Look, I get it. You’ve made it this far without a website. Maybe a majority of your customers come from social media, or word of mouth, or maybe they just wander in off the street. Maybe you’ve done fine with just an Etsy store or a Facebook page. You may be thinking, “do I even need a website for my business?”
The short answer is yes. The long answer is yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.
In this day and age, having a strong online presence (particularly a website) is critical for businesses of all sizes and industries. Here’s the top five reasons why:
- Credibility and legitimacy
A business without a website can still get by, but the fact is, a professional website establishes trust and credibility. It shows customers that you’re serious about your business and aren’t just some fly-by-night company that will disappear after a year or two.
Personally, when I’m considering trying a new service or product, I’m very skeptical of any place that doesn’t have a website (or has a badly-done website, but that’s a topic for another time). I know I’m not the only one. 70-80% of people research a company online before visiting or making a purchase. That means 70-80% of potential customers are lost to businesses that don’t have websites.
- Attract more leads/customers
You may be satisfied with the amount of sales you have now, but every business experiences customer turnover to some degree. Which means you need to always be attracting new clients and customers. A website is one way to passively draw in more leads, even while you sleep.
If you sell products in a brick and mortar store, but don’t have an easy way to buy those online, you are absolutely leaving money on the table. This goes for those that provide a specific service as well. Not having an easy way for clients to book you means missing out on hundreds and thousands of dollars in potential revenue. A well-made website can be an investment, but if done correctly, it will nearly always result in a positive ROI.
- Show up on Google
So you agree that you need to always be attracting new leads, but how to do that without investing a fortune in advertising? One way is making sure your website “ranks” (or shows up) on Google. An SEO-optimized website (Search Engine Optimization) puts your company right in front of people that are already searching for your specific product or service.
- Save time on customer service/answering questions
A website enables you to address frequently asked questions without having talking directly to the customer. If you have a staff working for you, this can also increase their productivity by cutting down the amount of calls they field on simple things like location, hours of operation, or menu items.
- Showcase your brand the way you want to
Lastly, a website allows you full creative freedom. A Facebook or Instagram page is limited by their specific format and rules. You can have beautiful imagery and great product photos, but at the end of the day it’s still just another social media page, or Amazon storefront, or Etsy shop. A website allows you to create a specific look and feel for your brand, which is a huge part of standing out from other businesses that do the same thing.
“Okay okay, so how do I get started making a website?”
Luckily nowadays it’s easier than ever to start a website. There’s always Squarespace, Wix and the like if you feel up to doing it yourself. However, those build-it-yourself platforms are always limited in their functionality and customizability. You also don’t actually have full ownership of your site and content. I don’t recommend them, but if you’re on a shoestring budget and need a good starter website, they’re a passable option.
A better option is WordPress, which is highly customizable, SEO-optimized, and grants you full ownership of everything. It can be a bit trickier for beginners, but in the long run the benefits greatly outweigh the time spent setting it all up.
“Um…I don’t know what any of that means. And I don’t have time to learn.”
Then what you need is a web designer! And lucky for you, I can whip up a beautifully designed, optimized, and responsive site for your business without breaking the bank. Check out my portfolio, and reach out today to see how I can help you out.