Should every small business have a website?
In Marni Cleiman’s opinion, the answer is a resounding yes! And I absolutely agree.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Marni, an exceptional web designer from the Greater Toronto Area. Trust me, she had some incredible insights to share. Our conversation revolved around the importance of websites for small businesses in today's digital age, and it was too good not to share with you. I am thrilled to have Marni as a guest blogger, so without further ado, let's hear what she has to say:
Should every small business have a website? YES!
Think about it this way, when was the last time you Googled a question (or used another search engine)? Have you searched for a business near you lately? Or, have you looked at a product online before going out to shop for it?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are part of a big group of us. About 85% of consumers use the internet to find out about local businesses and their products or services. So if your business is not there, you are missing out.
6 reasons your small business needs a website
All your competitors have a website.
According to recent statistics, 71% of small businesses have their own website. So those 85% of consumers mentioned above, who use the internet to find businesses, are finding your competitors.
They aren’t finding you, if your small business doesn’t have a website.
A website builds credibility & trust.
Consumers need to trust that you are a real and legitimate company before they hand over their hard earned money for your product or service. A website lets you show your expertise, your history and that you are a real company, filled with real people.
Also, with so many other businesses with websites on the internet, it may look suspicious that you don’t have one. Or, it can make people think that your business is not very professional. In fact, 84% of consumers think a website makes your business more credible than companies who only have social media profiles.
Websites can be listed on search engines.
“Let me Google that.”
Someone once said that if you’re not on Google, you’re not anywhere. And, it’s probably true once you become a verb!
One of the main reasons to have your own website is that it allows you to be listed on search engines, or more importantly on Google, which accounts for the majority of all web searches.
Another benefit to being listed on search engines, is that you can use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to make yourself more visible to the type of clients that you really want. You can also use it to expand your business to new clients and different geographical areas.
A website can provide 24hr customer service.
Don’t you just hate answering the same question over and over? Are you constantly answering easy questions like hours and location? My recommendation is – don’t. Just let your website do it for you.
While you are sleeping or doing other productive work, your website can do things like answer questions on your FAQ page, sell products, give your location, link to your social media accounts and book appointments. This saves you time and makes it convenient for your customers.
Your website shows your social proof.
I love using Trip Advisor when I’m planning a big vacation. I read all the reviews. I can find out the best places to go, what to see and where people enjoyed staying.
This is social proof. It is recommendations from other people, basically online word of mouth or referrals.
And it works! 55% of shoppers who do research online before making a purchase also search for online reviews. So it’s really important to have a place to showcase this proof.
You can add social proof on your website by adding reviews, testimonials from your past clients, case studies or certifications. You can add logos of companies you’ve worked with as well as any awards you’ve received.
Websites give you control over your information.
One of the reasons that some small business owners give as to why they don’t have a website is that they use social media (more on the reasons below) instead.
Social media is a really important part of any marketing plan these days, but has one major problem. You don’t control those apps.
Of course, you control the information that goes on to your social media pages, but you don’t control what information you can add there or the format that it uses. For instance social media sites will tell you what sizes of images you can use and what (if any) images appear when you display links.
And these will all appear on the page layout chosen by the social media website, with their branding.
On your own website you control what information is shown and how it is displayed. Your branding is front and center. You get to decide how visitors will interact with your brand.
You can have a gallery or create a form to gather newsletter sign ups. You can run an ecommerce store, educate people through your blog and display your testimonials. You can also change the information or redesign the layout whenever you want because it belongs to you.
So, why do some businesses choose not to have a website?
Most small businesses do have a website (71%) and that number has been growing. The pandemic has shown many businesses that never thought about being online before, just how much a website was needed. Still, some businesses don’t have a website.
Here are some of the reasons given in a recent survey:
31% | Use a social media business profile instead
25% | Lack of technical skills
23% | Not necessary in their type of business
22% | Lack of resources (time or money) to invest in a website
These stats go along with what I’ve seen in my own web design business.
Many small business owners put off getting their website because:
- They don’t feel confident in their technical skills and a website is intimidating to them.
- They’re so busy running their business (or starting it up) that they can’t even think about how to get started.
- They need a website process that’s easy and fast.
- They want a website that’s going to be easy for them to update, with blogs, pictures or events.
Does this sound like you?
I can help.
Let’s work together on your new website
My goal is to give you a beautiful, professional website with a process that’s easy and understandable.
- I work with you one on one – you’re always free to ask questions
- You get content resources to help you set up and write your website text
- Or I can put you in touch with a great copywriters and/or photographers
- I work on a Squarespace platform, which is really easy to update
- At the end of the build we do a meeting where I show you how everything works - you get the recording to refer back to at any time
And the build happens in just 2 weeks!
Want to know more?
Marni Cleiman is a web designer based in the Greater Toronto Area. She takes care of the website design, coding and details for her busy clients. Her mission is to make the design process easy and understandable, and focus on supporting her clients.
Marni specializes in creating Squarespace websites that are not only beautiful and professional, but that are also easy to use and maintain.