Do you think your business doesn’t need a professional website? Think again.
If you are a small business owner or you are just starting out, like many, you may think there’s no benefit in having a website.
You may think you can do everything on social media. Definitely not!
Or maybe you think you can’t afford a professional website so you get a DIY website with drag and drop page builders.
Or even worse, you believe that you’ve been in business so long that word of mouth is all you need.
And lastly, maybe you are in a generation that didn’t grow up with computers, so you think your customers don’t use computers. You aren’t tech-savvy so why bother with a website?
I’m going to debunk all those theories and explain why having a professional built website is IMPORTANT for your small business.
Unless you are about to retire and travel the world, YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A PROFESSIONAL BUILT WEBSITE.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS MAKE A BIG IMPACT
A positive first impression is an important start to building a relationship with your customers, not only in person but also on your website. The initial impression can set the tone for the entire customer experience. First impressions have the ability to make or break a business, and a positive experience can create long-lasting business relationships. What do you want your customer to experience from you? First impressions are 94% design-related.
94% of people mentioned web design as the major reason they mistrusted or rejected a website.
YOUR BUSINESS WILL GAIN CREDIBILITY
A vast majority of consumers are researching online for solutions to their problem or to gain more information regarding a business or topic. Statistically, 97% of consumers use the internet when researching local products/services (BIA/Kelsey). If you don’t have a website, potential customers will go to your competitors who do have a professional-looking website. It is important for you to have not only a website but a design and call to action focused website.
Not only by having a professional website provides the information consumers are looking for, but it will give your business credibility. It shows that your business is trustworthy, you take passion and pride in your business, and you are there for your customers.
You may be thinking, I have a DIY website that I built myself, why should I pay someone to do it for me? If you have a DIY website, ask yourself is this the professional image and brand you desire? Judgments on website credibility are 75% based on a website’s overall aesthetics.
Your business will gain more credibility by having a professional website designer to help you design and build your website.
IT SAVES YOU MONEY IN THE LONG TERM
There are a lot of expenses as a small business owner and trying to figure out which ones are absolutely necessary is a challenge. You may think you can’t afford a professional website. You cannot afford NOT to. The cost of a website varies depending upon your business and marketing needs. Once, it’s up and running, a professional website is worth the initial investment, especially if built using WordPress. WordPress enables businesses to add and change their own content as needed, saving you money in updates.
When you consider the potential market you can reach with a professional website, it is a very cost-effective way to promote your business in the long term. The investment of a professional website is worth the number of potential customers that will find your business online each year.
When comparing the cost of a professional website with a DIY website, your website will cost you in time and that time could have been better spent on other aspects of your business. If the DIY website is not professional or cannot be found in Google, you may lose out on customers.
CUSTOMERS CAN BE KEPT INFORMED
In simple form, think of your website as being an online brochure that can be updated any time. It is easier and quicker to update the information on your website than updating the brochure and reprinting the material.
A website is your small business’s way of informing customers of new services, new products, announcing upcoming events, new employees, special promotions, and sales. You can also add value by posting tips, recipes, resources, and other information on a blog on your website. Your website can provide the most up-to-date information and news. If you make a typo, it’s a quick fix rather than reprinting material.
A website is so much more than just an online brochure though. It may include your online store, a way to take payment for bills, videos, downloadable documents, eBooks, training courses, a way for the customer to schedule appoints, forms to fill out, order products, schedule a time, and social media integration. The possibilities are endless for your business needs.
A WEBSITE IS ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE
Unlike a brick and mortar location, which is only open a set time each day, a website is open 24/7 365 days a year. You have a way for your current customers and potential customers the convenience of viewing your products and services while your store or office is closed. They can purchase their item then, sign up for a course, or get the information they need from your website. All while you are away from your desk or your store or office is closed.
IT PROVIDES A PLACE TO SHOWCASE YOUR BUSINESS
No matter what type of business you own, a website is a great place to showcase your work and demonstrate your skills. By including an image gallery, videos, testimonials, as well as an amazing description of your business that fits the customer’s needs, you can demonstrate what makes your business unique and most importantly something the customer needs.
Through your website, visitors from anywhere can view your business and you control what they see. You have the ability to steer the discussion and give reason to use your business. On the other hand, social media is not owned by your business and the discussion is focused on the customers and followers points of view. Social media is important but has a completely different focus as it allows for customers points of views and a more customer-centered focus. Your website is business and sales focused.
A WEBSITE SAVES YOU TIME
Time is money. Time is a commodity in our ever-increasing fast-paced world. Finding time for leisure, pleasure, family, exercise, and healthy cooking is difficult to do. Having a professionally designed website saves time. By providing information to visitors online, you save the valuable time you would otherwise spend talking on the phone, emails, face-to-face meetings, networking events, trade shows, dinners, making promotional material, etc. Once your website is live, you don’t need to communicate the same message over and over by phone or email as you have it on your website.
Additionally, by having a professional website design, you don’t have to be tech and art savvy to produce a website that leaves a great first impression and attracts visitors to your business. Any website needs a backup solution, security installed to prevent hacking attempts (because 100% of all websites are attempted to be hacked), and search engine optimization (SEO)..
YOU OWN AND CONTROL YOUR WEBSITE
Owning and the ability to control your website is the biggest and most important reason to hire a professional web designer to design your website. Going with a freebie website or a website builder such a Squarespace, Weebly, or Wix is that you don’t own your data. The website builder company does. If they go out of business, so does your website. If they decide to spike their rates high, you are stuck with a higher bill. I’ve talked to many people in the community that fell for the TV ads and beautiful demos only to find out that in the long run it didn’t meet their needs. They discovered it was challenging to be found in search engines and they needed search engine optimization (SEO). They built a website and no one came to visit. They went into building a website that if I build it, they will come. An additional reason is each of these website builders has their own proprietary set up. If you want to move away from that website builder, it difficult to transition from to another platform, if not impossible. Starting over from scratch is a real possibility.
So what is a professional website designed with? A professional website should be designed with WordPress. WordPress is an open-source platform with a large community following. WordPress is used by major companies, such as CNN, Walt Disney, UPS, The Home Depot, etc. There are thousands of possible themes to choose from and thousands of plugins to have your website do anything that you are wanting it to do. It is used by both large and small companies. WordPress is hosted on a web hosting company. If for whatever reason you want to switch to a web hosting company, it is a relatively simple process to move over from one hosting provider to another.
NOT RELYING ON JUST SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a great way to bring traffic to your website. It’s also a great way to share content from your website. However, relying solely on social media to attract customers is not the right choice. You do not own the social media platform. You cannot control what happens with the photos and words that you share. The posts and items that you’ve shared could disappear at any moment without prior warning if they decided to for whatever reason. Just ask popular technology company Ars Technica, whose Facebook account was suspended. You could lose it all forever. Social media platforms also can change the algorithms, which they do often, and you may not be able to have the same reach as before. Social media should be used to direct people to your website and your business.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) STRATEGY IS IMPLEMENTED
A professional web designer helps you get started with SEO. SEO helps you rank higher in Google and hopefully be on the first page of a Google search for your keywords. The best results come when your SEO partner and your web designer are one and the same. SEO can change instantly when Google changes their algorithms, so it is important to have a web designer who also knows and understands SEO. The worst thing that can happen is to build a website and have no one come to visit. SEO helps your audience find you and convert to sales and visitors to your shop and services. SEO does not happen just by building your website but having a strategy in place with your keywords placed on your website.
Hiring a professional web designer is a must for businesses to gain credibility, attract a larger number of visitors, and to rank higher in search results.
What do you think? Please comment below.