If your business has gotten this far without a website, you might be wondering: do I need a website for my business? What’s the point if my business is already successful without one?
The short answer is that there has never been a better or more important time to invest in a website for your business. A website offers a wide variety of benefits for small businesses, and most of these benefits increase in value exponentially year over year, just like the Internet itself.
Not convinced? We’ve collected ten of the biggest benefits your small business can receive from even a simple website.
Ten reasons why you need a website for your small business
1. A website makes you look professional
84% of today’s consumers think a website makes your business more credible than companies who only have social media profiles. Your website is also the perfect place to show off any professional certifications or awards your business has.
Beyond that, having your own website lets you create a branded email address (e.g. email@example.com) which adds a level of professionalism to all of your correspondence, especially if you’ve used a personal email address to conduct business up until now.
2. Your website can attract new customers through Google
You may be happy with the current size of your business, but every company experiences customer turnover. To encourage continued success, you need to attract new customers, and one of the best ways to do it is by making yourself visible on Google.
A well-optimized website can help your business rank well for a variety of search terms and attract a steady stream of new customers. There are several free SEO tools that make it easy to optimize your website without any prior training.
3. You can clearly showcase your products and services
You can show potential customers what they’ll get when they work with you by displaying high-quality photography on your website. Take a look at how the UK restaurant Blackhouse has accomplished this on their website:
You can also use your website design, along with the featured images, to give people a sense of what it feels like to enter your physical location. This works particularly well if your brand is closely tied to the “feel” of your location, like the Canadian restaurant Stormcrow Manor.
Another thing you can do is publish important information about your products and services on your website to make sure you’re attracting the right customers. For example, if you run a restaurant, you might want to mark any items on your menu that are gluten-free so people with Celiac or other conditions that make gluten dangerous know they can eat in your establishment.
4. You can display your best reviews and testimonials prominently on your website
Displaying your best reviews and/or testimonials prominently on your website is a great way to establish social proof. This might come in the form of personal customer testimonials, like this review on the website of the non-profit organization STEAMLabs:
If your business has appeared in articles from newspapers or popular local blogs, you can also feature those, as Stormcrow Manor has done below:
Publishing your best reviews on your website also serves the secondary purpose of creating a permanent archive. This means that even if third-party review sites close at some point in the future, you’ll still have access to your best reviews.
5. A website can encourage customers to contact you
A website is a great place to make your contact information easily available to potential customers. You can even publish your contact information in a header or footer so it appears on every single page. Snakes and Lattes, a small chain of board game cafes, has placed phone numbers for all four of their locations in their website footer:
Modern website builders (more on those in a bit) also make it easy to create a contact form, which can protect your business email from spam.
6. You can integrate your website with Google Maps so people can find you more easily
A website lets you embed maps directly into your content. Some businesses, like STEAMLabs, have a map embedded directly onto their home page:
An embedded map makes it easy for people who don’t spend a lot of time in your area to find your business. This is particularly great if you host events, as they might attract people who wouldn’t otherwise spend time in the neighborhood your business is in.
7. Your website establishes your place in the industry
If your competitors aren’t online yet, they probably will be soon. Establish yourself as a leader in your field by building a high-quality website first.
If your competitors are online, you have a different kind of opportunity: you can build a website that’s completely different from your competitors’ sites, showing potential customers what makes your company stand apart.
8. A website is no longer intimidating to create and manage
Modern website builders like Squarespace and Wix make it easy for you to build an attractive, mobile-friendly site without any knowledge of code. Even WordPress, the most popular way to make a website, has transitioned to a block editor:
In other words, it has never been simpler to create a functional, aesthetically pleasing website.
How to make a website with WordPress
9. A website ensures your success over the long term
In 2020, almost 4.54 billion people (59% of the global population) use the Internet, and more and more people are getting online.
Without a website, your business is invisible to these people. As we progress further into the digital era, your business will become invisible to everyone unless you invest in a website.
So to stay competitive in this increasingly digital world, your business needs to get online.
10. You can get all of these benefits without spending a fortune
Building a website isn’t just easier than it used to be; it’s also more affordable. If you’re willing to follow a simple, non-technical DIY approach, you can build a website for as little as $70 per year.
WordPress, which again is the most popular way to build a website, is 100% free for the core software. If you add a free WordPress theme like Neve or Hestia and cheap website hosting, you can be up and running at a very low cost.
Learn more about how much a website costs
So, do I need a website for my business? The final verdict
Hopefully, by now you’ve realized that the question isn’t “do I need a website for my business”, but “can I afford to not have a website in the digital era”. And the answer, if you want to continue thriving in the long term, is no. A website is one of the best investments any business can make in its future.
If you’re ready to get started, check out our recommendation of great website builders for small businesses, or our simple, step-by-step tutorial on how to make a website with WordPress. Again, WordPress is the most popular way to build a website – it powers over one-third of all the websites on the Internet. It’s also affordable and accessible to non-technical users, which is a big part of why it’s so popular.