A well-designed website serves as a powerful tool to connect with customers, showcase products/services, and establish credibility in the competitive market. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of having a website for small businesses and provide insights on how to start thinking about what to put on the website.
The Importance of Having a Website for Small Businesses:
Global Reach and Accessibility
Having a website allows businesses to reach a global audience. Unlike a physical store with limited operating hours, a website is accessible 24/7, allowing potential customers to learn about your business, browse products/services, and make purchases or inquiries at any time. In short, if you have an online platform for your business, you are able to target more potential customers and become accessible to all with less work from you personally.
Credibility and Professionalism
A well-designed website conveys a sense of professionalism and builds credibility. Consumers often turn to the internet to research products/services before making a purchase. Therefore, if you do not have a website, your likelihood of showing up during this research phase decreases substantially; this gives your competition a leg up if they have a website available. Having a website rank on Google makes your business appear more credible and professional to potential customers. Additionally, a professional website enhances trust and establishes your business as a reliable source as it feels more put together and formal than if you are only available on social media. However it’s important to remember that what makes a professional website is the layout of the site, site operation, and the way information is presented to the consumer when they access the website. If your website is stuck in the 1990s you’re less likely to convert clients than if you have an updated website that meets the website standards of today’s technologically driven world.
Marketing and Branding
Consistent branding across your website reinforces your business identity and helps in creating a memorable brand image. Additionally, having a website allows you to have a central hub of your online marketing efforts. For example, if you run an pay-per-click campaign or social media advertising campaign you can push people back to your website which increases your credibility and effectiveness of the campaign overall.
Customer Engagement and Communication
Websites provide a platform for direct communication with customers. Features like contact forms, live chat, and customer feedback forms enable businesses to engage with their audience, address inquiries, and gather valuable feedback. This interaction fosters a sense of community and customer loyalty. Additionally, having a website for these functions allows you to have a more centralized location to communicate with customers, which again increases your professionalism.
Showcasing Products and Services
A website is an ideal platform to showcase your products/services; it is in essence a digital storefront and your very own area of the internet that you own. High-quality images, detailed product descriptions, and customer testimonials can be featured on the website which allow potential customers to make informed decisions. Additionally, if you have a business that allows for e-commerce capabilities, your website creates a place to enable online sales, expanding your revenue streams.
Understanding the significance of having a website for a small business is very important, however, it can be overwhelming to think about when you first get started. Now that you understand the importance of having a website for your small business, it’s time to learn about the what things to put on your website.
How to Start Thinking About What to Put on the Website
Clear Business Information
Ensure that your website clearly communicates essential business information. This includes your mission, vision, contact details, and operating hours (if available). Having this information readily available helps visitors understand who you are and what you offer and ultimately how to contact or purchase from you as well.
Product / Service Pages
Create dedicated pages for your products or services that include compelling visuals, detailed descriptions, and pricing information, this makes it easy for visitors to navigate and find the information they are looking for. You may want to put frequently asked questions (FAQ) on this page because it will help customers understand different things or answer any outstanding questions about the product / service before purchasing the item.
The About Us page is important because it is your place to share your business’s story, values, and team members. Personalizing your brand helps build a connection with customers, making your business more relatable. This is also a piece that people often look at before purchasing, especially if you are a service provider as people want to learn more about who they may be working with.
Having contact information on your website allows for customers to reach you. This may be in the form of a contact form, e-mail address, or a phone number for them to use. A clear and easily accessible contact page not only demonstrates transparency but also encourages customer trust. Anyone who wants to have a more secure contact page, can make a contact form with only certain methods of contact. Regardless of how many methods of contact you’d like to have on your page, the thing remains consistent that having a way to contact you is important for customers’ questions or issues.
Social Media Integration
Linking your social media accounts to your website, not only expands your online presence but also allows visitors to stay connected and updated on your latest content. This is an easy way for customers who want to follow you on social media to do so and to ensure they are following the correct accounts as sometimes finding the correct username can be difficult.
Testimonials / Reviews
Another way to build trust and oftentimes assist potential in their decision making process is by showcase positive customer testimonials and reviews. This can reassure them that they are making the right choice by choosing your business and also provides them with insights on others experiences working with you or using your products.
If your business is a service business it’s important that you showcase any previous work you have done, so creating a Work or Portfolio page allows you to do just that. This page helps boost trust in your ability to deliver and the quality of the work you provide.
BONUS: Blog/Press Page
While the blog/press page is not necessary it is a big difference maker for your website. This page is not only a way to keep your website fresh and updated on a more regular basis but it also is a great way to increase your SEO efforts as it allows you to rank for additional keywords. This type of page is also a great place to build reciprocal/backlinks. If you are featured in an article or your article is posted on another page it’s easy to quickly post it to your own page sending links to the original source. This is something that increases your website’s authority, increasing your overall rank on SERPs.
Having a website is an indispensable asset for businesses. It not only expands your reach but also enhances your credibility while providing a platform for effective communication with customers. By strategically planning and designing your website, you can create a compelling online presence that not only contributes to the overall success but also helps you scale and grow your business.