No matter how successful you are as a small business, you need a website. Even if you’ve managed to make it to 2020 without one and your turnover is still growing, this is the year you need to go digital. 
Why? 
You might be asking this if everything seems to be going well without an online presence. Well, it’s because the numbers really don’t lie. A massive 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find new local businesses. That’s almost nine in every ten people looking to make a purchase in their local area going online to find the right business. 
 
If your business is doing ok without a website, imagine what might happen when you open yourselves up to another 86% of the market share. With 3.5 billion Google searches made every day you can’t afford to miss out. But it’s about more than just these numbers. There are plenty of specific reasons why a website has advantages over say, a Facebook profile or a Twitter account. 
 

Establish credibility 

The simple truth about the world of modern business is that people expect a website. Around six out of ten consumers expect there to be online content provided about a business they intend to use, and the website is the best place to go to get it. Most people read or view between three and five pieces of additional content before committing to a sale, and the website is the perfect platform to provide this. 
 
This is also the place where you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your area of expertise. Provide the best products, with good descriptions, images and reviews and you will become a trusted source of information. This will keep people, and search engines (more about that later), coming back for more. 
 
The online review specialists Trustpilot say that more than 80% of people trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. So make sure your site is packed with good quality review content. 
 
With more and more people searching for goods and services on their smart phones and tablets, a responsive website is essential. 
 

Stay competitive 

No matter what industry you operate in the fact is that most, if not all, of your competition already has a website. Which puts them at an advantage. Think about your own experience: if you were looking for a product where would you start? And if you found a good company that offered the right products but they didn’t have a website, so you could read reviews and find out more information, wouldn’t that put you off a little? It certainly does for most people. 
 
You need to try and put yourself in the mind frame of the modern consumer. They are very impatient, and if they can’t find what they are looking for straight away they will simply go elsewhere. 
 
You might think a website is an unnecessary distraction, or that being analogue might even be your USP, but the reality is that decisions are made in fractions of a second by people with a huge amount of choice. 
 

Marketing benefits 

Traditional marketing methods such as flyers, posters, radio adverts – these are all proven to be successful. But the other thing they have in common is that they all cost money. For a small business in 2020, when the margins are tight, finding the funds for an extensive print ad campaign is tricky. 
 
Your website, and other digital marketing channels, allow you to create and disseminate marketing info cost effectively. You don’t have to worry about the environmental costs of using paper, you’re not intruding on people’s lives and the engagement rate of any campaign becomes less crucial. 
 
Plus, the return on investment for your online marketing budget is potentially huge compared to using more traditional methods. 
 
A modern website is also a perfect place to establish your branding. Choose a colour scheme, push your logo and establish yourself as a content provider. You can also combine your branding and marketing across multiple channels including email campaigns, social media and more. 
 

SEO 

Your website is also your main tool for the purposes of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is the process by which search engines like Google find and rank your site according to its relevance and usefulness to people who look for the products and services you provide. 
 
Search engines use algorithms and bots to scan all the content on the internet that contains the relevant search terms for each individual search. The type of content, its quality and relevance can all impact on how effectively your site stands out. 
 
The statistics for web searches are incredible: 75% of clicks to websites are to those listed on the first page of Google rankings. Additionally, if you are number one on any search ranking page then you get a massive 33% of all the clicks. And it’s all down to how modern and effective your website is. 
 
Of course if you don’t have a website then you don’t need to worry about SEO and all its complexities. But then you won’t have to worry about the huge amount of business that could be coming your way either. You might enjoy the simple life, but without a website the truth is that your business is just not performing as well as it should be. 
 
A Facebook page is no substitute for the benefits of your own dedicated site. This is a place you can completely control. You are not beholden to the Ts and Cs of a social media platform, you can choose the colour scheme, font and layout, and do so to match your branding. Plus you get all the benefits of SEO, and a platform for your content. 
 
If you would like to know more about why small businesses need a website, or get help designing and creating a site that will make your business work harder, then get in touch with a member of our team here at it’seeze Web Design Watford. We look forward to hearing from you. 
 
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