Despite being the original digital marketing platform, there exists speculation over whether or not small businesses should have a website. Some believe that with the rise of Google and Facebook, websites are simply no longer a necessity. This one or the other mindset is deceiving, as there are many reasons for small businesses to have a website in addition to a presence on local listings (Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, etc.)

Consider the following statistics when deciding whether or not having a website is worthwhile:

  • 63% of consumers use websites to find or engage with businesses
  • 30% of consumers won’t consider a business without a website
  • 46% say a website is the biggest determinant of whether they trust a company

These statistics are only the beginning. Here are a few other reasons why your small business definitely needs to have a website, sooner rather than later.

To Show Up in Local Searches

Consumers constantly use the Internet to search for information about a local business. And, in many cases, they are searching to find their website immediately. If you want to show up in such searches, you need to have a website. That site must also follow SEO best practices and have a well-structured design that allows visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently.

Build Credibility

As mentioned above, 30% of consumers will not consider a business without a website, that’s a large chunk of potential revenue loss. Websites provide an opportunity to showcase your business as a leader in your industry. They can also be used to highlight your knowledge and expertise in your field. When a potential customer lands on your website and sees loads of interesting (and organized) content related to your business niche, you will likely gain their trust and increase your chances of them doing business with you as opposed to a competitor.

You Control Your Website

Websites play a critical role in building your brand, as they are the only piece of your branding that is completely controlled by you, the business owner. Things like reviews, likes and comments (though useful) don’t exist on websites directly, giving you the final say on any and all content that appears. Your website allows you to speak for yourself and showcase the best parts of your business by determining structure, color and design schemes, logos, fonts and more.

Collect Valuable Information About Your Customers

Your website can help you learn more about both current and potential customers. There are different things that can be implemented to help you gain a better understanding of their wants and needs. For example, you can gather the email addresses of visitors by asking them to subscribe to your email list. From there, you can send a follow-up email where they can update their preferences, giving you the capability to provide them with more tailored content down the road, like discounts, promotions, new product announcements and more.

Highlight Your Products & Services

When a customer lands on your website, they will likely be on the lookout for information regarding your products and services. Depending on your business model, they may even decide to purchase directly from the site, or to visit your brick and mortar store (if you have one).

You want to provide your customers with as much information as is necessary to educate them on your offerings. If you’re a bakery, highlight all of your different cake and frosting flavors and options. If you’re a shoe store, separate your products into different categories and describe what brands and shoe types you offer. Whether a customer buys now or later, you want to be sure that they have all the information required to make an informed decision.