Business is booming, social media is flourishing, you have a consistent flow of clients, and you’re wondering, ‘Does my business still need a website?’- the short answer is yes.
Whether you’re tech-savvy or not so much, having a website for your business will bring a whole array of benefits- including increased customer satisfaction; happy customers, happy business, happy you. But, of course, you might think that because your business is doing fine without a website, it doesn’t need one; you couldn’t be more wrong. Word of mouth and the odd recommendation to a family friend might have been enough in the past, but in this day and age the internet is your best friend.
We are living in a digital age, the majority of people look to the internet before they make an informed decision about their purchase, reading reviews and comparing other sites and products. In fact, customers utilise an average of three sources before making a purchasing decision, according to YellowPages and LSA, and 30% of consumers instantly dismiss a business if it does not have a website. In short, you need a website in order to keep your business operating in this fast-paced, digital age, especially since COVID-19 has shifted business online more than ever before..
Not convinced? Read on....
1. Social Media Isn’t Enough
It is no secret that social media is responsible for a high percentage of people’s screen time, with Facebook having almost 2 billion users alone, but is just social media presence enough? Think of it this way, when was the last time you opened Instagram or Twitter to look for a service, a while, right? To understand how to engage with more potential clients you have to think like one. Let’s say you’re thinking about building a website, where are you going to look for information… not Instagram, not Facebook, you guessed it, Google!
It is beneficial to note that 84% of today’s consumers believe a website makes your business more credible than companies who only have social media profiles. Now, this isn’t to say social media should be rendered useless, having that online presence is still important, but it is not what’s going to keep your business afloat and growing. Social networks are definitely a good first step, people stumble across new social accounts everyday and you can gain clients through it, but it is simply not enough.
Every social media platform is constantly changing its algorithms which can greatly affect the reach your posts get. The average feed life for Instagram is a mere 4 hours! That means your post has just 4 hours to land on your audience's screen before it is swallowed up by everything else. With billions of people swiping, tapping and switching every second of the day, the competition for likes and shares and followers is a fierce one.
That’s not to say social media doesn’t have its positives. First of all, it is a very good way to keep your audience in the loop on how your business is doing. It’s good to be able to post a quick tweet about an award you’ve won or share a positive comment a client has left you. Platforms like Instagram are especially useful for presenting your work visually and is the perfect platform to make eye catching.
That being said, social media restricts what and how you present your business. Due to the master layout that each platform has, it restricts what you put on. Sites like Twitter limit your posts to 280 characters, Instagram and Facebook both have a limit on how long your stories can be shown for. Back to each platform having its own layout, it means you look no different to your competitors' pages; any chance you have to present your bespoke business is limited, whereas with your own website, your options are limitless.
While it is true that social media can benefit your business’s growth, you shouldn’t rely on it as your sole marketing asset, particularly in the future.
2. A Website Creates Immediate Trust and Credibility
First impressions matter, and a well-crafted website gives your business a powerful introduction and is a very simple way to boost your credibility - especially if it's a bespoke, professionally-built website. Your website acts as the first handshake, it is the face of your business and it needs to wow people and grab their attention fast. With a staggering 81% of people researching a business or service online prior to making a purchase you want to make sure that when they discover your website, its opening face is one they can trust.
Living in the digital age of today, consumers have increasing expectations for businesses to have an online presence and will question their credibility and legitimacy if they do not. As we discussed earlier, having social media is a great first step but if that is all you have to represent yourself, some will have issues trusting you and your service. Did you know that 56% of people will not trust a business if it doesn’t have a website and 75% of consumers admit to making judgements of a business based on the design of its website?
Having a website also means you can make use of tools like Google and appear on top of search results with carefully crafted SEO (Search Engine Optimisation ). One of the benefits of SEO, and the truth is there are many, is that it will increase the amount of traffic visiting your business online, people who are not likely to find you otherwise. Paddle Creative run successful SEO campaigns for many clients, helping them to grow their businesses. You can also make use of Google Adwords for an instant way to appear at the top of Google search results. Paddle are also experts in Adwords if you need any help.
Google, like social media platforms, works with an algorithm to enable it to deliver relevant, valuable content. The difference with this, compared to social media algorithms, is that pretty much everyone has unwavering faith in Google's algorithm, which is why 75% of users do not move onto page two. The higher you rank, the more trustworthy and professional your business will seem. Search engine presence and a high-quality service that creates credibility among visitors are the foundations of trust; that is another reason you still need a website.
You want your consumers to trust you and your establishment. If your business has a website it creates an immediate rapport with your customers, offering them a sense of security whilst giving them the information they need to confidently trust that you are a successful and legitimate business. So you might want to think about getting that website started.
3. Acts As The Perfect Platform To Show Off
So you’re still not convinced. Well here is reason number three, and it is a good one. As you’ve probably gathered by now, people are most likely to do business with an organisation they trust, and a website is the first place they go to check for credentials, reviews, and awards.
Having your own, personalised website offers the perfect platform for you to showcase your proudest moments. So you’ve been awarded ‘Business of The Year’, that is something you should show off and something you can show off prominently on your website. You may be aware from your own experiences that people are likely to search and read online reviews before making a decision; having a website would provide you with a platform to present reviews your services have received in the past and assist your potential clients with their decision, while also providing them with a positive impression of your company.
Websites are also the perfect place to display images and information of any previous work you have completed. This too adds to the positive impression your consumers get from your establishment. Being able to showcase all of your best reviews, awards and certificates and past projects in one, easily accessible and navigational place will play in your favour.
4. A Good Website Improves Engagement and Functionality
So by now you must know that having a website is going to positively improve the engagement your business gets. The LSA’s (Local Search Association) April 2017 report, “The Digital Consumer Study,” found that 63% of consumers primarily use a company’s website to locate and engage with services. More engagement equals more exposure which equals more clients.
A website offers great opportunity for increased functionality too, giving you the freedom to integrate things like booking platforms which are less readily available on social media. Along with that, you can also embed Google Maps function which makes it easy for people who don’t spend a lot of time in your area to find your business.
Another way to look at this is that a website can act as your “always-on” business advocate during and outside of office hours. Due to the nature of websites being online and only a few clicks away, they are available 24/7 all year round making your company more accessible to future customers. On your website you can provide answers to frequently asked questions; Who are you? What do you offer? How do I contact you? Having an area on a website with these answers saves both yours and your clients time which keeps everyone happy.
5. It Is Worth The Investment
Investing in a website for your company has the potential to be highly cost-effective. Websites provide a higher ROI (return on investment) than any other type of marketing, so creating a website should be the first thing you do. Essentially, the comparatively modest cost of creating a company website will provide you with income over time by establishing your brand and attracting new clients.
You may think that because your business is only small at the minute it doesn’t need a website, but that is just not the case. 60% of small UK businesses do not have any online presence at all according to The Guardian, do you want to be part of that statistic or do you want your business to continue to grow?
You need a website that will represent your business in the best light possible. Investing some of your marketing budget in hiring a web designer to create a website for you will save you a lot of time and be more than beneficial for your business both in the short term and long term. A dedicated website will allow you to effectively exhibit your dynamic and expanding business. A website designed just for your company is extremely personalised, bespoke and professional. If you let Paddle build it for you, it will be simple to update and change so your consumers can keep up to date.
Taking the step and utilising a professional website builder (like us) will mean you don’t have to deal with any stress about the creation process, you can have as much or as little input as you want and won’t lose any time - or sleep- over it.
If it is expenses you’re concerned about, don’t fear; it is not as daunting as you may think. Have a read of our ‘How Much Does A Website Cost’ blog to get some insight into the financials and what next steps you need to take.
So there you have it, 5 reasons you still need a website. To sum it all up we’ve established that thinking digitally is essential for any business of any profession, big or small, to succeed in the long run.
Though we’ve only discussed five reasons here, there are plenty more valid reasons you should still get a website for your business. Let's go over our pointers… Social media is a good platform to utilise but it won’t take your business forward. Having a website immediately creates a sense of trust and makes you appear as a legitimate business. Certificates, awards, past projects, reviews, you can show them all off and give your potential clients even more reason to trust and choose your services. You can add functions to further represent your business and attract more potential clients all the while increasing your appeal on Google, moving up the ranks.
A professionally designed, bespokely built, investment-returning, client-catching, brand-differentiating website is exactly what you need and you’re in the right place to get one. Head to our services page to find out what we can do for your business or get in touch.