Do You Really Need A Website?

According to a Yodel survey, half of all small businesses lack a website. A very tiny percentage of businesses have a smartphone-friendly site. So, do you really need to invest your cash in a digital presence.

Yes, unless you re a secretive company dealing with a closed group of confidential clients. A website is your online business card. Most potential customers will expect you to have one. If you don’t they’ll question your credibility.

The real question is how much of a website do you need? The truth is, a very simple three-page website works just fine for many small businesses. Digital marketing efforts like on-page and off-page search engine marketing (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and social media campaigns are expensive. Many small businesses just don’t have the resources to invest in a heavy online presence.

At the very least, you need a website to be your online brochure

There is no excuse for not having a website. You can build one yourself on Wix or Squarespace with no technical ability whatsoever. It probably won’t show up on the first page of Google, but at least you’ll have a website when potential customers ask for one. Include the website address in your email signature and on any print marketing materials. Use your website just like an online brochure. It is a way to tell your company’s story.

Ninety percent of consumers search online before buying goods or services locally.

If you have a small local store, consider selling a few items online

Products show up in search results pretty easily, particularly if they are unique or hard-to-find. If you have a vintage clothing store, for example, put a few high-demand items like “vintage maxi dress” or “vintage bomber jacket” online. You can attach a basic online store made with Shopify or Ecwid to your website and specify customer pickup.

You will need a website if you want to take advantage of local marketing engines like Groupon, Living Social, and Thumbtack.

If your business is highly competitive or most of your leads originate online, you need a professional website with good search engine optimization. You may be able to build one yourself on WordPress, but more than likely you will need someone who understands on-page SEO plus basic HTML and CSS. You also need to position yourself in local search┬ádirectories and listings. Google’s most recent algorithm update, Pigeon in 2014, hit some local businesses pretty badly. So if you are getting fewer leads since Fall 2014, Pigeon may be to blame. In this case, you definitely need professional help.