A well-designed website is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools entrepreneurs can use. Among the countless reasons why small businesses need a website, a good website is essential to increase your online presence and credibility.
A 2021 survey of over 1,200 business owners found that 1 in 4 small businesses do not have a website. Many business owners may think having social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are enough. However, without a website, these small businesses lack a “home base” from which their social accounts can link, affecting Google search rankings.
Why do small businesses not have a website?
A study commissioned by Verisign concluded nearly two-thirds of consumers believe a business with a website is more credible than a company without one. Despite this, some small business owners choose not to have a website for various reasons, including:
- A limited budget (e.g., cannot afford website hosting or a web designer)
- Lack of tech-savviness or understanding of marketing strategy
- Social media marketing meets their primary business needs
However, simply having a website could put you a step ahead of your competition. A site is one more way to drive potential customers, revenue, and overall value to your business.
Top Ways A Website Benefits A Company
Discover 22 benefits of having your own website for your startup or small business. Take advantage of these ideas to get the most out of your professional website.
1. Cultivate a professional web presence
Rather than just being the corner shop or local business down the street, having a website—especially one with an appealing web design—gives the impression you are serious and ready to do business with all kinds of customers. After all, a well-made website can lead to business success.
2. Become an information resource
If your business is in a niche industry, having a website allows you to build your reputation as an authority in your field. Create a blog section with informative articles and link to it on your landing page.
Potential customers doing a Google search on common problems related to your industry will be more likely to find you. Plus, after they read your blog articles, they’ll see how helpful you can be to them.
According to a HubSpot survey, 56 percent of consumers reported a blog influenced their decision to make a purchase. Even if those who read these blog posts don’t become customers right away, you’ve spread the name of your business without spending a dime on traditional advertising or marketing campaigns.
Whenever possible, describe your services in your blog posts and include a call to action (CTA). For example, if you are a plumber, include multiple mentions of “affordable plumbing services,” so anyone searching that phrase is more likely to discover your website. The CTA can be as simple as a button or link that says “schedule an appointment” to convert new customers.
3. Own your name
Creating a site and buying a domain name (e.g., www.business-example.com) helps stake your claim to your business’s name. Plus, it’s a quick and easy way to improve your brand identity.
You can also get a unique business email that will add to that sense of branding (e.g., email@example.com). Many website hosting providers will include custom email addresses as part of their offerings.
4. Improve SEO rankings
When performing a search through sites like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, you will see a list of websites related to your search. You can apply many SEO (search engine optimization) tactics to your website to improve its rankings on those search engines, helping to generate free traffic and sales. Boost SEO with helpful, fresh content posted in your website’s blog section.
5. Increase leads from online
Increasing visitors to your website is good, but gaining customers is even better. With a well-optimized and mobile-friendly website, you get your potential leads to call, sign up, or purchase a product from your company. You can turn your website into a leading salesperson for your company.
6. Develop a mailing list
Once you have a website built, add a form for people to sign up for your mailing list or newsletter. This will give you an easily accessed database of potential customers to advertise to. According to a 2020 study, 78 percent of marketers considered email essential to their company’s overall success.
7. Save money on printing
Paper catalogs and brochures can still be helpful in point-of-sale situations, but what if item information changes? It is more efficient to have all relevant info on your website, where it will be much cheaper to edit and revise. A combination of print and web marketing materials will likely be the most cost-effective way forward.
8. Reach online consumers
According to a 2022 survey, about 63 percent of the entire planet’s population, approximately 5 billion people, have internet access.
Since most people can access the internet, even having a basic landing page as your business website is helpful. For many consumers, if they can’t find something online, it doesn’t exist as far as they are concerned. A web presence means being able to reach people where they are. That includes smartphones:
- A study conducted in 2021 found that 85 percent of American adults own a smartphone.
- Statistica estimated that in 2021, Americans spent over 360 billion dollars purchasing products and services while using mobile devices.
Most websites these days can automatically adjust to fit both smartphone and desktop computer screens. If most of your customers seem to always have a smartphone in their hand, then it is a good idea to be able to reach them directly.
9. Tell your unique story
Having a webpage on your site dedicated to a section like “Company History” is a way to humanize your business. Here is where being a small business can be an immediate strength.
Run a family business started by mom or dad? Been around for decades? Let people know about it and build their trust. Displaying a sense of creativity and authenticity can be an advantage that larger enterprises will find difficult to replicate.
10. Create a new selling opportunity with mail orders & e-commerce
If your business sells products that can be delivered by mail order, consider investing in an e-commerce store or online shopping section for your website. Some companies will build this section for you.
You may be able to reach an entirely new set of customers who do not live directly near your physical retail locations. Depending on the nature of your business, you may have the entire planet as potential customers.
11. Collect customer data
You might have already estimated the average foot traffic at your brick-and-mortar location. However, a small business website gives you an idea of the broader reach of your business with digital insights. If you have different web pages dedicated to the products or services you provide, you can use web visitor data to find which are attracting the most attention.
You can also create online polls or surveys to get an idea of what products and services customers are most interested in.
12. Offer easy access to product info and customer service
Working with your staff and product distributors, you can offer as much detail on products and services as you want. Email forms and contact info can help a small business build out a more professionally-styled customer service system.
Even semi-automated chatbots can be placed on a website, performing the same essential function an operator would on a major company’s 1-800 customer service phone number. As a result, customer service is now available for your clients anytime.
13. Create value for customers
Your staff can spend less time explaining the basics of a product or service to inquiring customers. If a consumer is not at your store, you can directly refer them to your website if they have any additional questions. Those customers who like to “kick the tires” before purchasing will be able to do as much advance reading on your offerings as they want.
14. Host a virtual showroom for all your products
If you have a business with limited floor space for your products, your website can provide the solution. You have virtually unlimited space to list all your products in as much detail as you want, and potential customers can read up on them at any time.
You can include high-quality photo galleries for products by working with manufacturers and distributors. Plus, your virtual showroom can be open 24/7.
15. Boost brand awareness
Place your website address on all your existing promotional material, e.g., business cards, brochures, etc. You could see increased sales. For example, even if someone who picked up a piece of product literature isn’t planning to buy right away, you may have planted a seed.
When the consumer gets serious about making a purchase, your website materials are easily accessible. Your site is likely where they’ll now start their product research in earnest. When you combine traditional promotional materials with the added resource of your website, your business is more likely to “stick” in customers’ minds.
16. Help train staff
If you’ve taken the time to build out a website with detailed info about products and services, you now have an information resource available for your staff to use internally. Direct new employees to specific web pages so they can read up on the products they will be selling.
17. Enjoy return customers by always being “findable”
Potential customers may sometimes lose business cards and brochures. However, a bookmark in a customer’s web browser can remain in their search history. This “permanency” can also assist in word-of-mouth referrals.
18. Attract new staff members
Create a “Careers” or “Job Opportunities” section on your business website. You’ll be able to get potential job candidates to come to you rather than spending time and money on trying to recruit employees or placing listings on job websites.
19. Build your digital presence the easy way
Unlike in the early days of the internet, you do not need to know computer code or HTML to make an impressive-looking website. Catering to small businesses with a limited budget, modern web design companies are a “one-stop-shop” that can handle all the technical details for you.
Most have a variety of customizable templates to choose from so you can build your brand identity. Creating a website is now very easy—and affordable.
20. Promote your brick-and-mortar locations
This might seem counterintuitive, but having a website may help increase foot traffic at your brick-and-mortar locations. Having basic info like store locations, addresses, hours of operation, and phone numbers on your website creates a digital footprint that search engines will pick up.
The next time someone looks for your store online, they are more likely to be greeted by search results that include your store details. This is especially important for potential customers using smartphones. Even if they are on the go, they can search your business, find your address, and quickly input it into their GPS.
21. Achieve quicker referrals
If your business comes up in a conversation between a former customer and a friend of theirs, what is the first thing they will likely try to do? They will search the business on the web. With your business website up and running, they are more likely to find you rapidly, thanks to your online presence and brand identity.
22. Establish authority by featuring awards, reviews, and testimonials
If you have happy customers, take advantage of it. You can use positive customer reviews and testimonials directly on your website. We’ve even created a list of templates on how to encourage customers to leave reviews to help you get started.
In addition, it may help to create a dedicated web page section to showcase a “portfolio” of your work (with photos, if applicable). Building a groundswell of positive reviews that are easy to find on your business website is yet another way to distinguish you from your competition.
Grow your small business with ABetter.com
Those are just some of the top benefits and reasons why small businesses need a website. Need help getting your business online and establishing your web presence? Give us a call.