I question I often get asked is, “Does my small business need a website?” In short, the answer is a resounding “Yes”.
Recent stats show that in Australia, over 50% of all businesses have a website. Out of those, only 30% can take orders online. This stat seems low, but this is actually a great result for Australian businesses. For the first time in 2017, we went over 50% of small businesses having a website.
So why do you need a website for your small business? Keep reading to discover my top five reasons…
Reason 1 – Google Search
The main reason why you should have a website is for search results. People are searching online for your business every day. And most times they are unaware of what services you provide and how you can serve them.
Search engines pick up information on your website. Whenever a user searches on Google, Google uses an index of the internet to find the best result for that search. That’s why having good content on your website is so important. This is Search Engine Optimisation.
The fact is that over 90% of all purchases in Australia start with an online search. This is when a potential customer is looking for product information or prices to start a journey to buy. A much lower percentage of purchases finish online. Being able to show up in search results when a potential customer is looking for you is important. This means you need to have an online presence.
If you are a beginner and getting started online, a good starting point is to set up your free Google Maps listing. Once you have that you should move to a quality website. Your website will need good product and service information for your business.
If you are one of the 49.9% of businesses that don’t have a website, you need to start your online journey. Being found in search results is a good way to start engaging with potential customers.
Reason 2 – Phone books are rarely used
Today, businesses can no longer get away with not being online. Many businesses used to pay for a listing the phone book and that was enough to get leads and phone calls.
In 2018 you need to make sure Google can find you and especially Google Maps for your local listing. If your business can’t be found online, then a potential customer is likely going to call a competitor.
Tip: Do a search for your business or related information in Google and see if you can be found.
Reason 3 – It builds Trust and Legitimacy
More and more, it is expected that you have a domain name and a website for your business. Having a professional website design and a branded domain for email all help. How? By building trust and legitimacy for your business.
It’s very difficult to build trust with potential clients online when you don’t have a website. A Facebook page and a Google Maps listing are not enough. You still need to have a website and it needs to be professional and accurate.
Tip: Secure your business domain name and at least get a simple One Page website to start.
Reason 4 – A Marketing and Information Channel
A website can help you learn more about your customers. Google Analytics can track lots of interesting information. This can enhance any business by providing reliable data about your customers.
You can avoid accidental marketing with real data and real statistics.
Making your marketing budget more effective will give better results for your business.
Facebook and Google Maps also give you some statistics. It’s important to note that in this case, a user has been using other brands to find you. Getting your own online property is like a dedicated store. Facebook and Google are more like the shelf at a supermarket. That’s worth considering.
Reason 5 – Share Information and Knowledge
A recent customer survey asked what helps make a purchase decision. The results were clear, brand recognition reigns as the Number 1 reason for a sale. The second purchase decision indicator is documentation and knowledge.
Understanding the customer’s purchase decision journey means you need to build trust. The best way to build trust is with information and knowledge sharing on your website. This shared information should centre around your area of expertise. By doing that well, you place yourself as the go-to expert in your field of business.
If you have a great website with good knowledge on it, you will get more leads from your potential customers. And with that better chance of converting sales. Without that shared knowledge, you would need to resort to other methods to build trust with new customers.
Finally, what’s your reason for not being online?
I have spoken to a few businesses that don’t want new work, they are already busy enough. In this case, it’s true, you may not need a website. It is still smart to make sure you have a good Google listing and professional email. Remember, a customer may be looking for you. Make sure they can find you online and make it easy for them.
If you do want new business and new leads, you must have a good website and a relevant domain name.