Many business owners have asked themselves the question, ‘Does my business need a website?’. This might sound surprising, given that it’s 2020 and almost the entire western world now operates online. But it’s question web designers are asked all the time. Often we’re assured that, ‘We don’t need a website’.
While this might be true for some businesses in a few industries, it’s generally not true for most. For the majority of business-owners having a website in 2020 is vital to the survival of your business. It is a simple necessity if you want to avoid being left behind by your competitors.
In 2020, consumers expect every business to have a website
In this always-online world, having a website as an established business is vital. Nowadays it has long been the standard among all industries, building trust in a company or brand. According to one Vesign online survey, 84% of consumers think that having a website makes a company look more credible than those who merely operate on Facebook. And it does make sense. Anyone can make a Facebook page in minutes on their phone, but having a professional-looking website that looks stylish and modern shows that you’re an established company who has spent the time and money to properly invest in your business. Having a professional website portrays an image that can’t be acquired any other way.
It’s also interesting to note that that same survey found some 97% of small business owners who would recommend having a website to other small businesses. 81% said that having a website helped grow their business and 88% said it’s easier to be found by customers. So business owners who already have websites know the benefits this has to their businesses.
In addition to this, a study by Local Search Association discovered that 63% of people look online when searching for local businesses and services. This is a huge number of potential customers that might not otherwise find the services of a business.
You could be losing money by not having a business website
Many companies are happy with their level of income and this is perfectly fine, but if recent times have shown us anything it’s that the whole world can change at the drop of a hat. It’s not always about making as much money as possible. It’s about making enough to have a safety net that will see your business through tough financial times.
According to research carried out by Approved Index, there are over 2 million small businesses in the UK without a website. This is costing them a combined total of £343b each year – or just over £170,000 per business on average.
The concept is simple. Without a properly established online presence, you simply don’t have the reach of your strongest competitors. They undoubtedly do have websites and do fully benefit from the extensive reach that having a website offers.
Your business website is like a shop window that everyone has a chance to walk past
A business website is extremely powerful advertising if done correctly. If you have a professional-looking, modern website and your competitors don’t, you will stand out. Your business will be viewed as the most reliable option for anyone searching your services. Being able to easily navigate your site, having calls to action in all the right places, making sure it’s accessible to everyone and responsive regardless of the device being used and telling the story of your business can all contribute to make your online storefront into a welcoming place for potential clients or customers.
Your business website is your shop window in the digital world. Therefore you should take full advantage of this powerful tool so that what you offer is available to visitors.
A website is the perfect place to inform people who you are and what you do
A modern-designed website will have all the information your potential consumers need to form an opinion of you. It will be designed in a way to encourage users to stay on your website for longer. And the longer people stay on your website, the higher the chance that they will be your next customer.
Properly designed, a website will have information about your company condensed into one page. This will mean that your history, your goals and your crowning achievements will all be visible to anyone browsing. If created correctly, they will be able to get the personal feel of your company without ever having met you or any of your employees, which helps to build trust. The about page is the second most viewed page on any website. People want to know who it is that they are to trust with their purchases.
Once the beginnings of trust have been established, people should be navigated to your services, with plenty of pictures and descriptions of what you have to offer readily available. You won’t be simply making a claim of ‘this is what we do’, you will be showing people ‘this is what we’ve done’. Media in this form is a more powerful tool than even many shops might be. If a construction company can point to a gallery of their work in a particular service, it goes further with impressing customers than any conversation might.
Finally, one of the most powerful aspects of any company’s website is having a testimonials section. With 84% of people trusting online reviews as much as the opinion of friends, the importance of having all of your great reviews condensed and easily accessible to anyone with a phone cannot be understated.
In summary, a business needs a website because it instils trust in the consumer better than almost any other form of advertising, and, in a world that is even still becoming increasingly more online, with more and more people using their phones to connect and browse now than ever, it has never been more important for any business.
Article written by Adam Davidson, founder of Aesthetic Web Designs