In our last article, we wrote about the different types of websites and the costs associated with purchasing these. Now we know what's what and how much it costs I figured I should explain why small businesses should have a website.
Growing a customer base
Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, are all great for attracting customers but search engines like Google and Bing can be more effective for finding paying customers. People using social media are not always looking to buy, they may just be browsing family photos, however, say for example I am considering hiring a cleaner I would open my browser and search Google for cleaners in my local area. People who search google for a specific service or product are usually ready to spend their money. So, if a business has no website then they are missing out on potential customers.
One of the advantages of a CMS(content management system) website is that if managed properly it can be great for SEO(search engine optimisation). Let me give you an example If a website has a blog with some great content, they may generate links to their website from other websites. This may lead to more traffic to the website but more importantly, Google will better rank the website because it has a good reputation. Consequently, the higher the website appears in a google search the bigger the potential audience. I am grossly simplifying SEO here, but I will come back and do an article on this later. The point is that websites, especially CMS websites can generate a lot of leads.
Legitimising the image of the business
One of the simplest reasons small businesses have a website is to legitimise their image. If a business in 2020 does not have a website, then that is a red flag for a lot of potential customers. Customers like to see a business website that has details of the services they provide, as well as a gallery, testimonies, etc. It's all about building trust. If a customer does not have enough trust, then they will go elsewhere with their business.
As for emails what looks more professional? email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. People tend not to take a business seriously if they are using Gmail or Hotmail email addresses. When a business purchases a website, they will get domain email addresses as part of their package.
The benefits of an E-Commerce(shop) website are self-explanatory really. If your business sells products, then why would one limit themselves to selling in a physical shop? All big brand and little brand shops sell online nowadays. There are in fact companies who do not want to have to deal with the hassles and limitations of a physical shop, so they sell online exclusively. In the post-Covid 19 Coronavirus world there is even more of a push for businesses to move online. Emily will be writing a blog on this soon so keep an eye out for this.
Our experts have experience in developing fast food ordering websites and online shops so if you have any questions send us a message
Businesses sometimes spend a lot of time and money on processes that could be automated for example we recently wrote a blog on how we developed an online quote form to automate one of the most time-consuming parts of our business. The initial cost of automating may be expensive but overall, businesses save a lot of money. One of our team recently implemented payment processing into a client website and that has cut their call centre time right down.
Useful information for customer
If for example I am taking my kids on a day out to the play area and I am not sure if the business will be open due to covid 19 restrictions or because it is a bank holiday, then I would google that business and find their website. I would look to see if there are any notices about the business being shut and check for their opening times. This type of information could also be on their social media but for a lot of people, Google and other search engines are the first places they would look.
Maps can come in handy, If I am not sure of the location of a business or just want the quickest route from where I am then I would go to a website's contact page and click the maps which will open my Google maps app and direct me from my current location. Customers like little convenient touches like this and are more likely to become a loyal customer if these things are in place.
The culture of a business can be important for a lot of customers. A company website would usually have an about section that specifies how the company started, its culture and its staff. This can be important during these coronavirus times when people are advocating to use small local businesses.
So, there are many advantages to having a business website but do small businesses need one? It's not essential of course as there are social media pages that can offer some online presence but if you are looking to legitimise your business, generate leads, sell online, automate processes or just provide your customers with useful information then a website is the way to go.
If I have missed anything let me know and I can update the article.