An article in Inc magazine quoted a study that found that more than half of all small businesses do not have a website – wow, that’s a scary statistic.
Unless you don’t care about growing your business, or providing better customer service, then I suppose you don’t need one. But who falls into that category? And building an effective website is not that expensive, so there’s just no excuse.
A website for a small business is the foundation for ALL of its marketing. But here are five reasons why you as a small business absolutely need a website:
Reason #1: It’s the foundation of all your marketing efforts.
The majority of consumers start their search for a product or service online. Without a website they will never find you. I can assure you nobody is using the Yellow pages. If you do any traditional marketing and you have a website many of these potential customers will then visit it. Of all the traditional marketing you do, including:
- Networking (handing out business cards)
- Direct mail (postcards, marriage mail, RSVP cards, Money Mailer, Red Plum, etc.)
- Print media (newspapers, magazines)
- Trade shows
- Local Chambers
- Charity Events
Many of the people from these sources will go to your website to find out more about you. Without a website many potential customers will never be able to find out anything about your business. Most importantly, however, with a website you can capture these customers into what we call remarketing lists and continue to market to them for up to a year. I’ve written several posts on my blog about the effectiveness of using remarketing. And remarketing is very important when you consider that only 10-15% of your customers will convert to leads on the first visit to your site – without it you don’t have much of a chance to close the sale. Anecdotally – my wife and I used to own a retail store in the early 2000’s, it was a relatively small operation in San Diego selling unique medium to high-end furniture and home decor. We built a website that actually ranked across all three search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo for dozens of queries and before long we went from being a small local business to shipping product nationwide, which never would have been possible had we not had a website.
Reason #2: Customer Service.
Customers can get many of their questions answered without calling you. You can have pages with FAQ’s, directions to your location, recommendations, and testimonials. Plus if you have
forms on your site customers can just submit their questions which enables youto answer when you have available time.
Reason #3: Customer Acquisition Cost Is Lower.
The cost to acquire customers is a fraction of the cost versus traditional marketing tactics. Acquiring customers from online marketing costs is 1/10th that of what it costs via traditional marketing (I know this because I’ve tracked all forms of traditional marketing and advertising tactics along with digital tactics).
Reason #4: Integrated Marketing Works Better.
Integrating your marketing across traditional and digital works far more effectively than if you only do one or the other. Customers are not linear in their purchasing – in other words, they don’t just see your ad online or through traditional marketing efforts and become a customer. The majority of customers need several points of influence before purchasing – perhaps they see an ad online, then go to your Yelp page, or perhaps they got a postcard and visited your website, then went to social media, and then talked to friends before purchasing or calling you.
Reason #5: Competition
Your competitors already have a website and you will flat out not be anywhere near as competitive and will undoubtedly be at a clear disadvantage. So there you have it – 5 very important reason why small business need a website.