With over 40,000 searches on Google every second , which converts to 3.5 billion searches every day, your small business absolutely must have a website presence. Regardless of the industry sector that you operate within, your customers are more than likely searching for services like yours on the Internet.
Did you know?
- 63% of shopping occasions start online.
- Over 2.14 billion people globally are forecast to buy goods and services online.
That means, even if customers ends up buying from your physical store, their journey towards the final purchase begins online.
At Bookmark, we have all of the tools and features you need to build and grow a strong online presence. But before taking the jump, let’s first analyze why all businesses need to be online in 2021.
What If I’m A Local Business?
Small and local businesses need to have a website. That’s because Google now acts as a “second homepage” for your business. Optimizing your website for local SEO can lead to a coveted spot in Google’s 3-pack. This is the list of 3 businesses that are displayed under the Google map when someone searches for something in a specific location.
Potential customers can find basic business information including a link to your website (when you have one), directions to your establishment, a phone number to make contact, and your rating from customer reviews. Getting this right has the potential to deliver significantly more organic traffic for your business.
Why Else Should My Small Business Have A Website?
Failing to have a business website equates to an enormous missed opportunity. If you’re still not convinced, here are more reasons why you should invest in a website sooner rather than later.
A Website Helps Establish Trust
There’s a common saying that “if you are not online, you don’t exist”. Not only does a website identify you as a ‘legitimate’ business; it also establishes a level of credibility in the minds of potential customers.
Taking it a step further, high quality, professional websites with clean designs, and great user experiences help to build a level of trust with people that may be interested in your products and services. At the same time, it enables happy customers to easily leave reviews that are extremely helpful for growing your customer base further.
Positive reviews have a huge impact on trust — one of the key factors that influence a customer’s decision to do business with you or go with one of your competitors. Statistics show that:
- People must read 10 reviews, on average, before placing their trust in a business.
- Displaying customer reviews can boost conversions by as much as 270%.
- 68% of customers will willingly pay as much as 15% more if they’re sure they’ll have a better customer experience.
For all these reasons, building a website for your small business is undoubtedly worth your while.
A Website Allows You To Maximize Your Marketing Efforts
It’s no secret that since its inception, digital marketing has taken over from traditional marketing as the go-to method for supporting business growth. There are many reasons for this, some of which include:
- The Lower Cost — With marketing and advertising being one of the biggest financial costs that businesses must bear, the lower cost of digital marketing is extremely helpful for small businesses.
- A Higher ROI — In addition to the low cost, digital marketing has a significantly higher ROI than traditional marketing. This means small businesses can invest less and gain more business compared to the alternative.
- Easy Tracking — You can easily track your marketing campaigns in real-time. This provides immediate insight into what’s working and what’s not.
- Easy To Adjust — One of the beauties of digital marketing is the ability to fine-tune or even pull campaigns once they’re published at no additional cost.
But why is any of this relevant? It’s relevant because the most critical component of your digital marketing strategy is an optimized website. It is the virtual storefront or office where all of your digital marketing activity stems from.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of setting up your website so that customers who are looking for your types of products and services online can easily find you organically through search engines such as Google and Bing.
SEO is a crucial part of the marketing function because it is free and can help drive more traffic to your website. Simply put, the higher you show up in search rankings, the more clicks you receive. shows that the first organic result on Google receives a 32.5% traffic share, while the websites that are listed on page 1 receive a 91.5% traffic share.
With such figures, just having a website isn’t the ultimate goal. You want to do the work behind the scenes to help it rank highly in search results. Nonetheless, your website is the first step towards leveraging the full power of SEO and the rest of your marketing activity.
What If My Business Is Doing Well On Social Media?
Relying on social media alone is a big missed opportunity. While you might be getting good engagement on Facebook or Instagram, are those platforms really the best place to increase conversions? The short answer is, no.
Your business website is the best place for that. That’s because you can set up your product or service pages in a way that is unique to your business with no limits to the amount of information you can include. This makes for a much-improved user experience compared to social media.
What’s more, websites are the foundations that support the rest of your marketing efforts, including your social media activity. They give you complete control of your brand and messaging in one centralized location where customers can easily reach you.
It’s also important to remember that not all of your customers are active on social networks. Sure, you can grow your business by leveraging social, but the digital world is nowhere near the point where it is overtaking websites as the main channel for closing sales.
A Website Is More Affordable Than Ever Before
Gone are the days of needing to pay an arm and a leg to have a quality, functional website. The cost factor that was once a major hindrance for small businesses looking to establish a professional presence online is no longer an issue for two main reasons.
- No Coding Skills Are Necessary — Today, you can build a website with no coding skills whatsoever. At Bookmark, we have streamlined the process with our Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant, AiDA. We have completely levelled the website design playing field for all business owners.
- Specialist Marketing Agencies For Small Businesses — There are more marketing and web development agencies specifically catering to the needs of small businesses. While the competition alone helps to keep prices fairly low, concentrating on small businesses generally means their services are more affordable.
Low Price No Longer Means Low Quality
A cheaper website doesn’t necessarily translate to poor quality anymore. Although it may not have some of the advanced features and functionality of many bespoke website-builds. They can certainly enhance your brand image and play a key role in attracting more traffic and helping you increase conversion rates.
Time is Money & You’re Always Open
Once you’ve invested in your website, it can start doing a lot of the heavy lifting for your business. Even if your normal operating hours are the standard 9 am — 5 pm, your website never closes. This means that your customers can access your products and services at any time for 365 days of the year.
But not only are your virtual doors always open for business; your new website unlocks a global audience.
That’s because, without a site, you rely on physical footfall to make sales but a website provides far greater exposure and allows anyone from any country to buy from you.
Believe The Website Hype
Enough emphasis cannot be placed on the importance of building a website for your small business, even if you’re only catering to a local market. A website will help you establish a professional presence and build trust with your target audience.
In addition to this, your site will help you leverage the full power of digital marketing and increase the amount of traffic that is delivered to your business. Furthermore, thanks to more affordable web development prices and easy to use DIY platforms like Bookmark, there has never been a better time than now to create a website for your small business.
It will ultimately act as the key driver for increasing conversions and sales.
Originally published at https://www.bookmark.com on October 5, 2021.