Do I need a website? If you are a small business owner and you are contemplating whether your small business needs a website or not; I’ll save you some time. YES! Your business (irrespective of any size) needs a website. A professional, accessible, fast, consistent, mobile compatible website.
According to a study, 46% of small businesses do not have a website. On the contrary, 97% of people look online to find a local business. So, if your business doesn’t have a website, you won’t be visible to those 97/100 people and they will not know your name. In this article, we will explain why every small business needs a website and why an online presence is becoming paramount for businesses of all sizes.
Consumer approach is changing with changing technology and if you cannot keep up, you will lose a huge part of your revenue. Nobody will remember that there is a small eCommerce store that sells unique garments unless and until you shout it out to them! And your website does just that.
The smallest of the smallest business can also benefit from an internet presence. Why? Because the world is online. Do you know: 81% of the U.S population has access to the internet? So, a lot of people could have been interacting with your small business - of course, if you had a website! And, if these are your target customers, you need to be found online. This translates to - You need to create a website.
In this article, we’ll cover :
 Why businesses need website development?
 Social media vs Website
 Characteristics that make any website stand out?
 How much does website development cost?
Why developing a website is mandatory for every business? Take a look at the reasons.
 Your Business is Global and is never Closed
The world is your oyster - For today’s growth-minded business owners, Shakespeare was right! Seeking international growth by expanding globally has opportunities aplenty. Going global can give you exposure to new markets, increase sales and revenue and expose your business to different values and cultures; all-in-one increasing brand value and profits. But all this is a far-fetched dream without a website.
81 percent of consumers carry out online research before engaging with a brand. If you don’t have a website, you will have a zero percent chance of showing up in the search results. With a website and along with some digital marketing and SEO optimization (we’ll come to this later), you have an increased chance of appearing at the top of Google’s results and getting more visibility with potential customers.
What about people that work late or stay up late or are plain insomniac - you cannot keep your business running 24x7, right? With a client cohort like this, you have to make sure they get access to your business too. With a website, whether for eCommerce or Service, you are never offline or out of business. A business website means selling and promoting your products and services anytime, every time.
Also, if your website has a live chat, consumers looking for some products or services can contact you at any time and you can return their messages in your own suitable time, keeping the opportunity for bidirectional communication open.
 Showcase Products and Services
57% of consumers prefer to shop online. If you don’t have a website, only people who visit your physical business will have an idea of what you sell. On the other hand, if you have a website, your products and services will reach anyone and everyone who has access to the internet. Your website will act as a catalog for the services or products that your business expertise in.
Showcase your products with beautiful images, lengthy description and customer testimonials to attract potential customers. 60% of Consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it. Remember - With a website you can sell instantaneously
Also, if a sale is not made it is of a very high probability that the customers will remember you and return to your site. You can always use retargeting to get these customers to convert, again another reason for website development.
For service companies, a website is a great place to flaunt your case studies and how your services helped other businesses solve their problem. Customers looking for a service can take a look at the similar work your business did, view the testimonials, initiate conversation and eventually convert to a client.
 Digital Marketing Strategy
Acc. to Hubspot,
[a] Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising.
[b] Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5 times more leads than companies that published zero to four monthly posts.
[c]Strategic landing pages are used by 68% of B2B businesses to acquire leads.
……………… And thousands of other stats that all over the internet that emphasizes the role of digital marketing in influencing consumers of today. So, Your website is the most powerful marketing tool.
Whether it’s content marketing or PPC advertising, you cannot go much further if you don’t have a dynamic website in place. With the help of digital marketing, you can soon become an authority in your niche. With a website, you build your brand authority.
Also, digital marketing is cost-effective as you can reach more customers for less money than traditional marketing methods.
Digital marketing helps businesses expand without any geographical constraint. It also lets you be flexible with your audience base and what type of customers you target.
Having a website in place will help you make decisions based on data. You can actually see what is working for you and what isn’t. You will have a complete picture of which type of marketing brings more leads, which channel converts more, which keywords perform best. This is unlike in traditional marketing, where you just have to aim in the dark if the marketing process is not increasing your ROI.
 Collect Customer Information
There is one thing common in every business - every business wants to create more revenue and grow. Every business need leads! What are Leads? People that actually have a potential of converting into clients are called leads.
And your website is a lead generation machine.
Start with understanding your Google Analytics data to see what are the sources of traffic to your website. Research about the cohort that is visiting your website. Then, scale up the marketing efforts for those sources that are driving the highest percentage of conversions.
You need to put efforts to convert your website visitors to valued customers too. Include a contact Number or email ID, set up forms, add a live chatbot to help drive leads for your business. This will encourage your website visitors to leave their email address and with access to their personal information, you can tailor targeted interactions according to their preferences.
AND last but not least,
 Your business gets credibility
“Who are you?” If you are not a big name in your niche, I’m sure not everyone has heard about you. A website makes it easier to answer the big questions. Questions like who you are, what you offer, how you can be contacted, what other customers say about you and etc etc.
Your website helps in your visitor’s immediate gratification, that means, they get answers to these basic questions within seconds of landing on your website.
Also, it ensures your visitors that your business is legitimate. Do you know - Nearly 95% of people read online reviews before making a purchase? So, when you have customer testimonials on your website, it helps people decide whether to buy your products or services quickly and without many hitches.
SHOUTOUT : Your Competitors Have A Business Website. I have heard people saying that we don’t need a website as our industry doesn’t have too much of an online presence. That’s malarkey! When 77% of US residents own a smartphone, every industry in no matter what niche has some web presence.
If you don’t have an online presence and they do, you are giving your customers a chance to buy from other brands. And you know what’s worse? Your potential clients don’t even know you exist.
If you still have some doubt whether or not to build a website for your small business, read the previous sentence AGAIN! Your customers are smart! They generally do basic research before considering their options. If they research and your name doesn’t come up in Google, there is a good chance that they will not buy from you! The vast majority of buyers would rather buy from a company that has an online presence than someone who doesn’t.
Social media vs Website
More often than not, being a custom software development company, we get to hear that “I have a social media presence, I don’t need a website”. That’s not correct. In the war between Social media vs website, website is a clear cut winner.
- Social media is not as professional as a website. With a website, you are much more flexible and organized.
- You are in 100% control of your online presence, not in someone else’s mercy. Say, your social page is on Facebook and someone reported it and Facebook decides to take it down. You lose potential business for all those days it takes to re-publish your page.
- Social media stats don’t stand a comparison with website stats.
Remember, your website is your online presence and social media is just a marketing tool. Use social media to drive traffic back to your website and grow your customer list.
Characteristics of a good website
Not every website stands out. Did you know that it takes no more than 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website? .05 seconds – that’s all a user needs to determine whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.
You have to invest while developing a website, so, invest in a good web development company that is experienced in developing visually appealing yet simple and sleek and provides a good first impression.
We have a list for you. Click here to download the checklist on what features every good website must have. Give our mail list subscribe if you want to receive more such lists.
A website is not enough. Make sure your website not only looks good but also provides a seamless and intuitive user experience for your visitors. Better usability means better conversions!
How much does website development cost?
So, say you are convinced that you need a website. Now you want to know “how much will developing a website cost you”? Let’s break it for you:
Here’s what goes into the cost of a website:
[a] Domain purchase and Hosting - You have to purchase a domain and host your website there. Domain is the website address (www.yourcompany.com) and hosting is where your website will live (InMotion, GoDaddy, Wix, Weebly etc). These are recurring costs.
[b] Design and Development - This depends. If you are thinking of custom developing a website from scratch, it will cost you more. If you opt for the “drag and drop” website builders, there is still the hosting costs for free packages. If you take a premium package, there are some costs there too.
Read more : Do you need custom development?
[c] Digital marketing - You need to optimize your website for SEO and create content. If there is no in-house member that can do it, you will incur some costs to hire one.
Read more : How to reduce custom software development costs?
-::To sum up::-
Anyone who tells you your business doesn’t need a website is wrong. Developing a custom website is the best decision you can take as a business owner! Not only it will influence your ranking in local and global search results but also open up a completely new platform for lead generation and customer conversion.
Also, it will make you better off than that 46% of small businesses that don’t have a website. If you are convinced and need help developing a website for your business, Let BinaryFolks help you!