In a December 2016 press release, Capital One published a small business study tracking indicators of growth for 2017. Only 56% of small business owners reported that they have a company website. That means that nearly half of small businesses are missing out on a significant tool for generating leads and growing sales.
In fact, market research firm Clutch noted in a recent article that many customers rely solely on web research to help them find a business, adding that a company’s website “can be one of the most reliable lead-generators available.”
The truth is, in today’s marketing environment, every company, no matter its size, needs a website. Indeed, having a website is correlated with higher revenue. Of companies with annual revenues between $1 million and $2.5 million, 69% of them reported having a website as of 2017.
In this post, we take a look at five reasons why your small business needs a website.
Reason #1: Your Customers Expect It
Let’s face it: Your customers expect you to have a website. These days, companies without websites might as well not exist for the 70% to 80% of people who research a company—usually by visiting its website—before making a purchase. Think about this: If they’re not finding you, who will they find? Don’t give your competitors an easy leg up by simply not showing up online.
Reason #2: It Helps You Show Up in Search Results
By following best practices for SEO, such as using keywords in your page titles, meta descriptions, image tags and URLs, you can boost your ranking in search results and get found online. This is particularly important for small businesses that rely on local customers for sales. Consider that proximity to searcher is now the number one ranking factor in local search results today.
Another important practice to increase search rankings is to use relevant keywords in the body of your text, like your blog posts and website page copy. However, avoid “keyword stuffing”—or repeating keywords again and again to “stuff” your content for SEO—which can get you penalized by search engines.
Reason #3: It’s a Place to Showcase Your Products and Services
Your website provides a one-stop source for customers to get more information about your company and your services before visiting your store. Make it a hub for everything you want prospects and customers to have access to, like product photos, price information and details, sell sheets and more. Use your website as a digital extension of any traditional marketing you’re doing, and make sure there’s a consistent feel across all marketing efforts.
Reason #4: Helps Position You As a Helpful Resource
A company website is more than just a place to sell. It can be a valuable resource for customers where you can share helpful tips, provide educational content and let them know you’re there to provide quality solutions to their problems. You can tuck some of your content (like case studies, eBooks or thought leadership articles) behind a form, thus giving your team lead intelligence to monitor and measure marketing ROI. Plus, your website can serve as a resource for your employees or associates, enabling them to better serve your customers.
Reason #5: Grow Your Business, No Matter the Hour
Unlike your storefront, your website is available to customers 24 hours a day. Put it to work to generate leads by offering gated content—requiring visitors to fill out a form (i.e., give you their information) to gain access, as described above. In addition, a company website provides a way to increase your following on social media via links to your Facebook, Twitter and other accounts, and also makes it easy for visitors to share your content and spread brand awareness.
Here’s the Good News!
Small business websites don’t have to cost a fortune to build or maintain, and it doesn’t have to take forever, either. It’s both affordable and less time-consuming than you may think, and the best part is, you don’t have to do it yourself. Contact us to talk to us about your unique situation, marketing goals and brand vision, and get started with a new website today.
In today’s digital-everything business environment, a website is no longer optional, regardless of the size of your business. Don’t lose potential customers to your competition because they have a website and you don’t. A well-designed website that’s kept up to date with fresh content and relevant information is essential for your small business to be found by customers, generate leads and grow sales.