As a freelancer I often hear self employed and small business owners say “I don’t need a website, I’m doing fine without one, but it would be nice to have”. This is a completely understandable way of thinking, especially when you're trying to keep costs to a minimum.
Because of this I can see why small business owners would feel that a website is an unnecessary luxury, especially with other tools like social media, traditional emails and advertising. But this blog will highlight the opposite, it will show that a website is absolutely not an unnecessary luxury, but in fact an affordable, fundamental tool to your businesses success and growth in the future.
Your website can attract new customers through Google
97% of consumers go online to find a local business or local service - Blue Corona
What’s the first thing you do when you want to buy a product or service? Google!
You may feel that you don’t need to reach new customers because you’re happy with the size of your business right now. However, all businesses experience customer turnover and that is why, to continue succeeding, you need a stream of new customers. One of the best ways to do this is make yourself easily accessible through Google, social media pages are great, but a well-designed website with the right content will help you show up in google to the right people, looking for your services or products. Connect it up to Google My Business to help improve your visibility even further.
A Website Enables you to Showcase your Products or Services the way you want
There are many platforms out there to join and showcase your products or services, and these are a great way of gaining exposure when you are just starting up, but a website of your own allows you to display your products in the exact way you intend them to be seen and used. You can lay it out just so and establish a true brand identity to allow customers to see your businesses true personality and values.
Showcase your products or services with stunning photography displaying your work in the exact way you want your customers to see it. You don’t need to be a professional photographer, just have a phone with a decent camera on it and a bright space to stage some photos. There are some great articles out there to help you stage your photos correctly for your website, like this one from Wix.
You can Display your Best Reviews and Testimonials Prominently
92% of consumers read online reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase.
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
72% of them say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more. - Big Commerce
Your happy clients are your biggest advocates, when you have testimonials you want to shout them out to the rooftops, and why wouldn’t you? Especially when 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a business more. So where better to display these shining examples of your great products or services than on your own website?
If you have a product get a nice picture of the product in its new home to add to the testimonial or review. If you are a service, then simply a nicely worded testimonial with your branding can be just as effective. These can be placed on their own testimonials page, but also they can be included on relevant product/service pages to help make it even easier for the customer to make a decision when browsing.
A website can Encourage Customers to Contact You
A website allows you to place call to actions wherever you feel necessary to make it easier for customers to get in touch. Think about the customers journey, they’ve looked at your home page and then clicked through to see some reviews or testimonials, after looking at a few they like what they see and on the same page is a button saying, “make an enquiry” or “get a quote”. As easily as the click of a button they can get in touch with you.
Gain the Edge over your Competitors
Around 36% of small businesses are working without websites
29% of Small Businesses Will Start a Website This Year - Smallbiztrends
The majority of your competitors are likely to have a website already, however, 29% of the 36% of small businesses who don’t already have a website, are planning to start one. So, it’s safe to assume that if your competitors don’t have a website yet they will soon!
If your competitors aren’t already online then you have the opportunity to establish yourself as the market leader by building a good quality website.
If they already do have a website then you can use this to create a website that is completely different and unique to your competitors.
Secure your Future Success and Potential to Grow
85% of people conduct research online before making a purchase - Transaction Agency
That’s a lot of people researching about your industry online, and that number is only likely to grow in the future! No business can afford to be missing that many of their potential clients, and worse still your competitors that are online are likely to gain the advantage. By creating and establishing your website now, you are helping to secure your businesses future in this increasingly digital world! And as some of the points above have attested to, when you are ready to grow, you have access to a huge pool of new customers from all over the world.
Mintel found that 43% of those in this age group have shopped more online since the start of the crisis, compared to 42% amongst all adults. In comparison, back in May 2019, just 16% of those aged 65+ shopped online at least once a week. - Essential Retail
It would be remiss of me to not mention that the Covid-19 pandemics effect on the use of digital technology. The intermittent lockdowns have steered people into looking for things online more than ever, online shopping, exercise through online means, communication, working, entertainment, the list is endless. The most drastic change in digital spending habits has been within the older generations, who are now spending through digital means for things that they never would have before Covid-19.
A website is no Longer Intimidating to Create and Manage
As time and technology has moved on, websites have become easier to create and update. There are an array of website builder platforms that can help you to create a website from scratch without needing to be a tech expert. And to make it even easier, they aren’t expensive to use either! So, if your budget is tight and you are able to invest some time, you can create your very own website without the help of a professional through a website builder platform. Many of these platforms even offer a free version, however this does mean you don’t usually get a bespoke url. But many platforms offer packages that can cost as little as £8 per month for a website with your own url.
Many freelancers, like myself, can create websites for you through a platform builder, which can be a cost-effective compromise between paying big bucks for a html coder and doing it yourself.
Freelancers using this method are often not as expensive as you would first think, often coming in from around £300 up to create a website for you.
A website is a key tool for attracting business in a continually growing digital world. The stats showcase the high percentages of people who research online before buying a product or service, and the increase in digital spending since the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in the older generations. Not only does a website allow you to get the word out about your business and showcase your goods in the way you want, but it provides you with access to a massive number of people already looking for the products or services you offer. And with free or lower cost and easy to use platforms available now to help create your website, I’d say this is a no brainer!
So, what are you waiting for? Get researching now and if you have any questions or want advice, comment below and I'll respond.