Are you one of those entrepreneurs who doesn’t believe your business needs a website? According to a survey by Clutch, “nearly half of small businesses in the US operate without a website.” In another report from CNBC from last year, “45% [of small business owners] say they don’t have a business website.” Are you one of those entrepreneurs who doesn’t believe your business needs a website?
A modern excuse for not needing a website is, “I’m on Facebook” (or Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram). Yet those who understand the importance of having a social presence often misunderstand the primary purpose of social media — which is marketing. Social media is not a substitute for having a website. In fact, one of the goals of having a robust social presence is to drive consumers to your website. In short, your business needs a website.
Why Your Business Needs a Website
There are numerous reasons having a website is crucial to a small business’s growth. One of the most important ones is control. When you build a website, it’s yours. It’s all about your brand. Whether you DIY the site or hire web designers to create it for you, the end result is 100% yours. It’s up to you to decide on design, content, and goals.
If you rely on social media as a website substitute, you cede control to someone else (which is the opposite of being entrepreneurial). You must use their design, abide by their rules, and drive consumers to their site. In essence, you’re spending money to promote their brand. Plus, these companies change their algorithms and policies all the time.
You also have no control over the fate of a social site. In the last several months, we’ve all heard about high-profile people deleting their Snapchat and Facebook accounts, which often leads to other people deleting their accounts. This trend can create an overall negative impression of that social site—which can spill over to your company.
And of course, no one can guarantee any social media platform will be around for the long term. Remember MySpace? It was the world’s largest social networking site from 2004 to 2010.
Despite the buzz, not all consumers are active on social media. Even if you have a presence on one or two platforms, your customers could be active on another. And many consumers use social media to be, well, social. They want to look at family pictures and talk to friends, not hear a business pitch. (Find out more about how consumers use social media.)
Meeting the Expectations of Your Audience
Your business needs a website—but not just any website will do. We’re no longer in the early days of the internet. This is the 21st century, and customers have different expectations. Bazaarvoice says millennials have the most spending power of any generation ever. This demographic, and Gen Z, the one that follows, are digital natives. They expect the companies they do business with to not only have a website, but for that site to be optimized for mobile viewing as well. (Get some tips on designing a mobile friendly website.)
Not having your own website can hurt your sales. If your marketing directs consumers to a social site, can they make a purchase there? In most cases, they cannot.
Consumers often look up a business online, before they decide to do business with you. If you don’t have a website, what will they learn about you? Most consumers today consider businesses without websites to be less than trustworthy.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers turn to the web when they’re searching for local businesses, according to a study by the Local Search Association. What’s more, the LSA reports, business websites are the number-one place shoppers go when they’re ready to buy something.
Get a Website and Get More Customers
If you’ve never had a business website, now is the perfect time to get it done. Take the next step and contact us for ideas and more. It’s a proven tool used by many to get new prospects and customers buying from you.Contact Us Today