DO I NEED A WEBSITE FOR MY SMALL BUSINESS? YES, YOU DO!
8 REASONS WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A WEBSITE.
If you’re a business owner on the fence about creating a website, I’ll save you some time—you need one.
A good one. A professionally designed, lead-catching, sales-increasing, brand-differentiating website.
WHY YOU NEED A WEBSITE IN 2021 — NO MATTER WHAT INDUSTRY YOU’RE IN
Look, in 2021, you need a website. You needed one the day you started your business, but better late than never
Deloitte’s analysis in Connected Small Businesses found that digitally advanced small businesses:
1. Earned two times as much revenue per employee
2. Experienced revenue growth over the previous year that was nearly four times as high
3. Were almost three times as likely to be creating jobs over the previous year
4. Had an average employment growth rate that was more than six times as high
This applies to all industries, even industrial and manufacturing.
Digital advancement starts with a website. If that’s not enough to convince you, here are eight non-negotiable reasons you need not just a website, but an optimized, accessible one.
REASON #1: 30 PERCENT OF CONSUMERS WON’T CONSIDER A BUSINESS WITHOUT A WEBSITE
Your website is your number one marketing asset because we live in a digital age. South Africans spend on average 23.6 hours online per week and are on their mobile devices for up to five hours per day. By now, consumers expect companies to have an online presence (including a website) and will consider a company that DOESN’T have one as less professional.
REASON #2: PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING FOR YOU ONLINE
One of the benefits of having a website for small businesses is to be where your consumers are. There’s a reason so many companies invest in a website with search engine optimization (SEO): 97 percent of people go online to find a local business, and 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine. Believe it or not, there are 3.5 billion searches on Google per day, and at this very moment, there is someone in your area online and searching for your exact service. Guess who’s getting their business? Not you.
REASON #3: THE MAJORITY OF CONSUMERS USE WEBSITES TO FIND AND ENGAGE WITH BUSINESSES
Yup. According to LSA’s (Local Search Association) April 2017 report, “The Digital Consumer Study,” 63 percent of consumers primarily use a company’s website to find and engage with businesses. That’s a pretty big chunk of consumers. Combine that with the fact that 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine—you do the math. Another compelling reason your business needs a website? Research by YellowPages and LSA found that, on average, consumers use approximately three sources before making an individual purchase decision, and 30 percent automatically strike a business from consideration if they don’t have a website.
REASON #4: 75 PERCENT OF CONSUMERS ADMIT TO MAKING JUDGMENTS ON A COMPANY’S CREDIBILITY BASED ON THE COMPANY’S WEBSITE DESIGN
Not having a website makes consumers trust you less. In fact, in 2018, 75 percent of people admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on website design. People are more likely to do business with a company they trust, and a website is the first place they go to check for credentials, reviews, and awards.
Beware, though—if you have a bad website design, it won’t help you at all. You have 10 seconds to leave an impression on website visitors and tell them what they’ll get out of your website and company. After this time (and oftentimes before), they’ll leave.
REASON #5: YOU NEED TO ANSWER BASIC QUESTIONS QUICKLY
This is especially true for B2B companies. People visit your website when they want to know something or do something. They also expect immediate gratification, which means visitors should be able to answer three questions within three seconds of landing on your website:
Who are you?
What do you do/offer?
How do I contact you?
We live in an age of NOW, where consumers want the information they seek immediately—meaning your company’s website should answer each of the questions above without the user needing to scroll down the page at all.
REASON #6: SOCIAL MEDIA REACH IS DIMINISHING
So, you think you don’t need a website because you’re on Facebook.
Great, so is every other business in South Africa. You need a website even if you have a Facebook page.
And guess what? It’s getting harder for businesses to connect with users on the platform. Within a week of the last Facebook algorithm update, organic reach plummeted lower than it was already. Another bummer? In 2018, people spent 50 million fewer hours on the platform than they did in 2017, now imagine what those numbers are in 2021.
While social media can help your business grow, don’t bank on using it as your sole marketing channel, especially in the future.
REASON #7: IT WILL HELP YOU BEAT THE GOLIATHS IN YOUR INDUSTRY
Did you know that having a website can help you beat the Goliaths in your industry? It can if it’s optimized for search. Take Tile Africa.
They compete heavily with big-box tile stores but have no trouble holding their own thanks to their website and their prominent position in the search results page.
REASON #8: COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS IN EVERY INDUSTRY—INCLUDING B2B, INDUSTRIAL, AND MANUFACTURING—ARE INFLUENCED BY DIGITAL WEBSITE CONTENT
The majority of companies that don’t have a website say it’s because their industry isn’t online. I hear this mostly from business owners in the B2B, industrial, and manufacturing industries.
If that’s you, I’m gonna have to call you out on that.
A full 75 percent of B2B buyers say digital website content significantly impacts their buying decision, and 62 percent say they can finalize their purchase selection criteria based on a website’s digital content alone.
The average B2B buyer now makes an average of 12 online searches before interacting with a vendor’s website, and they are already 57 percent of the way through the buying process before they want to speak with a sales representative. Even for industrial and manufacturing companies—67 percent of purchases are influenced by digital. Not only that, but half of all B2B customers today also expect a supplier’s website to be a helpful channel and more than a third expect the site to be their most helpful channel.
Common Objections Business Owners Make Against Having a Website
We work with small businesses every day, and when it comes to not having a website, we’ve heard just about every excuse on the planet—and they’re all incredibly misguided. I’ve listed the most common objections below, and our typical responses.
OBJECTION #1: “MY BUSINESS IS TOO SMALL, AND I DON’T HAVE THE BUDGET FOR A WEBSITE.”
This is the most common objection we hear from small business owners.
Look — your website is your number one marketing asset. Saying you don’t have the budget for it is like saying you don’t have the budget for an LLC license — you’re going to get in big trouble later if you don’t fork over that initial investment.
Get a website—it doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive, but it needs to exist, and it needs to be able to be found by search engines.
OBJECTION #2: “OUR CUSTOMERS AREN’T BIG COMPUTER USERS.”
Your customers aren’t “computer users”? That’s baloney. What this business owner is forgetting is that “computer users” aren’t just people using desktop computers. It also includes people browsing websites, social media, and apps on mobile devices.
Not only do 89 percent of SA adults use the internet, but 77 percent of them own a smartphone, and in 2016, mobile web traffic outpaced desktop web traffic for the first time.
Smartphone = computer user.
OBJECTION #3: I DON’T NEED A WEBSITE BECAUSE MY INDUSTRY DOESN’T NEED ONE/I’M NOT AN ECOMMERCE OR AN ONLINE BUSINESS.
This is a HUGE misconception a lot of people have. Just because you’re not ecommerce does not mean you don’t need a website. Consumers—even B2B buyers—still need to find you, learn about you, and trust you because they buy from you. The large majority of our clients aren’t ecommerce, and each one of them has seen considerable revenue growth from having a website.