Are you a small business owner? You may have been thinking about when you should create a website. If you’re operating as a small business right now, you need one. Having an online presence is more important than ever. It may sound scary but small business website design has never been easier.
According to research by Bazaarvoice, almost 60% of people are shopping more online now than they were before the pandemic. That’s a lot more shopping being done online. Here’s why a website needs to be part of your small business marketing plan.
Boost Your Online Presence
Simply by having an online presence makes you visible to so many more people. The internet can expose your business to an unlimited number of potential customers. Your website is your destination to draw potential customers and familiarise them with your brand. Offer them information and the means to either make a purchase or offer more details of how to buy from you. Even if you are a business that provides a location-based service such as a restaurant or hairdressers where a website might not contribute directly to your revenue, in the long term it certainly will.
Get Your Business Seen By Search Engines
How are you going to show up in search results if you don’t have a website? Look through your history, when did you last ‘Google’ a product or service? How did you find this blog? You might have searched for help with marketing your business.
However, if you don’t have a website you can’t appear in the search results and you have to be in it to win it! Healthy websites also provide your business with digital authority and trust, which is essential when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation
‘Google My Business‘ is also an essential part of SEO. ‘Google My Business’ is the little box that appears on the right-hand side of a Google search. It provides details of business including type, directions and reviews. When people are searching for generic searches such as ‘salons near me’ Google will prioritise the businesses that can provide the most information and a website forms part of this.
Provide Value to Your Consumers
Once visitors are on your site you can provide information that will convert your customers. This could be in the form of information about your products or services, some great photographs of your products, blog posts or articles about recent completed projects and testimonials. This is your opportunity to showcase your business and your brand. Your website should be your beacon for your brand identity, brand values, mission and vision and be consistent with your off-site branding, whether that’s digital or physical.
Provide Customer Service
Your website can also be used as part of a customer service solution. Being able to book appointments to visit your business means that appointments can be booked at any time. It doesn’t require a resource in the form of a member of staff on the phone to make the booking. This could also be a great opportunity to get more information about your customers for other marketing strategies such as understanding their product interests are getting them to sign up to your email list. By customers making appointments digitally you can also send them reminders so that you reduce the number of no-shows or even take deposits.
You could also use your site to create a community or a forum for your customers to get to know each other and discuss interests if its relevant to your business.
Your Marketing Strategy
Last of all and most importantly, every business in this day and age should have some kind of digital marketing plan. A website should at the centre of this. Having a social media page or having a Google My Business account but no website means you’re missing out on potential business.
If the sound of setting up a website sounds daunting, try using simple drag and drop sites that come with lots of free templates and can cost very little to setup such as Wix, Squarespace and WordPress and if you need a simple e-commerce site you can check out Shopify.