A website is a living breathing part of your small business and must be well put together and have the ability to scale with your business goals and successes. Having a professionally designed website is critical to increasing sales, boosting your bottom line, and growing your business. It allows you to be in front of the right target audience with your brand's story. Additionally, having a website costs pennies compared to the enormous marketing budget returns over the long run.
Having a small business website is just as important as being visible on social media and having a brand for your business. Although social media platforms would like you to believe that all you need is a place on their domain, there are many benefits to having your OWN place on the internet. A website maximizes the return on investment (ROI) for marketing campaigns while putting you in front of thousands of potential customers without spending much. Having a website increases your credibility online. Having a small business website can help you grow your business, increase customer engagement, and increase brand recall value to your target audiences while delivering stronger marketing messages.
Consumers expect businesses to have a website that is dedicated to them. The simple fact is, when most people are looking for a service or product, they research and base their decisions on multiple Google searches, not while passively scrolling on Facebook or Instagram. Most people will still look for your website to gain further information about you IF and AFTER seeing you on Facebook or other social media platforms.
Customers want to learn more about you before spending their hard-earned money. You can give them an entire page about you, your business, your reasons for being in business, and your past work. You can and should include content that allows your potential clients to know that you "get it" and that you can solve their problems. Posting blog articles, resource links, portfolio pages, podcasts, and/or testimonials are all great ways a website can help establish you as an expert.
What Consumers Expect & How They Find Your Products Or Services
Your small business website is the best place to have reviews of your work. This is similar to "word of mouth" marketing which is very successful for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. This increases your trustworthiness as a business which in turn, gives you more opportunity and growth. Having your customers trust you is important, especially in today's world where you may never meet face to face. You can build relationships with your customers via your website. People generally like doing business with people they "know" so building relationships is an important part of branding longevity. I have talked about how branding is an essential part of your business if you want to gain credibility and longevity in the business world. The only place you can completely show off your brand style is on your own website. The sky's the limit as to what can be done with a website to show how you are unique and better than your competitors. Social media may help with brand identity but having a small business website builds brand longevity.
Having your business information hosted on a social media domain like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or YouTube is limited compared to the ways that a small business website can help your business. You will be restricted to what content each platform allows and to the design of how your business information is posted online. Having a website that you are in total control of look and feel gives you a human side. You are also limited in the number of characters allowed in important areas such as the "about you" and "my products and services" sections. Only using social media platforms alienates other potential clients.
Believe it or not, there are still many people who are not on social media. For the most part, they will not see any of your social media content unless they sign up for that particular social media site. Know that your competitors will most likely have a website and they will get potential clients who are searching Google and finding their site online rather than having to sign up for a social media platform to view your information.
Limitations of Social Media
There is a fading social media reach as these platforms consistently update their algorithms which leads you to have to spend more money on marketing rather than using organic growth. A small business website gives your business greater stability because it's not impacted by algorithm changes the same way social media is. With a website, you know exactly what gets shown and how people will find it.
If you have products for sale online, having them displayed on your small business website decreases the competition you are up against when on social media. You can also showcase your products exactly how you would like which builds brand differentiation. Your customers can share your business information and products right from your site with their family and friends which brings more potential clients straight to "your online presence".
Having a website is also a great place to help with customer service. Having a chat feature, a contact form or a FAQ enable clients to quickly learn more about your services and/or products. You are not limited to the amount of information you can give about your services and/or products on a small business website as you are on social media. And the more information people have about you and your brand, the more consumers will trust you which increases the chance of getting the sale.
You are able to install Google Analytics to do testing to determine the best ways to reach your potential clients. Obtaining and analyzing these important metrics are vital to having a reasonable marketing budget. The metrics will show you where to place your marketing dollars so they work for you. You can potentially save hundreds or thousands depending on your current marketing budget by having access to the metrics you can gather from having a website. You can also offer exclusives on your small business website and do marketing A/B testing with different web pages, alternative buttons, sign-up forms, and other types of popups or landing pages. With social media sites, people become easily distracted and click on the next link whereas you can have clients stick around on your website by adding features to the design of your website. You can have freebies, a wish list, a member or directory page, and a blog where you can continue to show your expertise in your field.
Decrease your Marketing Campaign Budgets
Google My Business
Your small business website allows you to reach new customers. Small business reach is no longer only neighbors and people who picked your name out of a phone book. With Google and a website, you have the potential to reach a global audience. Using a platform like Google My Business allows you to increase your SEO (search engine optimization) and allows you to choose how you are presented online. Using good SEO practices makes your website more visible to potential customers. You can have a global audience instead of those just in your locality AND your business hours increase to 24/7 when you install a website. The internet never sleeps so while you do, allow your website to persuade clients to use your business services and/or products.
A small business website also helps to publicize your location. Along with Google Maps which is part of Google My Business, your website is the best place for people to find your location. And once you have potential clients coming to your website, you can use the space to show how you are different from your competitors as well as how you are an expert in your field. If you have a brick-and-mortar location and do not have a website, you are literally giving new business opportunities away to your competitors. Again, you cannot do this solely with social media platforms. The ONLY business they will see on your website is you so your competition decreases since you are not competing with the entire business world on a social media platform. You are not positioned side by side with your competitors as when your business is on social media platforms. Plus, Google research states there are 2.4 million searches happening every minute. Not to mention that Google dominates the field of search engines with 92.7% of the current market. Think about how they translate into the number of people who are looking for your services or products.
How I Can Help
I can assist you in creating a website that focuses on your small business goals and metrics in mind. If you have a small business website already and aren't reaching customers as you want, I can help you redesign and develop your website to make it work for you. I offer two different website packages. See if the full website package or the micro website package fits your current needs.