards etc.) will help grow your business if you have a bad product, service, or experience for your customers. You may be able to bring that new sale in, but ensuring a customer has an amazing interaction with your business once they’re in the door is more important than any of these marketing channels.
7. Websites Help Your Small Business Access New Audiences
In addition to helping your business grow by earning more trust among local communities, your website can open the door to new cities and customers. Those handcrafted products may sell very well in your city or among your target market, but why not leverage a website to introduce your products to buyers located farther away or in previously inaccessible markets?
Not sure how to do that?
The first and most important step is to create content on your website that features products worth sharing and talking about.
After that, a good content marketing plan and PPC advertising on Google, Facebook, Amazon etc. will help get you in front of the customers you’re targeting.
8. Your Website Is The Hub From Which All Your Marketing Flows
Your website should be central in your strategy to attract, educate, convert, and retain your customers. You don’t just want to get someone to your site one time and hope they convert to a customer. Create a website that is a hub from which all your marketing efforts flow, both online and offline (think live events, relevant conferences, sales promotions, and other limited time engagements).
One of the most significant components that will both bring new users to your website and keep them coming back is excellent content that’s honest, clear, and focuses on the things that your customers most care about.
The most common mistake businesses make with content creation is creating what they assume users and customers will care about, but not truly addressing the questions and concerns that potential customers want answers for.
We regularly see businesses who spend time creating unique content for Facebook and Instagram, but neglect to create content on their website for their customers. Why not invest in your website first, then leverage other online channels to distribute that content?
We’re biased. We design websites for small business clients in North Carolina, Virginia, California, and beyond. And while it’s true that we’re biased toward what works for small businesses, it’s because we see the benefits our clients experience from creating search engine optimized websites that focus on their unique needs and customers. .
There’s no question that you should be investing in your website, but what’s your investment strategy? Spending more of your time? Adding more to your staff’s plate? Or will you invest financially in your website by bringing an expert in to help? All are legitimate options, but you need to decide and get to work.
If you need expert guidance on where to start on the areas mentioned above, we’re here to help.