With the ever-increasing rise of social media and detailed Google My Business profiles, it may seem like the answer is “no.” If people can find you on Google or Facebook, why do you need a website? Well, hold your horses, because the answer is not quite so obvious.
The truth is you do need a website.
Why You Absolutely Need a Website in 2019 (And Beyond)
The list of reasons why every small business, practice, and storefront needs a website is long, so we’ll focus on some of the most powerful reasons (because we all have things to do… like build websites).
- Your Google ranking (organic, local search, and paid ads) depends on you having a website. We know that Google ranks businesses based on its ever-evolving algorithm, and that algorithm is incredibly biased toward those with websites. Google lists “relevance” as one of the main factors for higher rankings, and relevance relates directly to your website’s content and design optimization. Without a website, you aren’t relevant.
- No website means no Google My Business ranking. Without a website, your GMB profile that so many businesses and people rely on for fast information, will not rank. A growing trend in user behavior suggests that many are using your GMB profile for their conversion point (aka the place where they call you or check your hours for a visit), rather than your website. So, in this case, your website is doing work behind the scenes, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable.
- A website builds trust and authority in your brand. Consumers expect you to have a website — period. According to LSA’s The Digital Consumer Study, 63% of consumers use websites to find or engage with businesses. Without a website, you look outdated and untrustworthy. A website puts a face to the name, so to speak. You’re able to communicate who you are, what you do, and why you do it, all of which are the icebreakers to a long-lasting relationship with a brand-new client.
- Your website never shuts its doors. Websites are “open” 24/7, 365 days of the year, rain or shine. If a potential client misses the chance to visit you in person, they can access your website and find the relevant information they need to give you a call or pay you a visit the next day.
- You’ll increase your visibility and potential client pool with a website. Content and SEO strategies play a huge role in getting your website to the top of Google’s search results. Whether it’s service pages, your home page, or a blog, SEO content is what drives your visibility to reach clients in your local area and beyond.
- Your website drives conversions; social media alone does not. A social media profile should never replace a website. Facebook and Instagram are marketing tools that should be leveraged to drive traffic back to your website to facilitate conversions. Additionally, having a website link to add to your social media profiles backs up your credibility on these platforms, which will likely garner you more followers, too.
- A website allows you to showcase your customer loyalty with testimonials. Testimonials provide another level of trust and authority and are hugely impactful to your website’s new visitors. Simply put, people like to relate to other people in a similar situation; it’s in our DNA as social animals, and as such, testimonials play a big role in driving conversions.
The Benefits Outweigh the Costs
Like many small business and practice owners, you’re probably not a website guru, meaning you’ll have to hire someone to build it for you. And yes, things can get pricey for a good quality website on the upstart, but trust us, it’s worth it. Consider your website an investment. A good website can last 3-4 good years, but when it does come time for a redesign, it’s far less pricey and time-consuming than a brand-new site. Furthermore, as long as your content is still relevant, you won’t have to change much of that!
Tips for Choosing a Web Design Company
Now that you know you need a website you’ve got to choose someone to build it for you. This can be a tough choice because there are massive amounts of companies out there who boast UX-friendly designs, SEO that’s guaranteed to make you #1 in Google’s search results, and other such claims. Which ones speak the truth and which ones are blowing smoke? Here are 3 simple ways to tell:
- Check out their team’s experience. Their site has a team page, right? If not, pass it up. A faceless entity is a red-flag. Look for a company that champions the people who work for them because they’re also the people who will be working with you!
- Choose a company with tangible experience in your industry. Are you a veterinarian? A plumber? A restaurant owner? Look for a company with experience building sites for your industry. Insider knowledge of your field is invaluable for content relevance and SEO.
- Judge your customer experience from the very first interaction. Whether you called the company, emailed them, filled out a contact form on their site, or sent a telegram (could happen, right?), judge the interaction. If they take long to respond, are short with their reply, don’t answer your questions, or give off the wrong vibe, it may be telling of the rest of your experience. And no one wants a website built on negative vibes. That’s bad juju.
If you want to grow, or even just stay afloat, you’ll need to invest in one of those digital doohickeys we call websites. Your business and your clients deserve it. Now quit procrastinating, and get out there! Find the company that will build you the best darn website you could ask for!
Reviewed by: Mary B. on Nov. 18, 2019