Why small businesses need a website

Many small businesses still seem to avoid the idea of just how important a website is for them. There are several reasons behind this which range from being cost-prohibitive to small business owners not fully understanding the benefits associated with a website.
They may feel that it is either too expensive or unnecessary as they only serve a niche market. Or maybe they have tried themselves with website-building tools and simply decided not to proceed forward. Maybe they're focused on selling their products via third-party marketplaces such as Amazon or Etsy and don't feel they need a separate storefront of their own. Whatever the reason may be, it is now more important than ever for any small business to have a website built.

It's your centralized storefront

Think of a website as your digital headquarters. It's a place where everything comes together and can be connected. You can link every one of your social media channels on it and easily offer all your products and services on it, and most importantly, it will have the best way for your clientele to get in contact with you.
Whether it's a contact us form, a telephone number, or getting redirected to the proper social media channels, a website helps to bring everything together in one place. Just like you would pay rent for your small business's physical location, there's also going to be some type of cost associated with this centralized digital storefront. However, it will be a much lower price than a physical location by far and will have trackable benefits for you and your business.

It helps people to find you

Many people these days do a bit of research before going with a company and acquiring their product or services. The best starting point to begin is with researching their website.
Wouldn't you, as a small business owner, rather have an accurate single source of truth where people can get the accurate information directly from your site, as opposed to getting the data from other sites that may be misleading or just incorrect? It's not just about people finding this correct information on your site, but it's also a place where website traffic comes to your site.

Why is website traffic so important?

When you have visitors coming to your site, it has a compounding effect. First, of course, it will lead to more conversions and more sales. But also, search engines will start to notice you more and more, helping to drive more traffic to your site. With this said traffic, you'll be able to grow your business and use that traffic to monetize in other ways.
As your digital brand awareness starts to increase, you can begin to push users to sign up for newsletters and follow you on social media channels. In addition, as your social media channels start to grow, you may be able to use that influence to generate additional income through those channels separate from your primary sales.

How to get that website traffic

Again, it all starts with having the website, to begin with. Then there's a place to direct all that traffic you're looking to grow and benefit from. Once you've established your website, you'll need to make sure that it's appropriately optimized. This can range from no broken links to having enough rich content for search engines to be able to find you. That's the first phase to start out with, and then it's all about the aggregate marketing strategy. Whether it's through purchasing, brand awareness, social media, or digital marketing spending, all of this helps to bring in extra traffic from these various sources.
Having a website can help track these sources and show you where most customers are coming from. From there, you can build out better-budgeted marketing strategies to bring more traffic from weaker areas while pushing sales from higher traffic sources.

My business is completely analog and offline; why would I still need to worry about all this?

Well, even if you’re an analog business, such as a restaurant, your website will help you more than you think. First, it's a way for people to get updated menu information and pricing for your restaurant, so people know what to expect price-wise. Then it's about having the right directions incorporated into the site, so people will be able to find you. Finally, it's about providing updated news and information, such as adding new menu items or a seasonal menu happening for the holidays.
This showcases that even the most analog types of businesses can use their business website as a way of digital communication to their regular customers and provide information to prospective customers. In addition, they can also help enable some digital options into their business, such as a reservation section on their site, to help fill up the restaurant all the time.
Even businesses such as general contractors or construction companies can benefit from a business website. But, again, these develop more as informational sites and points of contact versus interactivity, such as building out an eCommerce site for the clients. Yet the information is still important, and having that digital presence has become a staple for a legitimate business.

A gateway to digitization

Eventually, especially for those analog-based businesses, but also for any small business out there, building out a site leads to getting as digital as possible. You'll start to run your digital site analytics and your sales that all get integrated into CRM systems or, eventually, full-blown ERP systems that manage end-to-end business information.
This helps to be the digital face of your business as you try to work on digitizing as much of your operations as possible. A website for your small business is just the first step to getting that taste of how your business benefits through digital support tools.

I don’t have time to build my website

One thing that's understood about people who run a small business is how they are stretched too thin between all their different responsibilities. That leaves the activity of building a website, let alone updating one, not a top priority when there are other points of focus, such as growing sales and reducing expenses. That's ok; a small business owner shouldn't be building or managing a website anyway unless that's their actual business.
Budgeting and finding the right type of professional to build out this website is paramount. So many issues arise when non-experienced people build out websites, even with all those WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website builder sites. They seem simple to develop with prebuilt templates and promise that all you need to do is just add new content or easily add more products to your eCommerce site.
Even initial setup can be a hassle, and that comes with getting your domain name and connecting it to a proper hosting site. Many believe it’s about simply going to a domain name provider, and they are all sent. There’s a bit of a technical component, and even with the support of these third-party services, issues will always come up. In addition, you want to get proper hosting to make sure your site will load fast, as no one wants to head to a website that takes too long to load.
Then once you select a template and design, there are all the additional integrations to handle, from building out an eCommerce component to marketing connectivity, website security, and the list goes on. It becomes overwhelming before you've even built out the site, leaving many to question, why even build a website for my small business in the first place?

Get yourself a professional

In the end, you're going to want to look at professional support to not only build but also maintain the website once it's launched. Building it out is one piece of the digital puzzle, but simply building a website and not actively keeping it will not provide the benefits of having the site in the first place.

Why use a professional to build out the site?

On day one, getting a professional onboard to help build out the site will do a few things at once. First, it will take away a task for you to handle. Second, you can idea dump your ideas onto the professional, who will translate them into some initial design ideas. Third, you'll have someone who will simply do it better, faster, and cheaper, meaning you'll get yourself online with a truly optimized site. Once that site is optimized, then the business of bringing in that traffic and being picked up by search engines begins.
Another area is to make sure that the site looks good on any device. This is known as making the site responsive so that it looks normal on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Getting this right with professional help to provide a uniform user experience for those visiting your site on any type of medium.

Why use a professional to maintain the site post-launch?

You may think that you are all set after the site is launched. As mentioned, it is just the beginning of the digital journey. Continuous content and SEO optimization need to be done to ensure that the information on the site is constantly being refreshed. All of this will help with having the site easily found by interested parties.

In the end

Whenever you're ready to proceed with the next steps and work with a professional who acts more like your partner, feel free to reach out to us here. We'll be happy to discuss which package is best for you and answer any questions about website building you may have.

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