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Why a website is vital for a small business

Posted 11 months ago in Small business by Bhavika Thakkar
Posted by Bhavika Thakkar

With smartphones at our fingertips, customers are searching online more than anywhere else to research a product. As a small business owner, it’s critical that you have a website ready for customers who are looking you up. Understanding why it is important and figuring out where to start can be intimidating. Here’s what you need to know.

  • You can use your website like a virtual customer service agent

Rather than calling you, or struggling to track you down, customers can find answers to the questions they’re looking for just by checking out your website. You’ll save time and resources. Customers are more likely to trust you and feel more comfortable doing business with you when they know you’re only one click away.

  • It’s like having a TV commercial on every channel

Once your company is online, it’s easier for customers to find you instantly. Customers are looking for information on places like Yelp and Google. If your website is already there waiting for them then they’ll be able to find your business easily, from anywhere.

  •  Your website is a place of your own

You can set your website up to be custom and personalized. It’s a great way to display your company’s brand. The look and feel of your website can truly reflect your business’s culture and values. It’s a place where you can tell your story.

  • It’s actually pretty easy to set up

Lack of courage and lack of direction are some of the main reasons a lot of small business owners never get around to starting a website. You’re busy with other things, building a website is the last thing on your mind. The idea of starting from scratch can be intimidating. Not all small businesses are super savvy with back-end technologies. Hiring someone else to do it for you can be extremely beneficial. Keeping the website up to date yourself is often surprisingly easy and straightforward. If you do things the right way, it can be so easy that it can literally take minutes to get a website up and running.

  • There’s no time like the present

Seriously, get started now. It does not have to be the most perfect thing ever on day one. Start with a simple website.Just include a little information about your company, your products and services, and how to contact you. From there,it’s important to keep your website updated with new content and be sure to add social media hyperlinks for places like Facebook and Twitter.

 

13 comments

smit007
March 15, 2016 at 10.27 pm

nice lines

Bhavika Thakkar
March 29, 2016 at 9.21 am

Thank you smit007 🙂

Tim Charles
March 18, 2016 at 11.49 am

People buy people, so it’s important to include real photos on your website and not stock images. I think photos of the owner and team should be on the first page, not just in the about us pages.
Tim Charles
Charles Accountancy

Bhavika Thakkar
March 29, 2016 at 9.21 am

Definitely great advice, Tim. If the business has the budget to hire a professional photographer, nothing can beat it.

Mike Eastwood
October 23, 2016 at 9.00 am

Agreed. “Authenticity beats production values every time”… I used to say “Authenticity trumps production values” but it takes on a different meaning with the events in the USA right now.

dennis morrison
March 21, 2016 at 10.06 am

This is such a good read, My chartered Accountant from Norton Chartered Accountants in Auckland gave me this exact advice for my small business. Never Looked back. Shout out to them for helping me! http://nortonca.com/

Bhavika Thakkar
March 29, 2016 at 9.22 am

Great to hear that, Dennis. Glad to hear that these tips worked for you in the past.

Steve
October 23, 2016 at 7.39 am

Great advise to make it personal.

Two things we always suggest clients consider:

1. Who’s your most important visitor (what would they expect to see)

2. What’s the most important action they take. (Call you, sign up for a download, buy something etc.)

Love using Xero BTW!

Mike Eastwood
October 23, 2016 at 9.11 am

To add another point – that I think is important – when you own your website you own your content.

Your business can successfully build a brand on Social Media e.g. Facebook. You can interact, market, sell and build relationships – it’s great. However, you don’t own that content.

If Facebook changes it’s rules, at any time, you could lose access to your content, your lead flow, or your marketing channels overnight.

This is why you *also* want to capture email addresses and publish content on your website… then your main sales and marketing assets are in your control. Changes by Social Media giants will still affect you but your not starting from zero again.

Paolo
October 23, 2016 at 9.38 am

Nice read with general advice All good advice separately Together you need to be way more mindful.
True: you can design a website on your own and it’s quite easy
True: customers look for info on Google more and more and your goal is to get your website found on it
And that’s the gap: if you designed your own website Google won’t probably find it as Google checks about 200 different things in your website to rate you positively in its search.
To design a website that can have a good SEO response you really need to place it in the hands of an expert.
I designed first one on my own but now that my plan is to have a lead generating response, a solid marketing message, a portray of good company values and more I have literally engaged a team of people:
– A web designer which specialises in both design and user experience
– A SEO expert which will ensure each designed page scores positively on the Google algorithms
– A copywriter that will convert my words in proper advertising jargon
– A photographer that will take professional pictures of me (and later my team) to give a personal touch to the business
– A video editor which will produce a couple of short customer video testimonial of my work
The whole project will cost a few thousand dollars I put money aside over the last year for it but it will be worth it.
So yes by all means start simple and have a web presence (gives you credibility) but if you want traction from your site it’s not such an easy task as it may appear on the surface.

Vashte
October 27, 2016 at 1.30 pm

Hi Paolo, do you have any recommendations for a good web designer? Who did yours in the end – may I ask?

Sticky Web Marketing
October 23, 2016 at 12.50 pm

Absolutely True! 15 years ago when we began designing websites there was no Social Media and it was a hard sell to convince a business owners to have a website! 5 yrs later a lot of business owners still didn’t think it was necessary, 10 yrs later most have one but were not maintaining them or using search engine optimisation to have them found. However Social Media appeared on the scene and mobile phones were being used to search the web. Today well you know the story you use the web everyday you research before your buy and then you buy online, review businesses and spread the good word on social media.
Are you kidding ofcourse you need a website or 2 or even 3! If you are not online you don’t exist, becuase teh virtual world is our world. Let’s make it happen for you! We love WEB, SEO and everything a Business needs for Marketing on the World of the Web! great article Bhavika. (We’d love to write for Xero if your keen we are too!)

Mark
October 24, 2016 at 11.45 pm

@Bhavika, Dennis says thanks for the backlink and SEO citation for his client in NZ,
Mark

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