It’s unfortunate that less than 64% of small businesses have a website, according to a study by Blue Corona. If you were to ask why the remainder are yet to get online, you would probably get excuses such as “it’s too techy” or “it’s too expensive and involving”. What these brand managers are saying is that they don’t need more business or more revenue.
To be fair, many of these traditional businesses without websites are savvy enough to be active on social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. If you are part of this group that remains unconvinced of the importance of having a business website in this digital age, it’s time to carefully consider what you could be missing out on.
By the Numbers: Why Every Service Business Needs a Website
Today, having a strong online presence is a make or break kind of deal for any business out there. Even the most unlikely brick-and-mortar enterprises such as marble and granite sellers are having to go online for one simple reason: consumer trends.
According to RetailDive, as many as 87% of shoppers begin their search online on digital channels. They go on Google and enter search terms like, “restaurants near me” or “roofing services in <example city>.
These local business searches make up 46% of all Google search traffic. In short, customers have evolved and want easy access to businesses, and only those who meet these expectations can hope to survive in the new business environment.
With these compelling statistics in mind, here is how having a business website can help you win more customers.
1. Build Credibility
If you don’t have a website, are you even a real business? That’s the thinking of millennials and Generation Z, which currently make up 64% of the world population. These savvy young people are born digital natives. To them, having a business website is on par with having a physical storefront. In fact, it might be more important to them.
A web address (URL link) is the first thing that customers will want to have when researching a brand; over a third of them won’t even consider any brand that lacks an official website. To these consumers, a website is a platform that lets them learn more about the product or service being sold and the people behind it
These customers need to establish credibility before they buy, and they are not wrong. There are tens to hundreds of businesses for every product or service category today, even the most specific “niche” categories. Competition is stiff, and a website is one of the best ways for brands to stand out from the rest as a preferable seller or service provider.
A business website gives brand legitimacy and creates a favorable first impression. It lets the customer learn what a brand is, what it stands for, who are its customers, and what products it sells. It’s like a “background check” on a brand, without which no one will “hire” its products or services to fulfill their needs.
2. Build Trust
Today, the average consumer is much more aware and conscious of the world around them. They will only buy products and services that they can trust, whether that’s non-toxic cosmetics or environmentally-friendly paint.
One of the reasons why brands today talk about value chains rather than supply chains is because customers want to understand the entire product journey, all the way to the source. Chocolate has to be fairtrade, gems have to be conflict-free, food has to be ethical, and so on.
But why the need for trust? For one, trust enables brands to gain customer loyalty. When issues about the product arise, such as negative publicity, loyal customers will stick with the brand and give it a chance to recover.
Trust also builds customer engagement. Today, consumers don’t just want the features and benefits of a product or service. They want an actual connection with the brand, an ongoing relationship that provides continuous growth and benefits into the future.
A website helps brands to create authenticity and brand authority, the two most important factors for creating trust.
Through creating and posting brand content, businesses create a sense of “we know what we are doing” authority. When they share their brand values, teams behind the brand, and their culture, they create transparency, authenticity, and a relatable sense of mutual trust.
3. Provide Leads
Perhaps the most compelling reason why businesses need to invest in a quality website is that it helps them to gain new leads and thus increase business revenue and growth. A website is one of the simplest but most fruitful strategic growth steps any brand can take in this digital age.
Back in 2014, Google estimated that 18% of local searches resulted in a purchase within the day. More importantly, 78% of local searches result in an offline sale. These stats on local searches are important because most traditional businesses serve local communities, and local is the new “green.”
Few things can extend the reach of a traditional business as much as a website. It’s your own digital storefront on the online streets where thousands and millions of potential customers roam.
The visibility that a website provides is the reason why brands can achieve massive growth with only a small investment. The brand can showcase its products and market them more effectively through online channels. Even without paid advertising, a good quality website with good content drives organic traffic (from Google searches), which means more leads and sales.
It’s Now Easier Than Every to Build and Maintain a Business Website
Even if a website were expensive to set up, it would still make business sense to invest in one. There are many more reasons why every business should have a website:
- Gain control of your brand, marketing, and public perception. Every business today receives online reviews from its customers, and lacking a website means you have no control over negative reviews
- Save time and money on marketing and customer service. A well-populated website is like a self-service information shelf for your customers
- Get started with digital marketing and gain even more leads
- Meet customer expectations – they demand convenience and accessibility through online channels
- Gain a competitive edge with data-based, targeted marketing
As it is, setting up a website today is very simple and affordable. It doesn’t take advanced programming skills to set up and manage one – at least not from you or your team. All you need is to buy a domain name and set aside an affordable investment budget. The fact is, websites have the best ROI of any other form of advertising.
Phi Web Studio is a top-tier website development and digital marketing agency that can help your business establish a sales-oriented website with inbuilt SEO and marketing features. We are a team of experienced web development creatives that can help brands get a foot in the wildly profitable side of online marketing.
It all starts with having a great website. We invite you to contact us to learn more about how we can make your journey to a successful brand website easy and affordable.