We are in an age where, before a buyer purchases a product or service, they Google it to find out more about it. Anyone who wants to grow their brand, no matter how small your business is, needs a website. Building a website has also become cheap. You do not need a lot of money and you don’t need to be a coder or designer to own one.
Having a website for your small business is not just about selling your products or services online- it also provides value to your customers and is a form of free advertising. If I haven’t convinced you yet, then the following are reasons why you should get one today.
Ten reasons why you need a website for your small business
- Customers expect you to be online
Today, almost everyone is using the internet to get information. Their decision on what to buy and where to get it can be accessed through their smartphones and tablets. A website will create a presence for your business. Your prospective clients can then learn more about your product/ service. A website provides you an opportunity to show concern for your customers, communicate about your brand and convey your professionalism.
Today’s customer also expects their brand to be online and provide useful content about the business on a digital platform. In fact, most customers will visit a brand’s website to find out about it. If you are yet to get a website, then chances are that your customer will find another business that has a website.
- You product/ service appears on search results
According to research, 81% of buyers conduct online research before purchasing a product or service. This means that if a customer needs a handbag, they will key in “quality handbags”. If they know exactly what they want, then they might key in “Quality leather handbags in Kenya”. If your business sells handbags, then you will show up in search results for these keywords if you optimize them. Having a website is not enough, you must optimize it so that you show up at the top of Google results for keywords or relevant keywords when potential customers do a search. To optimize your website for search, do things like using long tail keywords, include tags, meta descriptions and titles.
- A website legitimizes your website
The website offers some sort of social proof and builds trusts with your customers. It allows you to provide your customers and prospective customers on the history of your business, your specialization and expertise. The website will allow your consumers to learn more about your business especially if you put up customer testimonials. This helps to impress potential buyers since most buyers are influenced by online reviews when it comes to purchasing products.
- A website is an online billboard
A website will give you an online presence. You have an opportunity to introduce your small business to potential buyers and allow your customers to find you through relevant keywords. This, however, will depend on the marketing you put into your website through Search engine optimization, social media, blogging and online advertising.
- It allows you to collect data and generate leads
An online presence allows you to collect data on your customers, make plans for your products and get feedback from customers. Features like Google Analytics, Facebook analytics etc. allow you to find out the demographics of your customers, the product that is selling and make plans on how to improve on the services/ products you offer.
If you get people to subscribe to your website through newsletters, blog posts or eBooks, then you can reach out to them more easily.
- Ease of contact
Customers can contact you easily via a website. Sometimes, your phone number may not be working, but with an online presence, customers can contact you with ease when they need to learn about your business. This will, however, only work if you provide links to your social media pages or offer a chat service on your website.
- Allows you to showcase and sell your products
A website allows you to display the products you offer or outline them in detail using images and videos. You can also offer tutorials using PDF instructions or videos so that your customers do not need to go elsewhere to get information after purchasing the product.
An online presence also gives your customers a convenient shopping experience. This is because it offers them different avenues to interact with you. For example, you can use the website to sell your products online. This is an easy way to get products to your customers by providing deliveries either at a discounted or free price.
- It leverages your social networks.
Do I need a website for my business if I have a Facebook page? This is a question, most people ask. The answer is YES. Yes, you need a website even though you have a Facebook page. Social media allows you to reach a larger audience and create buzz around your business through shares and likes. When people need to know more about your product, they will need to visit your website. By providing a link to your website on your Facebook page, you legitimize your business.
- Allows you to compete with the big guys in your industry.
Chances are high that your competitor has a website. Consumers will, of course, start their buying journey either through social networks, from their peers or through research. Once they decide they want to buy a certain product or service, they start researching and 81% of them will go online to find reviews, educational information, and testimonials.
If you do not have a website for your small business, then you cannot compete on the same level as your competitors. You are also giving potential customers a reason to purchase from your competitors.
- Allows you to share news easily and gives you control of the narrative
You can easily post developments, news or updates on your website without having to spend money on newspaper and TV ads. Keeping a blog will allow you to keep your website fresh with new content that allows Google to crawl your website for search results. A blog also allows you to provide consumers with information on the product or service you are offering, showcase your expertise on the topic, provide tips on topics relevant to your business to consumers, and share insights.
Social media channels may not allow you to fully control the narrative on your business, but by having a website and a blog, you can influence perception by creating your own story. The website also allows you to put up messages, your mission, vision and personality to your audience much faster than print ads would.
Why don’t you have a website?
Most people without a website claim they have enough business and a website would overwhelm them with more work. I don’t how this is a good reason, because more work means that you can now become an employer and offer so many people out there without jobs the opportunity to serve your customers. Websites offer you more business in today’s world so get one today.