If you were to write a list of priorities for launching and running your small business, where does a website fit in?
Sometimes, it doesn’t even feel necessary.
In today’s world, a lot of businesses build credibility and gain customers through social media, often for free – why would you need a website?
We’ll counter that by asking, why not? There are dozens of reasons why having a website is vital for small businesses.
Here are our top 13 reasons why small business owners should be getting their own website up and running.
If you’re in doubt, take a look at the list and get ready to feel inspired.
1. Websites look professional and credible
Unless you’re very lucky, you need a business website so that people trust your brand. It sounds superficial and, well, that’s because it is.
Having a professional website that’s thoughtfully designed and filled with interesting content will go a long way in proving your credibility as a small business.
Of course, if your site is packed with pop-ups, banner ads, and questionable links, potential customers will bounce away in an instant. So, here’s how to keep it credible:
- Get a custom domain name and a trustworthy domain extension (like .com) to show that you’ve invested in meaningful company branding.
- Spend time on the design of your website as this will be central to your business’s credibility. Pay extra to get rid of ads.
- Check the grammar and spelling of your website copy – even the smallest typo can turn potential customers off.
2. Customers expect every business to have a website
Aside from giving your business credibility and a professional edge, a website can prove to potential customers that your company actually exists.
We’re not saying that everyone’s a conspiracy theorist – it’s more that word-of-mouth marketing and search engine results can often be incorrect, outdated, or not trustworthy.
It might seem obvious, but customers usually expect businesses to provide the most up-to-date information about themselves. Here’s why a website is the best solution:
- A dedicated contact page will help potential clients to connect with your company using a business email or phone number, plus you can share your office’s location.
- You can match your social media handles with your domain name to ensure today’s digital-savvy users are able to find you on any channel.
- A website is the best place to tell your story as a small business and attract loyal customers – you’ll be in control of the narrative.
3. Websites are affordable and easy to make
A website used to be expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to create. It’s no surprise that many business owners might still be convinced that they simply don’t need a website.
Nowadays, though, you really don’t need to be tech-savvy to get a web presence. Using a website builder is easy, affordable, and yields professional results.
You can use website builders whether you need a simple small business website or an online store. There are tons of platforms out there – here’s what Zyro has to offer:
- A secure website that shows up on search engines thanks to a free SSL certificate, SEO-friendly pages, and built-in hosting that boasts 99.9% uptime.
- Full customization thanks to an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, loads of designer-made templates, and AI tools to help with creating logos and copy, and editing pictures.
- Business integrations to manage essential business functions like email marketing and enhanced eCommerce store services.
4. You can attract new customers
There’s nothing wrong with having a thriving local business that serves the local community. But you might have even more customers ready to spend money with you – why miss out on that?
A website makes it easy for new customers to stumble upon your small business organically as part of a Google search, or even intentionally through a referral.
Enhancing website pages using search engine optimization (SEO) to attract customers is a way more sustainable approach than relying on social media algorithms. Here’s what to do:
- Do keyword research to pepper your website’s written content with long-tail keywords. These will help your site pages to rank higher in Google searches.
- Create content like blog pages, how-to guides, and product descriptions so that your website is super visible when consumers search using particular keywords.
- Utilize advanced analytics to collect data and improve your SEO output. See what integrations your company should add to its website.
5. You can target customers strategically
On the subject of analytics, let’s explore this aspect of your website in more detail. After all, if you need a website for anything, it’s to help you to understand your customers.
As a small business owner, you will have already put a lot of effort into finding your target market and structuring business goals around potential buyers.
But how do you know which of your website pages are the most successful? How many of your existing customers revisit the site? Analytics can tell you things like:
- The bounce rate, which measures how quickly website visitors leave a page. It can help you to discover which content is the most or least compelling.
- The number of unique visitors to your website – that is, people who have only viewed your site once.
- The impressions (or page views) each website page gets. This is particularly useful to know if you’re tracking retail purchases.
6. It’s easier to show your products and services
Your business needs a website in order to share accurate, inspiring information about what it is the company sells.
Sure, you can do that to an extent on your Facebook page, but with a website, your small business doesn’t have to conform to the rigid layout of social media platforms.
Instead, you can use your unique website design to showcase your products or services exactly as you see fit. Here’s what you can do:
- Use high-quality images and clever functionality, like slideshows or a digital brochure, to sell products and services in an aspirational way.
- Create short video tutorials or tours to make potential customers feel connected to your brand – something that’s essential in this digital age.
- Share business information that makes you stand out from the crowd like sustainability credentials, allergen menus, or details about your brick-and-mortar locations.
7. Websites allow you to compete with bigger brands
Small businesses often have a lot to offer customers over bigger brands, like more personalized services and unique products.
That said, it isn’t always easy for small businesses to show what they can offer, especially with lower marketing budgets and less of a reputation. That’s where an online presence will help.
As well as allowing you to share key business information and connect with new customers, a small business website can let you capitalize on local search functions:
- Google considers aspects like distance and relevance when producing search results – in other words, if your business is nearby, it will be visible to people.
- By adding your address to your website footer and creating a Google My Business page, you can maximize the company’s chances of showing up in local searches.
- That way, when someone searches for particular services or products near your brand’s location, your site will pop up.
8. Online marketing is key
If you plan to spend any time or money at all on the marketing efforts for your brand, then your business needs a website.
It’s tempting to rely on customer testimonials and physical ads to market small businesses, but those methods are rarely consistent – plus, print materials cost a lot of money.
While your business needs more than free advertising, a website will help you to spread your messaging quickly, effectively, and at a low cost. There’s a lot you can do, for example:
- Find potential business partners through affiliate marketing, where third parties promote your business by sharing links to your website.
- Share your brand story on your business website – this is a great way for small businesses to amplify their uniqueness and values.
- Turn simple promotions into slick lead generation techniques by using integrations to add measurable value to your campaigns.
9. Websites allow for global reach
Having local customers is great for many reasons – what’s better than businesses having the support of their communities?
But there’s a whole world out there, and loads of potential customers that you haven’t met yet. A website can easily open your business up to markets in dozens of other countries.
It might sound daunting to imagine your business being visible on a global stage, but in reality, it has the potential to completely change the game for you. Here’s how:
- Small businesses need a constant stream of customers to help them to either grow or thrive. By going global, you’re instantly multiplying your customer base.
- Your website is a useful resource of information about your business as well as the industry you’re in – capitalize on your skills by sharing them with the world.
- Big businesses have an online presence across the globe, so why shouldn’t you? Plus, your social media channels are internationally visible already.
10. Online sales are continuously growing
If you’re in the business of selling products, getting a website is a lucrative move – eCommerce is now a trillion-dollar industry.
With more and more of the world adopting online shopping, using both desktop and mobile devices, you’ll be taking advantage of an ever-expanding market.
An eCommerce website can be a great accompaniment to a physical store, or a low-cost alternative if you have a small budget. Here’s what it can do for your business:
- Allow customers to use multiple payment methods, from credit cards to PayPal and Stripe, so that they’re more likely to complete a purchase.
- Help you to manage inventory and calculate sales tax among other logistics essentials – website builders like Zyro will have these tools built into the store backend.
- Give you access to functions like abandoned cart emails and wishlists to build on your conversion rate and retain customers.
11. Your business is always available to customers
A website allows you to keep your business online 24/7, all around the world. This is going to be invaluable to both you and your customers in many ways.
For starters, your website should ease the flow of customer service queries. If you’re lucky, there is a lot that people will want to know about your products and services.
You can add as much information as needed to your website in order to help out your future customers and hopefully convince them to buy. Here are some ideas:
- Create a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page on the website to filter out the most common queries that are asked about your business.
- Install a website chatbot with natural language processing to be the first responder to any immediate questions or complaints.
- Keep your contact page updated and easy to navigate – use a simple form so that visitors are able to type their questions.
12. You can show your great reviews
While all types of digital marketing are important to your business, one of the best ways to gain the trust of future customers is with positive online reviews.
Unlike some other marketing messages that are paid for and, well, biased, reviews enhance the social proof of your business – that is, they influence other people to buy what you’re selling.
Your website is the best place to showcase reviews about your business, but make sure that these third-party testimonials are done properly. Here’s what we mean:
- Integrate ratings from review sites like Trustpilot into your website, to increase your company’s credibility.
- Keep the reviews genuine, as writing your own testimonials is dishonest and pretty pointless – if your business isn’t worth the hype, people will realize anyway.
- Show reviews on the homepage of your website. If you’ve worked hard to get positive feedback from clients or the press, show it off.
13. Help customers find you via Google Maps integration
Anything that puts local businesses on the map is worth doing, whether it’s their standout products or a viral marketing campaign.
The easiest way to get your small business to appear on a map search, though, is by simply integrating your website with Google Maps.
You can embed a Google Map that pinpoints your business location into the contact page of your website, and help people to find you in an intuitive way. This is great if:
- You have a brick-and-mortar store – even if your small business has a handful of retail locations, you can embed maps for all of them.
- Your business holds events – if you have in-person activities like seminars or book signings, encourage people to visit you.
- Users aren’t familiar with the neighborhood your business resides in. A functional map can help them to contextualize the location.