Why you need a website for your business
Having a website for your business is essential in today’s digital world. It helps you reach out to potential customers, build trust and credibility, and increase visibility.
But does your business really need a website? The answer is yes! Websites are the most effective way to showcase your products or services and engage with customers. They can also help you create an online presence and drive more sales.
In this article, we will discuss some of the facts about websites for businesses that will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to have one.
In 2023, it never ceases to amaze me that people are willing to create a business, invest their hard-earned money into it and bet on themselves that their business will grow and work – without creating and running a website for your business.
This school of thought, being a school of no thought, usually stems from one of two things:
- The naivety around the importance of having a website for your business.
- The willful blindness and trust in the phrase ‘build it and they will come.’
Well, if you have indeed run a business before and bet on yourself as you are now – you will know for a fact that you cannot simply hope you will succeed and instead need to ensure that you succeed.
And how do you ensure that your business will succeed? That’s a question too broad to precisely answer in this article alone. However, a damn-good place to start is to make sure that your business has a website.
A thought experiment to end all 'does my business need a website?' discussions...
Let’s have a little thought experiment, shall we? Close your eyes and imagine that you need to install new bathroom tiles in your house. What is your first step going to be? More than likely, unless you know someone who does this personally, you are going to Google ‘bathroom tiles near me’ or something along those lines. Okay, you are now at the searching stage for the solution to your problem and you are needing to be convinced that someone can solve it. You look at the top few businesses ranking for what you have searched – who are you going to trust and go with? Now I’d bet my (newly bathroom tiled) house that you will trust, choose and pay the business that has a fast, modern and good-looking website that describes your problem, empathises with it and shows you exactly how they will solve it with examples of how they’ve done this in the past with others with the same current problem as you. Do you know who you will not choose? Not only will you avoid the businesses with websites you deem not up to your standards but you will definitely not hire a business without a website. Do you know why? Because you wouldn’t find them anywhere, anyway. You would never know they exist. They could be the best bathroom tiling business in the world – but unless you see their flyer in a local Chinese takeaway, you are none the wiser. Capeesh?
It's not 1990 - flyers will not cut it in comparison to a business website
Put yourself in your own shoes, now, and breathe a sigh of relief you’re no longer randomly wearing other people’s clothes. Now, imagine you are two years into running your new business. In these two years, you have owned the perfect website and it gets noticed, seen and respected by the local area. Your competitor in your area, on the other hand, did not get a website for their business and instead spent thousands of pounds on glossy flyers and regularly places them on the counters of the takeaways, coffee shops and pubs. Which business owner — you or your competitor — sleeps better at night? So, do you need a website for your business? Unless you want to rely on hope and 20th century assets, as opposed to proven (basic) modern marketing methods such as websites and SEO, then yes you do indeed need a website for your business.
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Facts to stop you questioning 'does my business need a website?'
- Having a website for your business is essential for your brand to establish an online presence and reach potential customers.
- A well-designed website for your business can boost your brand awareness and attract targeted traffic to purchase your products or services.
- A business website enables your business to continuously promote itself through various digital marketing strategies.
- Running a website for your business can allow you to gain and analyse valuable information about the visitors that land on it. This user data can be used to build relationships with potential and current customers by optimising your overall digital marketing strategies and business through understanding your market and how they respond to your offering better.
- Having a website for your business can help to establish your business and brand as an expert and leader in your industry, preventing potential customers from seeking out competitors.
- It’s important to make sure that all important information about your business is easily accessible on your website. Having this feature on your business website ensures that potential customers and website visitors do not find themselves confused and you increase your business website’s conversion rate.
- A high ranking for your website and business on the first page of Google search results for your keywords can attract leads and customers at no cost.
- A website for your business is an intangible asset that adds value to your business.
- 92% of searchers choose businesses that have a business website ranking on the first page of local search results.
- Having your business’s website on the first page of Google’s search results is crucial as the click-through rate decreases the lower your website ranks on the page.
Owning your brand's real estate
Let’s assume that your business name is registered as ‘SEOs AI LTD’. You can and you should then own the domain name: SEOs.ai. If you don’t – anyone can. In fact, some webmasters make a living out of finding brands that do not own the domain to their brand name and buying it and re-selling it to you once you clock you should already own it. Another way some digital experts make a living is by running review websites for different industries. If you run a restaurant for example – different websites will likely place you on their ‘top restaurants near you’ lists – but only if they know you exist, too. Similar to how we are able to acknowledge the top marketing companies in Uttoxeter.
The alternative to owning your own real estate online is relying on a profile on a social networking platform such as your Facebook page. Many businesses utilise platforms like Facebook to establish an online presence, but by doing so, they do not truly own their online presence and can risk losing followers and likes overnight.
24/7 brand visibility and marketing
It is not possible for you, as a business owner, to stand on a street corner 24 hours a day seven days a week to shout about your business. It’s also not even possible to put posters, flyers, business cards and billboards everywhere. Even direct paid advertising is not sustainable 24/7. But, if you have a website for your business, that is akin to having your physical storefront lit up with a large OPEN sign to the world, around the clock, for anyone.
Having a strong online presence is crucial, as your competition likely does. A well-designed website can boost brand awareness and draw in specific audiences to purchase your offerings. Additionally, having a website enables you to continuously promote your business through various digital marketing strategies. Lastly, having a business website is essential to not miss out on potential online traffic which could, of course, turn into customers.
Gain an edge over your competitors with a business website
Let’s use cocktail bars in your town as an example here. There could be a lovely boutique bar at the bottom of your high street that has been there for several years. However, a new cocktail bar at the top of the high street has recently opened their doors to the town. You know this because they have a lovely website displaying their staff, menu, interior, brand philosophy and identity and you see that they play Abba every Thursday. You saw their website through their brand’s TikTok, Instagram and Facebook that they created and have frequently kept up-to-date with the opening of their new bar since they finished the design of their logo three months ago. How do you envision the existing boutique bar at the bottom of the street feels? I imagine they might feel a bit silly. The longevity and quality of your business matters a great deal. However, if a new competitor opens up with a lower quality brand new business that is marketed better – there is no hiding from the fact that you will look the worse business of the two. Unfortunately, it is also the case that if you manage to bat away the bitterness felt from accepting this fact and decide to crack-on and claw back, you are likely to look like you are trying to compete with THEM.
Your brand's identity becomes transparent
It is more paramount than ever to gain and keep the trust of consumers. And to do this you have to be more transparent and open than ever before. Ensuring that you do indeed have a website for your business instead of constantly contemplating ‘does my business need a website?’ allows your market and potential customers to understand that you are who you say you are. But, without a business website, you cannot tell anyone who you are such as with an about us page, let alone gain their trust of that.
Weed out timewasters and instantly qualify visitors
Not only should your business have a website but it also should completely explain what your business does and for whom. If your business has a website, your potential customers should, at all times, be in no doubt about exactly what you do. Therefore, your website weeds out any time wasters or you wasting your own time seeing if you are a good fit for someone as, once someone lands on your site through SEO, they will know whether you are what they need.
Once you have a website for your business - get it seen with SEO
92% of searchers choose businesses that appear on the first page of local search results. Being on the first page of Google’s search results is crucial as the click-through rate decreases as a business appears lower on the page. The majority of people click on one of the top three organic ranking results. The top position on Google’s desktop search results has a click-through rate of approximately 35%.
Achieving a high ranking for relevant keywords on the first page of Google search results is invaluable as it can attract leads to your business at no cost and can be seen as an intangible asset that adds value to your business. SEO is paramount to your business website in order to get its many different web pages seen. Again, going back to the ‘build it and they will come’ phrase – it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Frequently asked questions concerning whether you need a website for your business
Why do I need a website for my business?
A website is essential for businesses to establish an online presence and reach potential customers. A well-designed website can boost brand awareness, attract targeted traffic to purchase products or services, and be used as a platform for various digital marketing strategies.
How can a website benefit my business?
A website can provide valuable information about website visitors, be used to build relationships with potential and current customers through email marketing campaigns, and help establish a business as an industry expert and leader. Additionally, it can help reduce support calls and improve customer satisfaction.
Is having a website important for SEO?
Yes, having a website is important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Websites provide a platform for businesses to create and share valuable content, and to establish their brand online. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo use complex algorithms to rank websites based on their relevance and authority. Having a website can help your business to establish its authority and credibility, which can in turn help to improve your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site. Additionally, a website provides an opportunity to use various SEO techniques like meta tags, keywords, and backlinks to improve your search engine visibility.
Can't I just use social media for my business instead of a website?
While social media can be a valuable tool for promoting your business and connecting with customers, it is not a substitute for a website. A website provides a central location for your business’s information and is under your control, whereas social media platforms are owned and controlled by third parties. A website allows you to have full control over the design, functionality and content, and it also provides a unique web address (URL) that you can use for branding and marketing efforts.
Also, it’s important to note that social media platforms have their own algorithms that can change frequently, which can make it difficult to predict how your content will be distributed and seen by your audience. On the other hand, having a website gives you more control over how your content is presented and how it will be found by search engines. Additionally, a website can serve as a hub for all your online presence, including your social media accounts, which can help to strengthen your overall online presence.
How often should I update my website?
It is recommended to update your website regularly to ensure that the content is fresh, accurate and relevant. The frequency of updates will depend on the type of business you have and the purpose of your website. Here are a few general guidelines:
- Updating the content on your business website: If your website is primarily informational, it’s a good idea to regularly update your content to ensure it stays accurate and relevant. This could include things like product information, company news, or blog posts.
- Security updates on your business website: It’s important to keep your website’s software up to date to address any security vulnerabilities. You should check for updates and apply them as soon as they become available.
- Updating the design of your business website: The design of your website should be refreshed every 2-3 years, or when it starts to look outdated. This can help to keep your website looking modern and professional.
- Reviewing the analytics of your business website: Reviewing website analytics can help you understand how users interact with your site and where they are coming from. Use this information to make updates to improve the user experience.
- Mobile optimisation for your business website: With more and more users accessing the internet via mobile devices, it’s important to ensure that your website is optimised for mobile viewing. Check that your website is responsive and displays correctly on different devices.
Overall, it’s important to keep an eye on your website’s performance and make updates as needed to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of your business and your audience.
How can I measure the success of my website?
There are several ways to measure the success of your business website, including:
- Traffic: One of the most basic metrics to track is the number of visitors to your website. This will give you an idea of how many people are coming to your site and whether that number is increasing or decreasing over time.
- Bounce rate: This metric measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website after only visiting one page. A high bounce rate can indicate that your website is not meeting the needs of your visitors or that the content is not engaging.
- Time on site: This metric measures how long visitors spend on your website. A high time on site can indicate that your content is engaging and valuable to your visitors.
- Conversion rate: This metric measures the percentage of visitors who take a desired action on your website, such as filling out a contact form or making a purchase.
- Referral traffic: This metric measures the percentage of visitors that come to your website from other sources. This could include search engines, social media, or other websites.
- Mobile optimization: With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s important to measure how well your website is optimized for mobile viewing.
- Search engine rankings: Another way to measure the success of your website is to track your search engine rankings. This will give you an idea of how well your site is performing in terms of search engine visibility.
- User feedback: Collecting feedback from your website visitors can help you to understand how they are interacting with your website and what they think can be improved.
These are just some examples of metrics that can be used to measure the success of your website. It’s important to identify which metrics are most relevant to your business goals, and then track them regularly to measure the success of your website over time.
Do you feel as if your brand isn’t as relevant as the competitors in your market? Get in touch with the 18 Growth SEO team to learn more by filling out this form.