If you’ve recently started your new business (or are thinking of starting up soon), you might not be sure if you really need a website at this stage. Maybe you’re wondering if running things on social media is enough for now. Let’s take a look at the reasons why investing in a website is one of the key things you should do for your business – now and in the future.
Why your business needs a website
I speak to lots of people about their business websites – and sometimes I come across people who are convinced that they either don’t need a website, or that their free site on a DIY builder platform is doing the job just fine. But if you’re serious about your business, then you need to get serious about a “proper” website.
This article will tell you some of the reasons why.
Plenty of people won’t buy from a business without a website
There – I said it. Let’s start with a harsh reality: there are loads of people out there who just won’t buy from you if you don’t have your own website. Why? Because if you only exist on socials then they’re not convinced you’re legit.
This isn’t easy to swallow, but it’s true. People want to check you out, see what you offer, maybe even check out your terms and conditions, returns policy etc before they part with their cash. They want to know you’re the real deal, basically. And if they can’t find you, they’ll happily jump onto your competitor’s website instead.
If you’re thinking “my business is doing fine on social media, thank you very much” then that is fantastic news – but how much better could you be doing if you had a website as well? 😊
A website gives you credibility
One of the biggest reasons for creating your own website is to increase your business’s credibility. You might be swimming in a sea of competitors, but if you have a great website then it’s your chance to stand out and differentiate yourself.
A well-designed website with useful information and features that are genuinely helpful to your audience gives potential customers a taste of what it would be like to work with you.
You can also add an email address on your own domain name for a professional first impression when you’re communicating with people who might buy from you.
It helps build your brand
A beautifully-branded website gives you the best chance of showcasing your business and standing out from similar organisations.
Design matters, of course – but this is also to do with your content and your brand’s voice.
Proudly show visitors who you are and what you do – but also what you stand for and what it would be like to do business with you. This can really help to set you apart from others in the same space.
It brings you valuable organic traffic
Once your website is set up, you’ll need to optimise it for search engines. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is vital because that’s what’s going to get you found on Google without paying for ads.
An SEO-friendly website also has a huge advantage over using social media alone, and here’s why:
- When people find you on social, they’re more likely to just be scrolling and not actually looking for your services at that time.
- When people find you on Google – they’re actively looking for what you offer!
This means you’re more likely to be found by people who are ready to buy rather than people who are just at the awareness stage. The importance of this can’t be underestimated!
SEO is one of the key reasons why I build WordPress websites for small businesses. WordPress is structurally set up for SEO, you can choose your own hosting provider, and there’s a large choice of software to help you ensure your WordPress site is fully optimised.
With other web platforms, you just don’t have this level of flexibility and control over your SEO. And most DIY builder sites are not going to generate the organic traffic you need.
A website will generate leads for you
One of the best things about having your own website is that it gives you the capacity to start generating leads. By having sign up forms where people can register for your newsletter – or even better, get something for free – you’ll start to build up a database of leads.
Voila – you now have an email list. Your website has already started to earn its keep!
Your email list is one of your most important marketing tools. It’s a readymade audience of people who are actively interested in what you have to offer – and you get to reach them directly without having to rely on an ever-changing social media algorithm.
It helps with customer service
As well as being a marketing powerhouse, your website can save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to customer service. If you put your policies and procedures, shipping information, FAQs etc up on your website, you won’t need to spend as much time replying to customer service queries.
This means less work for you, but also a better experience for your customers who can find the information they need without having to send an enquiry first.
You own it, baby
Your website is owned by you and not a third party. It’s unlikely, but what happens if you get up one day and Meta no longer supports businesses accounts on FB or IG? What happens if the algorithm changes beyond recognition? What happens if features or analytics get withdrawn? What will you be left with?
Social media is an AMAZING marketing tool: it builds community and allows you to quickly communicate with your audience. But it shouldn’t be the only tool you rely on, especially as you have to play by their rules.
Your website and your email list are all you truly own – and you can set those up in any which way you please.
A website gives you lasting value
One of the key benefits about investing in a website for your business is the fact that it will generate leads and sales for you over the long-term.
Paid ads on Google or social media only last as long as you’re willing to keep paying. If you properly optimise your website, nurture it and keep adding quality content, your website will deliver ROI for years to come.
If you’re currently using an e-commerce platform like Shopify or Etsy, you also have to balance to high monthly fees and processing fees you pay. Your initial investment in your own website will be recouped sooner than you think once you stop paying other people just to exist online.
You can display your own social proof
Social proof – aka what other people say about you – is an essential factor in potential customers deciding whether they’ll choose you over other businesses. And while Google reviews and Facebook reviews are great, nothing beats being able to display your favourite testimonials on your own site.
You can even take things further on your website and offer more in-depth forms of social proof, such as case studies, client interviews, or video testimonials.
You have somewhere reliable to make announcements
Whenever you have news to announce, or want to let people know you’re closed for a week, or that your order book is closing for Christmas etc, you want to make sure it reaches as many people as possible.
If you’re relying on social media for these announcements, you’re only going to reach a portion of your audience. When you have a website, you can use a sticky banner or notice to make sure everyone sees it.
And even better – when you’ve used your website to build your email list, you can deliver your news directly to people’s inboxes.
Your website is your hardest working employee
Your website’s your business BFF. It works for you around the clock. It’s your brochure and shop floor, your sales advisor and customer service team – and it’s ALWAYS OPEN FOR BUSINESS. Look after it and it will look after you.
I think that’s enough from me – but needless to say it’s not just me saying this.
If you’re thinking about getting a website sorted out for your business, then I can help. If you’re confused about where to begin, I’ll talk you through the process of getting a domain name, web hosting, business email address and anything else you need.
Looking for help with your website?
I’m a WordPress developer who loves helping small businesses grow their online presence with great looking websites.
Want a new website or to overhaul an existing site? Got a broken WordPress site that’s driving you crazy?
Just let me know what you need and I’ll be happy to help!