We are well into the 21st century and the internet is exploding with content! Almost everyone in Canada and the United States is online yet there are still people that question the need for a website. There are 2 main types of small business owner’s that question the need for a website, they are the established small business that has been around for years and has done fine without a website, and the new start-up that has limited time and funds to commit to a website. So let’s explore some of the reasons why a website is more than a luxury, it is a necessity.
- Credibility: If you are an established business then you likely have credibility among people in your community that are familiar with your business, however new people are moving to communities all the time and a business expanding outside of a community won’t have the same familiarity. These days customers expect a website. Many people, especially the younger generations, turn to the internet to check out a business. Unfortunately many well established businesses have eventually been phased out by new businesses that are more in-tune with current customer demands. Having a website can mean the difference between a potential client going to you or to the competition.
- Always Open: Because everyone has different schedules, having a website to promote your business is a way to provide information and service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This is an opportunity to convince the off hour browsers why they should choose your business over the competition.
- Basic Information: Perhaps the most basic use of a website is to share basic information about your business. This is where you share your address, perhaps have a map and directions if your business is particularly hard to find; hours of operation, including holiday hours; post your phone numbers, including toll-free and fax numbers; and email addresses or provide a contact us form. How many times have you taken the time to drive somewhere only to find out that they were closed and how frustrated did that make you? Having your basic information online can help prevent this frustration in potential clients.
- Share Accomplishments: This is where you can let your clients and more importantly your potential clients know what kind of work you do that sets you apart from the competition. A portfolio page is a great place to share photos and even stories of work you have done.
- Promote Products & Services: Here is a great way to showcase your products and services that you are trying to sell or show off a new product. Do you have a special offer or coupon that you want to share to increase sales in a particular area? Post it on your website so potential customers never miss out on a great opportunity. Updating content on a website is much easier than updating printed material regularly.
- FAQ Page: Having a frequently asked questions page is a great way to not only provide your clients with easy to access information 24/7 but also reduce some of your customer service time for areas where you find you are answering the same questions often. This gives you more time to build your business and devote your valuable time to your clients more specific needs.
- Download Section: If you have products that you have developed then consider having your user manuals available for download or viewing, this will reduce time and paper for customers that have misplaced their manuals. You can also consider having credit applications, sign up documents, terms & conditions and other common forms all available for download.
- Share Expertise: If you have experience in areas that you enjoy sharing, having a blog or a newsletter is a great way to get your information out to the public and clients. A blog is typically a written article where you share your valuable information. If you don’t like writing, you can hire a copywriter to put your thoughts and ideas into words for you. Many people who are not camera shy are also going to video blogs (vlogs). In many instances showing something in a vlog may be more effective that describing something in a blog. A vlog is also a great way to share a tutorial or seminar. Whether you want a blog, vlog or newsletter, if you have something to share you can do it on your site and gain a following.
- Job Opportunities: When someone is looking for a job these days they often check out the website of the place they are thinking of applying at. You can have a webpage of job opportunities for viewers to look at. You can also have a link to a job posting that you may have on an employment site.
- Sell Products & Take Payments: Having an ecommerce site to sell products is another way to expand your business sales beyond your walls and hours of operation. You can also take payments online right from your website for invoices you have sent out using a payment service.
- Testimonials: Setting up a testimonials section in your website can do wonders for your business credibility. An existing business hopefully has had many happy customers that are willing to provide a brief testimonial for you. These ‘references’ are extremely valuable in supporting your credibility and potential clients are more likely to feel comfortable choosing your business if they see and hear good things about you.
- Social Media: You can use your website to link to, and encourage clients to subscribe to your social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest etc. You should also make sure that these sites have a link back to your website. This is becoming increasingly important as every year as more and more people are looking for information across multiple platforms to find influences regarding a business, product or service.
Times are changing and so must business marketing and technology trends. Today not having a website is comparable to not having a business phone or phone book listing 30 years ago. Surprisingly many small business owners that don’t have a website not only use the internet but find it valuable when searching for business related services that they require. Does this mean that you do away with business cards and flyers? No, however you can use these to promote your website by adding your web address along with publishing your web address on your invoices and even on your outgoing voicemail recording.
Websites are also evolving as technology evolves. With so many people using smartphones and tablets to surf the web, websites today have to be able to be viewed easily on all of these devices to be effective. The internet is not going away so you need to keep up to stay relevant and competitive.
So now you know why you need a website, how can we help you? Well as the name suggests Page Web Designs is in the website design business. As small business specialists we can help you get an online presence from start to finish. We will walk you through everything you need from domains, hosting, site content and design to SEO options and advertising. We can assist you from anywhere remotely as we are not limited to being in the same room or even the same city to provide exceptional service. Because we know that people’s schedules can be busy during the day so we offer evening and weekend service as well. Contact us today toll-free at 1-866-334-1263 or from our contact page Get In Touch .
About the author
Douglas Page is the owner of Page Web Designs and has been studying website design since 2014. He has also been a contributor, editor or publisher for several institution and corporate newsletters since the early 1990’s. If you like what you read, you can find my posts on the website. You can also sign up for our periodic newsletter here: Newsletter Sign Up Form .