It's not uncommon for business owners to question the importance of having a website in 2023, especially if they have a visible presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
The simple answer to this question is a resounding "yes."
Now, you might think this answer is biased coming from a web design business, but we believe in transparency and honesty regardless of our profession.
Let's dive into the reasons why having a website is crucial for local businesses, whether you're starting from scratch or looking to update your website.
1. You don't own social media platforms. You own your website
Returning to the initial question, "Do I need a website in 2023 even if I'm visible on social media?"
The answer is a definite "yes," especially if your business relies solely on social media for its online presence.
It's important to remember that you don't own or control platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. While the likelihood of these platforms shutting down might be slim, you have no say in their decisions.
Do you remember MySpace? Exactly, we almost didn't either.
In contrast, with your own website, you have complete ownership and design freedom. You decide what content to share, whether it's customer reviews, videos, images, or documents, without worrying about social media rules and restrictions.
2. You build an invaluable digital asset: Your email list
As mentioned earlier, if your business presence is solely limited to a social media platform, your followers and your business would vanish if the platform disappears.
However, even with a simple website, you can convert some of your followers or website visitors into valuable email subscribers.
Building an email list is essential because email has a high conversion rate, allows for continuous monetization by promoting multiple products, and increases repeat traffic to your website or blog.
Here are a few explanations why building and having an email list is so important:
- Email has a high conversion rate, allows for continuous monetization by pitching multiple products, and helps increase repeat traffic to your website or blog. –Neil Patel
- Email marketing generates a significant amount of landing page traffic, engages the audience in a personalized way, and proves relevance to leads. –Corey Dilley
- An email list is critical because it allows you to own and build a relationship with your audience, unlike platforms like Facebook or Google+ where you don't have control over the audience. –Joe Pulizzi
- Email is the preferred method of effective communication, enables scalable sales and deeper customer relationships, and has been the "magic ticket" for successful businesses. –Noah Kagan
- An email list provides protection against algorithm changes and penalties, and email engagement surpasses that of social media platforms, with subscribers being ready to engage and help promote your content. –Ramsay Taplin
- Email is the best way to build intimate relationships with potential customers, as it waits in their inbox until read, can be referred to multiple times, and converts to sales better than other mediums. –Nathalie Lussier
- Building an email list is important for reaching a higher percentage of your audience compared to social media platforms, and emails have a longer lifespan in the inbox compared to the fleeting nature of social media posts. –Francisco Rosales
3. You are discoverable through search engines
This one is a big deal!
If you're just starting out and waiting to gain momentum before investing in a website, think again. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital for ensuring your business appears in relevant search results.
Chances are, you have probably heard the term SEO thrown around. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. If this is your first time hearing this term then the easiest way to break this down is with the following example:
Let's say you own a business selling custom artisan wooden watches. If someone decides one day they want to get a wooden watch, chances are their search is going to start with Google – this is by far the most popular search engine out there.
When that potential customer searches for wooden watches on Google, you want your website to appear as a relevant search result. Every day, thousands of people search for businesses like yours, and without a website, you miss out on the opportunity to be discovered and attract customers.
4. You have an employee that works 24/7/365 for you
Oftentimes, when people think of a website, they think it's only meant to look attractive and enhance their business's appeal.
While that is true to some extent, the greatest advantage is often overlooked. Your website functions as a virtual employee, working tirelessly for your business around the clock.
A website, once viewed the right way, becomes a very powerful tool in your business' toolbox.
Unlike you, who can't be online 24/7, your website can answer customer questions, provide information, and even facilitate transactions at any time, from anywhere.
Having a website gives your customers access to your business anytime, ensuring you never miss an opportunity.
Just imagine your dream client or customer finding you while you're asleep. That would be truly amazing!
5. You eliminate any doubt customers may have
If you have ever shopped online you've experienced that familiar scenario where you're browsing online, having a general idea of what you want but still seeking guidance and direction.
In these moments, a well-crafted website becomes invaluable. Not only does it showcase your business, products, or offerings in the best possible light, but it also addresses any lingering questions and uncertainties that potential customers may have.
By using compelling product descriptions, genuine client testimonials, and so on, you effortlessly reassure people that you are the trustworthy and reliable choice for their needs. With all of their questions answered and every doubt eliminated, your website becomes the tool that convinces visitors to invest in your business.
6. You gain more trust
You may or may not have heard the sayings,
"People do business with people they know, like, and trust."
"People don't do business with businesses. People do business with people."
In today's world, authenticity and trust are crucial for a business to succeed. With the rise of online scams and frauds, customers are wary of whom they do business with. Having a website is an essential tool that helps to establish the authenticity of your business.
When potential customers visit your website, they can access valuable information about your business, including your products and services, reviews, and testimonials. Displaying your best reviews and testimonials on your website is a powerful way to build trust with customers. By using your website to showcase positive feedback from satisfied customers, you gain credibility and social proof.
This is a crucial component to help assure customers that they can trust your business and provides them with the confidence to do business with you.
7. You are more credible and seen as legitimate
A website is a powerful tool for establishing credibility and legitimizing your business. Unlike social media pages where anyone can post anything, websites require more effort, investment, and planning.
A well-designed website can lend a great amount of seriousness to your business. You carefully and thoughtfully put together your content to convey a professional image and highlight your unique selling proposition. This helps reduce any confusion about what you offer and make it easier for customers to know what to expect from your business.
On top of it all, it shows that you are serious about your business and willing to invest in its growth. This shows a level of dedication which can further boost how professional, credible, and reliable, your business comes over to your customers. This then helps attract even more customers and helps you to stand out from your competitors.
8. You stand out from your competition
Speaking of competitors, here's a little secret:
Buyers are willing to pay more for products and services from a brand known to offer good customer service experiences.
Having a website can also give you a competitive advantage. You can provide an exceptional customer experience by providing valuable information, answering questions, and allowing customers to leave reviews and feedback.
Standing out from your competition is essential for the success of your business. Building a strong brand recognition is crucial, as customers often prefer to engage with brands they are familiar with.
This uniqueness and strong online presence help potential customers to recognize and remember your brand.
It's unfair to think of, but true: even if you have a superior product or service, your competitor may win simply because they have stronger brand recognition.
9. You are implementing an incredible source of income
Here are some statistics that show how important a website is for a local business:
- 46% of search on Google include local intent. This means that the person searching on Google is looking for results or information that is relevant to a particular location or area. That person may be typing in something along the lines of "restaurants near me" or "plumbers in [city name]".
- 97% of users use search to find local businesses. This shows that a great majority of users rely on search engines to discover local businesses. When someone is in need of a specific product or service in their area, they turn to search engines like Google. Having a website allows your business to be listed in search results, making it more likely to be found by these potential customers who are actively seeking local solutions.
- 28% of users purchased an item after a local search. This signals buying intent. People who search for products or services in a particular area are doing so to make a purchase. If your website has relevant and compelling information that the buyer needs to influence their buying decision, they will quicker choose your business over the competitor.
- 70% of users will visit a store because of what they found online. Online presence directly influences offline foot traffic. The majority of users are more inclined to visit a physical store after finding relevant information about it online. By providing a well put together website that showcases your business offerings, location, opening hours, and customer reviews, you can attract potential customers to visit your store and convert their online interest into offline sales.
10. You have a foundation to expand on
This is most likely the most exciting aspect of owning a website – having the ability to expand and iterate in the future if necessary.
Creating a website isn't just about having a static online presence, it's also about laying the groundwork for future development and expansion. Once your company is online, you can continue to establish your credibility and offer new revenue streams.
You have the opportunity to expand your business without regard to location or time constraints. By offering your products or services online, you are now able to reach a worldwide audience.
And, depending on your business, you can expand into physical products, affiliates, offer services, and the list goes on. All of these instances are now a possibility, even if your business is not at that stage at the moment.
This is now made possible by having a website where you can tap into new customer segments, diversify your income, and scale your business. This means more opportunities for growth, increased profits, and more flexibility in your personal and professional life.
If you were on the fence about whether or not to have a website I hope this article helps in understanding the benefits!
Also, any questions regarding where to even get started, or what the process would look like for your business, please don't hesitate to ask a question.
We suggest scheduling a call with us using the booking form below. You can easily select the date and time that best suits you.
Here's the recap (TL:DR)
In 2023, having a website is crucial for local businesses. Here are the 10 key reasons why:
- Ownership and Control: Unlike social media platforms, you have complete ownership and design freedom with your website.
- Email List: Building an email list through your website allows for high conversion rates, continuous monetization, and increased repeat traffic.
- Discoverability: A website ensures your business appears in relevant search results, attracting potential customers.
- 24/7 Virtual Employee: Your website works tirelessly, providing information, answering questions, and facilitating transactions at any time.
- Eliminating Doubts: A well-crafted website addresses customer questions and uncertainties, convincing visitors to choose your business.
- Building Trust: A website showcases positive reviews and testimonials, establishing credibility and gaining customer trust.
- Competitive Advantage: A website provides exceptional customer experiences, stands out from competitors, and boosts brand recognition.
- Incredible Income Source: Statistics show that a website drives local search, purchases, store visits, and offline sales for local businesses.
- Foundation for Expansion: A website lays the groundwork for future development, reaching a global audience and diversifying income.
- Credibility and Legitimacy: A well-designed website establishes professionalism, reduces confusion, and boosts customer confidence.
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