It is estimated that less than half of small businesses don’t have a website. When I heard this stat I thought I was having my leg pulled, but after researching more it is true. I couldn’t get over it.
Savvy business owners know that their website is their best selling sales tool bar none. A website works for their business 24/7, 365 days a year. Their website allows them to branch into locations further than any physical location could. But still in 2016 there are a lot of small businesses without a website.
There are a few reasons for this, some of which I have heard first hand, I have been told over the years that businesses don’t need websites because the owner doesn’t use the internet, and that businesses don’t need websites because they get 100% of their work from word of mouth. Both in my opinion are crazy.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, you should always be looking for a competitive edge, and in our opinion having a great website is a great way of getting ahead. Add to the fact that there are litterally thousands of people searching right now for what you sell, you would have to be crazy not to reach them. If you do want to reach more clients check out our search engine optimisation cardiff post
Let me tell you a short story about something that happened to me recently.
It was a Friday night, we had just closed the office for the weekend and my partner and I wanted to have a night in, order some takeaway and just have a chilled evening. The restaurant that we often go to sells the best onion bhajis I have ever tasted, so it was decided that we would order the takeaway from the restaurant that we had been to before.
I opened up my phone, searched for the restaurant online and couldn’t find it. I was desperate for those bhajis so I even trawled through the 2nd ,3rd and 4th page of Google, but I could not find it. The restaurant did not have a website.
Needless to say, we ended up ordering from another Indian who had a website, which displayed their menus and contact details. Their onion bhajis however were terrible, but that’s something for TripAdvisor.
By not having a website, I was unable to find the business and their menu and I’m sure there are many others in the same boat as me who order elsewhere. By not having a website they were losing out on a lot of business in the local area.
Why you should invest in a website
Other than losing money there are a few other reasons why you should invest in a website for your business.
1. Finding You
By having a website that is easy to find and easy to use, you are giving your customers the opportunity to contact you. If you don’t have a website then your potential customers will either go straight to your competitors or if your lucky they will spend time trying to find your website on a directory site like the yellow pages, but that’s if your very lucky.
2. You’re in business
A website shows that you are still in business. With so many businesses failing within the first year, if your business ranks online and your customers are finding you then they will know your still in business.
If you don’t have a website then your customers will think you have gone bust and once again look elsewhere for the services that you are providing.
3. Reaching a bigger audience
If your lucky people within your local area will come to your business when it wants work or a service provided, but your overall reach is very small. Your business is limited to the town in which it resides.
A website however can be global, or it can still be local but reach a bit further. A good example of this is our own business. At weeare we offer web design in Merthyr Tydfil, our physical location is in Merthyr. Our website however allows us to work in Cardiff, Pontypridd, Newport, Barry, Wrexham and many other places.
If we didn’t have a website then our clients would all be local. Our website has allowed us to work with clients from Bristol, Australia and even New York City.
Print, TV and radio are expensive. We know we have priced them for our own business. Online marketing however is inexpensive. It’s also much more targeted. Facebook advertising for example can start off from a few pound per day and generate good quality leads.
Email marketing is another avenue worth pursuing. Email marketing out of all marketing channels has the highest ROI. A website allows you to build your email marketing list very cheaply.
5. Testing and tweaking
No other marketing method allows you to test and tweak your message as quickly and easily as a website.
There have been various studies over the years how small changes on a website can increase the rate in which visitors turn into customers. Once such example can be seen in this article – which colours should I use for my website and why?
In the above article a simple colour change of a button increased conversions on a website by 21%.
Imagine the cost difference between tweaking an advert meant for print, TV or radio compared to just changing the colour of the button on your website.