Often times small businesses, and in particular new businesses, will look for ways in which they can minimize costs. This is leading to a trend in which some small businesses are choosing to forgo having a website for their business, and they instead choose to advertise their business online through social media channels only. There is a belief amongst many business owners that social media accounts can serve the same function as a website, but for free; however, this is a misconception that can be costly for growing businesses. If you have yet to invest in having a website built for your company, here are just a few of the reasons why it is critical that you do so, and why you cannot rely solely on social media to develop your online presence.
A Website Gives You Complete Control
One of the primary benefits of having your own website for your company rather than relying on social media is that a website gives you complete control over your online presence. When you choose to rely completely on social media platforms, you are at the mercy of that third-party company and their terms-of-service, which can limit how you connect with your customer base. Additionally, social media platforms are able to, and have been known to, change their terms-of-service randomly, and even close down business accounts at random, putting your online presence in jeopardy. On the other hand, a personal website gives you complete control over how you present your business online. While many businesses still choose to maintain social media accounts to reach out to customers, a website will act as a home base for your business online, and it will provide somewhere for customers to learn more about your business online while ensuring that you maintain a digital presence if your social media accounts go down.
Sell Online Through Your Website
A huge advantage of maintaining a company website is that this allows you to promote and sell your company's goods and services 24/7 online. A website can essentially act as a digital storefront, allowing customers to browse the services you offer, request quotes, and even make purchases on your website at any time of the day or night, even when you are not open for business. With more business being conducted online than ever before, you are likely missing out on a major revenue source by not taking advantage of e-commerce and the effect it could have on your growing business. In fact, in 2017 49% of sales growth took place in the e-commerce industry. Building a website for your company will then allow you to take advantage of this growth in the coming years.
Your Customers Expect to See a Website
The fact is that when it comes to shopping and researching businesses, the internet is what the phone book used to be. Most shoppers now use the internet to do preliminary research to find companies, stores, and restaurants in their area, with 70% of shoppers reporting using the internet to find businesses. This makes it critical that you have a website as this will not only help customers to find you, but it will also lend credibility to your business. Most consumers expect companies to have their own website in this day-and-age, and if a business does not have a website many people see this as a sign that a company is outdated or not credible. In fact, as many as 30% of consumers state that they immediately dismiss a company when doing research if that company does not have a website. Having a website is then critical in establishing the credibility of your small business as well as in attracting new customers.
A Website Helps Customers to Find You
As we previously mentioned, establishing a website is critical in helping you to attract business considering the number of consumers who increasingly use the internet to shop and do business. If you do not have a website, how will these people learn about your company? Many businesses think that it is sufficient to have a social media profile, however, these accounts do not always show up in an internet search unless someone is specifically looking for your business. The fact is that if someone types "roofing companies in Los Angeles" into Google, your social media account is not going to come up on the first page, and in some cases, your social media account won't show up at all. However, a personal website for your company with search engine optimized content will help your business to show up at the top of a consumer's search and will help to direct new traffic to your business.
A Website Will Keep You Competitive
In an ever-changing marketplace where e-commerce continues to grow, having your own website is one of the most important things you can do to help your company stay competitive. If more business is being conducted online, more consumers are researching companies online, and many consumers use a business's online presence to determine their credibility, your company will simply not be able to keep up with your competitors if you do not have a website. Without a website, not only will your company not seem credible, but customers will likely not be able to find your business, and they will instead turn to your competitors putting the future of your company in jeopardy.