The short answer is yes. There has never been a better or more important time for your small business to invest in a website.
Global content consumption has more than doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing from just over three hours to almost seven hours of digital media consumption per day. However, only 51% of small businesses have a website to take advantage of this confounding statistic. 41% of small business owners felt they don’t need a website.
In other words, 41% of small business owners don’t know the benefits of having a website, and we’re here to change that.
Understand the benefits of having a website
A website builds legitimacy
One of the main reasons to invest in a website is to increase your small business’s credibility. According to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) 2020 factbook, more than six in ten Canadians prefer to do business with companies that have a website. 62% are left with a better impression when the company has a website, and one-third of Canadians would go so far as to say they don’t trust a business without a website.
The lack of a website raises questions from your prospective customers. Are you behind the times in technological skill? Maybe it’s a time management problem? What if the business is too small to even afford a website? Will they be around to service me? These questions instill doubt in potential customers and reflect poorly on your small business. By not having a website, not only are you losing a large audience, but your brand will also be viewed as less reputable and trustworthy.
A website provides important data for analysis
As a business owner or manager, you’re always looking for ways to improve the bottom line. Understanding the market, what works and what doesn’t work for your small business is crucial for future success.
Shadowed by the marketing and aesthetics, website usability is often overlooked. This is understandable given the importance of a professional looking website, but how do you know whether the layout of your website is working? This is where data collection comes in handy.
Setting up analytics to track activity is something to keep in mind when starting your website. Analytical software allows you to manage your website to its greatest potential. In addition to seeing statistics such as the number of visitors and which pages are being visited, you can analyze how long a viewer stays on the page, which links are clicked, among many other features. Such data can be analyzed to identify potential problems in your links, recognize popular pages, etc. You can even serve ads to your website visitors based on the products or services they spent time exploring on your site.
Software features such as heat maps are able to go into more detail by tracking cursor movements, scrolling, and screen touches to give you even more information regarding which areas of a webpage are popular and which are neglected. This information can be used to adjust the layout, organization, and other things in your website.
More affordable than traditional advertising/Increase traffic and generate leads
97% of people turn to the internet to learn more about a local company. Not only does this prove that an online presence is crucial, it shows that with the right strategy and website, your small business can expand dramatically and reach a wider audience than ever before.
Once you are online, you can improve the search engine optimization (SEO) on your website for a greater chance of showing up in search result pages. This means your website will appear even for indirectly related searches. To learn how to optimize your website, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Technical SEO.
Additionally, with the right design, potential customers will be able to find your contact information very easily. And if you understand your prospect well enough, you can usually offer them something of value in exchange for their email address and consent to start marketing to them – a subscription, case study, sales incentive, etc.
Websites are easy to build and update
Building a website is no longer the difficult task it was in the past. Website builders such as Wix and Squarespace have made starting a website a task suitable for everybody. These tools allow you to easily manage and update your website so viewers will always know what’s new with your business. This can be extremely useful especially when small businesses everywhere are facing such uncertainty with the pandemic.
A website will help you effectively inform your customers of quick changes from curbside pickup to online-services only, amongst many other updates.
Serves as a platform for in-person services
During this pandemic, working online has become the new normal. It’s hard to imagine a studio filled with dancers, a gym full of trainers, or a class of music students. In-person businesses such as dance studios, trainers, tutors, have all suffered the impacts of COVID-19. However, with the help of a website, in-person services can be modified and shifted to fit the current online needs. From pre-recorded lessons to live calls, a website will help you continue your business and even expand your offerings.
If you’re one of the 41% of small business owners who don’t currently have a website, we hope this blog has swayed your opinion.
The case for having a website in today’s world is incredibly strong. While the temporary lockdown serves as an incentive to start your website, the importance of having such a platform will not disappear with COVID-19. The need for a website is inevitable, so why not start today!
If you would like help with building or improving your website, don’t hesitate to reach out and start a conversation with us today.