Are Websites Still Needed for Small Businesses?

By Eleventy8 | 16/02/2020

5 Points Eleventy8 considers important

  1. Credibility, first impressions count
  2. Educate your customers
  3. A website is your 24/7 primary marketing asset
  4. Your competitors are likely to have websites
  5. Stunted growth

Obviously, we’re going to say yes, your small business needs a website. Building websites is our business. But in an age where some businesses can operate on Facebook and the likes of enabling free websites, what is the point in hiring a professional web designer and developer?

1: Credibility, first impressions still count

We’ve all been slowly conditioned to reach for a smartphone or other Internet-capable device as a first point of searching for things. If you or your business cannot be found on the Internet this can give a very poor impression to your potential customers. People want to buy products and services from an entity they feel they can trust and interact with.

A first impression is so powerful it can be the decider on whether a customer reaches out to you or one of your competitors.

Typos, poorly constructed sentences, bad choice of images can all have an effect on not just you, but your brand. It can make your business look amateur.

A professional web designer and developer will have years of experience and education with colour psychology, user experience patterns and an understanding of organic search engine optimisation. Leveraging these years of experience for your business website will make sure that you and your brand present a professional and trustworthy image to all who visit.

2: Educate your customers

Content on a website is there to be read, having your own website enables you to explain your services or products in as much detail as you want.

If you sell a service, explaining your methods and materials can break down barriers and if you sell products, listing the materials or ingredients helps to make informed decisions.

Educating a potential customer on your process or how a product is made increases confidence that you are a professional in your field. Once someone contacts you, half the sale is already done and it then becomes much easier to sell your products and services.

An educated person is a more confident person, confidence will increase your revenue.

3: A website is your 24/7 primary marketing asset

You don’t have to pay Google for higher rankings, you don’t have to pay social media outlets to boost your posts either. A well-designed and built website will help you reach more people than you can pay for.

By having a website for your small business, you can market your products and services locally, nationally or globally.

4: Your competitors are likely to have websites

Because everyone else has a website, I have to have one?

No, you don’t have to have a website but your competitors that do have a website will likely see an increase in customers and revenue.

Closely linked to point number 1, a website for your small business provides social proof. What do we mean by that…

Well, by having a website, you’re broadcasting that you are serious. If you’re willing to spend time and money on having a website built for your small business, then chances are that you are attempting to run a business correctly and looking to grow. You’re signalling that you put the effort in and actually do what you say you’re going to do.

5: Stunted growth

Let’s tackle social media platforms first.

I don’t need a website, I have a page on Facebook for free and get business that way.

A small business owner

OK, this will work to an extent. What happens when you reach the ceiling of Facebook?

You look for another local group to join and pitch your services, then another, then you look to join other groups in surrounding towns or cities, and on and on it goes. Chasing potential customers because you’ve run out of places to market your small business.

You might consider boosting your posts, which seems cheap at first. Only a fiver for a week with the promise that your posts will be looked at by 100k more people… So you try it, nothing happens. Do you try again, perhaps spend a little more? How do you track your return on investment?

Social media should be considered supplementary to your marketing efforts, not your only channel.

Here’s also a fact you might consider, social media is losing active users. That means that your reach is dwindling. With the constant privacy and security scandals and younger users jumping ship to other platforms, you’re going to be stuck in an echo chamber.

Free website builders

My son built my website, he found a service that allowed him to build it for free.

Another small business owner

There are a number of free services available that will allow you to build a website, a website that will be intentionally limited so that you’ll have to start paying for anything useful. These services are designed to accommodate all, they are built for quantity and not quality and they entice you with the word free.

Do you know what you’re doing? You wouldn’t hire a mechanic to look at your boiler just because they know how to use a spanner. Having a go could be disastrous for your business, think about credibility again. Having a poorly designed and built website can have a huge negative effect.

Do you really have the time? As a small business owner, the less time you’re doing what you’re good at is less money made. There are more than enough things to be dealing with, let alone learning how to put together a website, search engine optimisation, sourcing images etc.

As a business owner yourself, you should know that nothing is free.

Get in touch, Eleventy8 can help guide you through the web design and development process. We don’t engage in pressure sales and we’re happy to offer advice with no commitment.