Every business in the world needs a website.
Yeah, I said it. That’s not a claim to take lightly. The world is slowly transitioning into an online-first world.
The digital world has changed how we work, buy products, and even interact with each other. If your small business doesn’t have a website, you’re missing out on potential sales, leads, new customers, brand awareness, and the chance to build a thriving business–no matter the economic situation.
Sadly, only 2/3 of small businesses have a website (64%). My dream is to take that number to 100%.
Build a great website, and you’ll help your business better survive and thrive in these challenging times.
Below you’ll learn the nine biggest benefits of a website for your small business, and how to start employing small business website marketing strategies for maximum results.
When people hear about a new business, one of the first things they check is the internet. If you don’t have a website set up yet, or at the very least, a social media profile, it’s as if you don’t exist.
One of the main benefits of a website is having the ability to speak directly to your local customers who are looking for your product or services, as well as control the appearance of your business in the minds of your potential customers.
By having a well-designed website and including helpful information like your address, phone number, photos, customer reviews and testimonials, and anything else that would help to elevate your perception in the eyes of new customers. Your website will give the opportunity to your customers as well as future customers to contact you.
Plus, without a website, it’s near impossible to run locally targeted ads and see a return (much more on this below). Otherwise, you’re throwing stuff up against a wall just to see what sticks.
It was just mentioned above, but the local search engines can be your best friend as a business owner.
Whenever buyers are making a purchase they’re going to go online first. We all do the same thing. For example, when you’re looking for a new restaurant to go to, you’ll almost always turn to Google first and see what the search results say.
More benefits of a website are to give yourself a chance at these rankings. Without a website, you’re letting all of this foot traffic go to your competitors.
Ranking in the local search engines requires a website. To rank high in local search you’ll need to do the following:
- Optimize your website for local keywords your customers are searching for
- Claiming your local Google My Business page and categories
- Add your website to local directories and directories related to your business
- Setting up business listings on review websites and obtaining positive reviews
- Attach a blog page to your website and post blogs about your business
- Make your website mobile-friendly since it’s estimated 60% of searches take place on a mobile device
Using the above methods for ranking in local search can be an incredible way to give your business a chance to generate passive leads.
Plus, having a website gives your business a chance to build awareness in the local community. People are online now, more than ever before. This means more time spent researching, reading blog posts on your website, and digging through local reviews.
Think of your website as a top salesman who works around the clock 24/7/365. What would that level of marketing do for your business? But, instead of having to employ that salesman, they work for you for free.
This is what your website can do for your business.
Advertising used to mean handing out flyers or taking out radio and TV spots. All of this was pricey and the returns were never guaranteed. But today you have easier ways to target and reach your audience.
Take a look at these innovative marketing strategies:
- Target consumers in your local area via Facebook ads
- Use ad retargeting to send ads to people who have already visited your website
- Use Google Adwords to target people who are searching for your exact business
- Use Groupon to bring in swarms of new customers with an incredible deal
This is one of the absolute benefits of a website since there’s more competition than ever before and this means more choices for consumers.
So, one way to establish yourself as an expert in your space (and thus the most likely option for businesses) is to use your website to establish authority.
Immediately your website will act as the first impression to new and existing customers. A great design can enhance your business, while poor design can be detrimental.
Down the road, you can also use your site as a platform to publish content that solves your customer’s problems, entertains them, and educates them. This constant stream of value means that you’ll always be at the top of your customer’s mind, and the one they think of immediately (more on value-driven content below).
Your marketing efforts should be viewed as a spoke and a hub. Your website is the hub, and all of your marketing efforts (spoke) can flow back towards this channel.
There are all kinds of small business digital marketing strategies you can implement:
- Run local Pay-Per-Click ads
- Create locally-driven content to drive leads
- Rank content/website in the local search results
- List your website in local directories
- Run local social media ads
- Sell products online to a local/global market
- Use videos to promote your company, products, or services
Every single digital marketing strategy above will point back towards your website.
Your website serves a broader purpose than just driving new leads to your business and making sales, and a successful one will be a sales engine, but it should do more.
One of the top benefits of a website is having this as a tool to learn more about your customers. For example, you can integrate email marketing and create a sequence that asks your customers questions related to their pain points.
You can also create surveys, analyze your analytics, and even use heat tracking software to understand what areas of your site your visitors find the most valuable.
This information will help you refine your marketing strategies and nail down your customer persona. In the long run, you will save money, and generate more revenue per advertising dollar you spend.
The better you can understand your target audience’s buying patterns and behaviors, the better you can personalize all of your marketing strategies, which in turn will be easier to find online where your ideal customer is looking for your products and services.
This tip might not seem like it’s in alignment with the rest, but when we think about what makes a great company, it’s all about the employees.
When trying to bring on new employees you might take the standard approach of using local job listings or relying on referrals. But, what if your website could automatically bring people into your world? Wouldn’t that be easier to find motivated and passionate people who would want to work for you?
Your professional online hub is your reputation as a company, and one of the benefits of a website can help bring in people who automatically understand your business’s values and vision.
A lot of local business owners focus so intensely on their local markets they forget about the entire global market, which is a shame because the global eCommerce market is worth over $3.46 trillion.
Your website can help to expand your business in the local arena, but it also gives you a whole new way to sell to your customers. The eCommerce revolution is upon us, and it’s time for you to take advantage of that market.
Setting up an online store is a pretty simple process. Plus, if you have an existing website you can integrate eCommerce functionality with a plugin, or piece of software (more about this below).
If you’re a small business owner who sells physical products, then tapping into the global marketplace should be integrated into your overall marketing plan. Having your store open 24/7, even after your 9 to 5 hours has shut its doors, can open another stream as well as increase your profits.
This isn’t limited to small businesses like clothing stores, cafes, and small good shops. Even if you run an auto shop you can sell digital eBooks and guides about car maintenance, insider mechanic tips, advertising revenue, online tutorials, and more.
When customers come across your business they’d rather learn about it through an article than an advertisement. 70% of people would rather learn about a company through content than ads.
This is one of the true powers of creating a content marketing strategy.
One of the main goals of creating content is to educate your customers about your business, solve their problems, and educate. This role is different from being a business owner who is constantly selling to customers.
Customers and future customers will follow you because of the value you’re delivering, the insider tips, do’s and don’ts, how-to’s on saving money, product or service reviews, and maybe the best coupons and discounts.
New Route New Business
You can even take the approach to create content that never mentions your business. Instead, you write about your industry, focus on teaching readers, offering insights, and overcoming any objections they might have.
This creates a ton of content outposts around the web and creates endless opportunities for readers to find you and potentially become customers.
The final point to mention is the lead nurturing factor. Your content lets you organically draw customers into your world from consistently delivering value to them, and over time, they may eventually buy something from you, become a customer, or at the very least recommend you to a friend or family member.
The best thing about this approach is there’s no pressure on the sales sequence. Become a customer if you’d like, but we’ll be here serving you either way.
As you can see education and value-based content marketing can become a true asset for your business, and the home for all this content is…your small business website.
To recap, content marketing can:
- Make your business become the go-to resource in your customer’s minds
- Create endless outposts across the web through search engine rankings and social media that bring new leads into your world
- Sell your customers on your business without any active selling
As you can see, the benefits of a website are tremendous.
Building a website can help you realize all of the above benefits and more. By the way, it doesn’t have to be difficult either. With the tools available today, a new website is only an afternoon away.
Common, user-friendly self-site builders:
- WordPress, the most widely used CMS in the world
- Squarespace, the drag and drop website builder built for small businesses
- Shopify, the drag and drop eCommerce store builder built for beginners
And that’s just the beginning. There’s a multitude of tools, software, tutorials, and more that can help you build a professional-looking site in no time at all.
The great thing about all of the tools above is they use a theme or template system. This means that you choose a high-quality theme that matches the design and market you’re in, then you make a few customizations, and you have a website that’s ready for the world!
Plus, WordPress, Squarespace, and Shopify all have plugins that let you add useful features for your local business like opt-in forms for your contact management software and email marketing campaigns, maps, calendars, testimonials and review integration, online booking forms, and much more.
We live in an age where those who fear tech can easily build a site by simple drag ‘n drop features and user-friendly tools. These template systems helped create 455,000,00 WordPress sites and millions of entrepreneurs grow their business to another level.
Every small business needs a website, today more than ever.
If you don’t have one yet, don’t worry. Now is the perfect time to get started. Note that you can succeed without a website, but as you read, the benefits of a website can take your business from mediocre to great!
Imagine the alternative of relying on the algorithms of Facebook or any other social media platform. One faulty mishap, not of your own doing either, can crush all of your efforts, resulting in your audience gone and no way of getting them back.
With a website, you’re basically building a virtual extension of your small business (probably a better one too). One that you can control, and one that can work for you day in and day out, every day, every month, every year.
If you want to get started building a website for your small business, then get in touch with us today. Fill this form or Call Us at (805) 870-5687 to get a free 30-minute consultation.
We love helping small businesses succeed in this quickly changing digital world.
Owner of More Buzz Online, LLC., an internet marketing consultant, and blogger. With 10+ years of digital marketing experience, he’s passionate about leveraging the right strategic partnerships, content, and software to scale digital growth.
Larry lives in Southern California and writes about internet marketing for small businesses and professionals as well as blogging like a business owner, not another writer at https://morebuzzonline.com/blog.