Despite the fact that the majority of customers research online before patronizing a business, only about 64% of small businesses actually have a website.
If you are among those without, you may be asking yourself “Do I need a website for my business?”
For some, the answer is “no”. But for many, it is a resounding “yes!”.
Let’s look at where you fall.
You Might Not Need a Website If…
Your business is more of a side hustle. If your business is not a full-time job for you, then you may be able to get by without a website. Websites are great for getting found on Google and building up a brand. But if you don’t have those sorts of long term goals, you might not need a business site.
Most of your clients are referrals. Imagine you started a pet sitting business in college, looking after professors’ cats and dogs in your free time.
By the time you graduated, you grew into a full-blown business without ever having to search for clients. Your existing ones are so happy with your work that they keep referring more and more work to you. You simply might not need a website to thrive if you have a steady supply of referrals.
You are happy with your current workload. The primary goal of a website for small businesses is to drive leads and convert new customers. If you can’t handle more work, then a website probably isn’t necessary at this point in your business.
However, if you have plans to scale up, hire more employees, or branch out into new regions—you are going to need a site.
4 Reasons Your Business Does Need A Website
If you don’t fit into the above criteria, then odds are pretty good that you do need a website. Even if it’s not an immediate need, it probably will become one soon.
So what do you have to benefit from a site for your business? Here are 4 reasons to consider building one sooner rather than later.
#1 Customers Pretty Much Expect You To Have One
It’s the 21st century. The information age.
If you don’t have a website, potential customers may see you as old-fashioned or out of touch with reality.
People Google businesses all the time. From looking for contact information to learning your hours. They even go online to see if they should trust you.
Customers are savvy, and they are cautious with their wallet. They will look at several sites to compare reviews, pricing, and subtle features like professionalism. If you aren’t even on the web, then your chances of making their short list are slim to none.
#2 You Can Deliver A Custom User Experience
Maybe you think that your Facebook Business Page is enough of an online presence for your company.
Unfortunately, you have very little control over branding or user experience on Facebook or other social platforms. No matter how much information you load into your business page, customers still feel like they are browsing Facebook. Not your company.
A custom website allows for a customized user experience. You can create navigation items, calls-to-action, FAQs, and other elements that meet the unique needs of your audience.
#3 You Can Put Your Best Foot Forward
When someone does Google your business name, what shows up on the first page? If you’ve been around for a while, the search engine results may be full of sites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau.
Sites where any customer can leave any sort of review.
If you have your own website, however, it will usually appear first in a search for your company name (once you’ve put in the bare minimum SEO work). And here, you have complete control over what users see. What reviews to share. What testimonials to publish.
#4 You Can Generate More Leads
Of course, a website is only worth the investment if it actually earns you more money. And that’s exactly what it will do if you design it correctly.
Whether through paid ads, SEO, or a combination of the two, your company site should attract traffic and convert it into sales.
Marketing is all about being where your customers are when they need you. If your site shows up high in the results for someone searching “plumbers near me”, odds are pretty good that they need exactly what you have to offer.
How To Build Your Own Website
Okay, so you need a website. But how do you get one?
One option is to do-it-yourself. This is common for new business owners with more time on their hands than money.
While you may be tempted to build your site on a platform like Wix or Weebly, you may kick yourself for the decision down the road. These page builders are notoriously bad for SEO.
That might not mean a lot to you now. But a few years down the road, when your marketing budget has increased substantially, it’s going to matter.
You are better off using a self-hosted WordPress site combined with a page builder plugin like Elementor or Thrive. This is almost as easy as something like Weebly without all the SEO headaches down the road.
How To Hire a Web Designer: Agency vs Freelancer
If you aren’t technically skilled enough to build your own site, the obvious answer is to hire someone else to do it for you. But should you employ a web design agency or a freelancer?
There are pros and cons to both. Let’s look at the most important factors.
Web Design Agency
- Costs you more.
- Has a streamlined process.
- May be able to handle everything you need (SEO, content creation, e-commerce, etc.)
Freelance Web Designer
- Lower cost to you.
- No middleman between you and the designer.
- You may have to hire separate people for SEO, content, etc.
Do You Need A Website For Your Business?
You’ve made it this far into the post. So you have probably come to the conclusion that you do need a site.
If you are considering an agency, be sure to review multiple options before settling on the best fit for you. And don’t let yourself get pressured during a sales call into purchasing a bigger package than you can afford.
If you are thinking of going the freelancer route, Legiit is a great place to find the website designer for you. Talented freelancers from around the world post their services on our marketplace in a wide range of industries.
Every day, business owners like you find professional web designers who build beautiful custom sites at a fraction of the cost that an agency might charge.