Why Do I Need a Website for My Brand?
"Your small business shouldn’t rely on social media to continue growing your business."
As consumer behaviors and buying habits have shifted towards digital platforms, having a social media presence is not enough to capture new customers.
You still need a website for your small business.
Your business’s online presence can have a massive impact on your overall growth and profit. In a modern landscape run by digital platforms, over 80% of your customers will research and visit a website before making a purchase decision. Meaning, having a website for your small business is as important as having a phone number.
Whether you’re a new business looking to develop a personal brand or an existing small business that needs to increase return on investment (ROI), your website has the potential to make a large impact on your overall success.
With more than 1.72 billion websites on the internet today – all competing for your customer’s attention – simply stringing together a few website pages and wiping your hands clean is no longer good enough. Not only do your customers expect you to have a website, they expect your website to deliver an engaging and professional experience that helps them solve their problems.
When you’re juggling your operations and sales strategy, building an optimized website that delights your customers may seem unnecessary if you already have a social media presence. Let’s dive deeper into why small businesses of all sizes need a website presence and how you can take your company to the next level with one.
Why Do You Need a Website?
No matter the type of industry or size of your business, you need a website.
Sure, social media drives awareness and leads your customers to the conversion next step. While social media is essential to create a robust customer journey, it’s not a substitute for a user-friendly and informational website. In fact, 88% of prospective leads are unlikely to purchase from you if you don’t have a website – even if they follow you on social media.
The key is creating a relationship between your social media platforms to funnel leads to your website. By developing an engaging website, you’ll be able to drive more engagement and sales towards your business goals.
What are Social Media’s Limitations?
Do you currently have an effective Facebook page or Instagram profile that converts customers? If so, that’s great! However, it’s not a sustainable strategy. Your small business shouldn’t rely on social media to continue growing your business.
Even if your current social media presence is sustaining growth, a website presence will still help you outperform your current sales projections. While social media helps you reach a larger audience, engage with customers on an exciting platform, and use pay-per-click advertising, it does have its own set of disadvantages as well.
Here are the top social media limitations your small business needs to consider if you plan on only maintaining a social presence:
- Algorithms and trends are constantly changing, making it difficult for customers to consistently see your content
- You don’t own your social media profile, the platform does and controls what your customers see
- Your content only lives for hours, so you have to keep recreating fresh posts to stay relevant
- You open yourself up to negative feedback from reviews and comments that could turn potential customers away from making a purchase
- Social media paid campaigns often come at a hefty price tag, with inconsistent results, that could run up your budget and resources
- The wrong post, hashtag, or even comment response could embarrass your brand and cause outrage with your customers without the proper research
- One post won’t drive business growth. You need to remain committed and consistent with your social campaigns to create measurable results
The truth is: your customer journey shouldn’t stop with social media. The average customer may stumble upon your social content and decide to follow you, but many will want to continue to your website to learn more about your brand, read content, and make a purchase decision afterward.
10 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs a Website
35% of small businesses feel like their company is too small to need a website, citing that cost and social media are the major reasons to not create one. However, your website is an investment that will continue to drive growth compared to any other digital platform – including social media.
Still on the fence about the importance of having a website? Here are ten additional reasons why your small business needs a website presence:
1. Create a Professional Brand on Your Budget
Modern consumers think that brands that have a website are more credible and professional than those who only have social media profiles. With Americans spending at least 24 hours online each week, your website helps you establish a professional brand and provides every user with a digital business card. Make sure your website includes:
- Your email, phone number, and other relevant contact information
- A value proposition that includes your brand’s purpose
- Cohesive branding, logo, and tone
Additionally, your website is an excellent platform to highlight awards, certifications, press releases, and more to drive additional brand awareness.
2. Stay on Budget
When thinking about your budget, remember that your website is a long-term marketing asset investment. Sure, you could quickly scrap together a templated website or have a free designer friend put one together. However, 75% of users admit to making snap judgments on a website’s design that ultimately makes the difference between landing a sale or not.
Instead, it’s recommended to hire a professional website designer who can help you meet goals and cater to your budget.
When you partner with a professional web developer, you can expect the following:
- Save your resources so you can dedicate valuable time to running your business
- Receive an on-brand and customized website solution that matches your industry needs
- An optimized website that includes the latest trends to meet customer demands
- Have a professional on call to fix any issues or develop future enhancements
3. Earn New Clients with SEO
Your future customers are already searching for similar products or services on the internet. In fact, 93% of online experiences begin with an internet search. If you don’t have a website, you’re unable to capture that market share and drive potential leads to your brand. Since your website is “always on,” you’re able to capitalize on website visitors 24/7 beyond your typical business hours.
An optimized website also helps your brand rank in relevant search results that can attract new customers. With quality content and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, you will increase your rankings and appear credible in search results. Consider implementing the following best practices into your small business website:
- Use free tools like Alexa and Google Trends to learn what your customers are searching for
- Implement keywords throughout your website copy, headers, and meta descriptions
- Analyze your Google Analytics metrics to discover future enhancements
- Avoid any duplicate website content or title tags
- Link to relevant internal content pages with anchor text
- Make your content is easy to read for both search engines and users
4. Highlight Your Products and Services
One of the main advantages of creating a website is the ability to showcase your products or services to potential customers. Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, or service-based company, your website allows you to clearly demonstrate the value your company offers. Not only can you give in-depth details to attract customers, but your website also makes sure that you’re attracting the right customers who could eventually transform into brand advocates.
You can also use your website to showcase your brand in innovative ways that catch your customer’s attention. For example, demonstrate what experience customers can expect when visiting your physical location or describe instructions about how to use your products. Your website can help highlight your brand through a variety of mediums, such as:
- Blog posts
- Guides and checklists
5. Display Customer Success Stories
When looking to make a purchase, users look for a mental shortcut that quickly helps them solve a problem or make a decision. Meaning, customers look at what others are doing or have done in the past before completing a purchase. By using your website to display social proof, you’re able to showcase real experiences from past customers who have success with your brand. It’s important to note that social proof doesn’t refer to social media, but instead the validation customers need from other people.
The average customer reads ten reviews before finalizing a purchase. Social proof helps you establish trust, simplify decisions, and improve your brand awareness. You can use social proof on your website by displaying:
- Case studies
- Real-time statistics
- Influencer endorsements
- Features in popular newspapers or blogs
6. Amplify Your Lead Generation Strategy
No matter your business size or industry, a successful website can grow your lead generation strategy and help you convert more customers. Develop your website with multiple conversion points so potential customers can easily find a way to contact you, complete a purchase, or move into your lead funnel. Throughout your website, consider adding the following lead generation tactics to promote conversions:
- Create a newsletter sign-up form to collect more subscribers for you to reach out to
- Add a Contact Us page that includes a form and contact information
- Develop lead magnets that trade valuable content for your user’s email address
- Include simple pop-ups that remind your customers about any sales or promotions
By using your website as the center of your lead generation strategy, you can increase your conversions and continue to deliver customers a positive experience past the initial sale.
7. Drive Foot Traffic to Your Brick and Mortar
You may believe your small business doesn’t need a website because it’s only for e-commerce companies. However, a website is a great tool to attract local search traffic and in-person visitors to your business. Google actually assumes users are on-the-go and searching for a business nearby and will rank your business higher than others. In fact, search terms like “near me today” has increased more than 900% in recent years.
People who are searching for local results are ready to purchase, so it’s important to optimize your website with local search terms. You can also embed Google Maps into your website so users can easily navigate to your business.
8. Establish Credibility as an Industry Thought Leader
Build industry authority and loyal relationships with customers!
With 64% of small businesses having a website, creating one for your brand is a great way to remain competitive and build credibility in your industry. Your website not only attracts potential customers, but it can also help you highlight thought leadership content that establishes your authority with industry-adjacent peers. You can do this by highlighting white papers, guides, and other unique content that shows your value.
Additionally, consider completing a competitive analysis to determine what other businesses are doing on their website and identify gaps. Use their gaps to your advantage and develop a website that looks different and meets your customers’ needs in new ways.
9. Set Your Business Up for Long-Term Growth
With over 4.5 billion people worldwide on the internet, more customers are using the internet today for purchases than ever before. Without a website, your brand wouldn’t be visible to any of these people, and you’d be relying on complex social algorithms to drive sales growth. Small businesses who develop a website are likely to engage with more customers and increase conversion rates over time than those without a website.
Websites are also more affordable over the long term than traditional small business tactics like yellow pages or radio ads. If you’re trying to cut expenses and increase sales, a website will give you a much wider reach.
10. Control Your Brand Identity
Wouldn’t it be great to have the final say on your brand perception? Unlike social media sites like Facebook and review sites like Yelp, you own your website and have complete control over its look, tone, images, and more. A website is an excellent place to build your brand with the right aesthetic and industry terminology – helping shape the narrative you want customers to perceive. Additionally, it allows you to showcase your message and market to your target audience more effectively.
2021 Website Statistics You Need to Know
The digital landscape has changed the way brands conduct business. It’s no longer enough to have a website and social presence, you also need to develop impactful content that entertains and educates your customers to drive results. Your website houses all the in-depth information around your mission statement, product information, team, and more that allows your customers to build a deeper connection with your brand.
As a small-business owner, it’s important to arm your marketing strategy with qualitative and quantitative data to ensure you don’t waste resources. While there’s no denying the growth a website can deliver your business, let’s have the numbers do the talking.
Still on the fence about the importance of having a website? Consider the following statistics when developing your 2021 web development marketing strategy:
- Small businesses without a website can increase profits by 25% with a website
- 47% of prospects will research a brand’s website before making a purchase decision
- 94% of customer first impressions hinges on your website’s design
- 48% of people believe that a business’s website is the most important factor in determining a brand’s trustworthiness
- Optimized landing pages could generate 638% more leads than other tactics
- 82% of users feel more confident about a brand after reading personalized content
- 62% of businesses believe their website should be redesigned every two to three years
Statistics don’t lie. To earn higher conversion rates and brand awareness engagement, a website is critical to your small business’s success.
Small Business Website Best Practices
Now that you understand the reasons to have a website for your small business, it’s essential to make sure you create one that drives results. When you work with a professional website designer, you’ll want to keep the following features in mind to ensure your site meets customer and industry needs:
Obtain a Simple Domain Name
Also known as your web address, a domain name is the entry point to your website and benefits both usability and search results. While your domain name should match your business name, you’ll want to consider the following tips:
- Make sure it’s easy to spell and as short as possible so it remains memorable
- Try to purchase a “.com” extension instead of “.net”, “.org”, etc.
- Create a domain that helps facilitate any future growth
- Avoid using hyphens or numbers
- Include local search terms such as “www.RenoPlumber.com” if possible
In addition to your domain name, you’ll want to purchase a scalable and secure website hosting platform that provides tech support at an affordable price.
Optimize for Mobile Devices
60% of Google searches are conducted on a mobile smartphone or device, making it more important than ever to develop a mobile-friendly website for your small business. Not to mention that Google will actually penalize your website’s search ranking status if it’s not mobile optimized.
A few best practices include:
- Develop a responsive design with designated mobile landing pages
- Provide a search bar for users to quickly find what they’re looking for
- Include clear and visible call to actions at the top of your mobile website
- Use “click to call” or “click to purchase” features
- Design with a single-column layout
Display the “Why” Behind Your Business
The second a new user enters your website, they should know who you are and the value you provide. As part of your value proposition, ensure the “hero image” (and other imagery) represents your products and the copy clearly demonstrates any additional offerings. You’ll also want to make sure both your footer and navigation is cohesive so users can dive deeper into your content to learn more.
Create a Memorable Interface
38% of people will stop engaging with your website if the layout or content is unattractive. Your small business website needs to include an engaging aesthetic that provides your customers with a positive user experience and persuades them to complete a purchase or action. To get started, you’ll want to include the following suggestions:
- Combine easy-to-read fonts, colors, and beautiful graphics
- Keep minimalism in mind to not distract your customers
- Stay consistently branded throughout your website pages
- Utilize intuitive navigation that allows users to easily find pages
- Establish obvious call to actions that drive conversions
- Design with accessibility for those with impairments
Embed Social Media Profiles
Since you already have an established social media presence, it’s important to connect the dots and embed your profiles on your website. Embedding your social media profiles helps you increase engagement, organizes your channels for customers, and adds additional credibility for new customers. Plus, you can encourage first-time website users to also follow you on your social media profiles so you can stay top-of-mind. You can embed your social profiles in your navigation, footer, and even throughout content with share buttons.
Outperform Your Social Channels with an Impactful Small Business Website
By now, you shouldn’t be questioning “Why do I need a website?” but instead asking “How have I waited so long to create one?”
Remember, the reasons to have a website include:
- Amplified brand awareness in local search results
- Increased conversions from a wider audience
- Designed professional appearance and branding
- Saved time, resources, and expenses
While having social media is a critical component of your overall marketing strategy, your website will establish longevity and improve your overall brand awareness. Instead of relying on trends and algorithms, your website will help your small business scale long-term in more ways than social media can ever provide.
Set yourself up for success in 2021!
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