5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Website

Does your small business really need a website? According to the Government of Ontario, only 60% of Ontario’s small businesses have a website and just 7% have an online payment solution. Canadian businesses are estimated to be two years behind when it comes to digital, as compared to their U.S. counterparts.

Word of mouth is a great marketing tactic, but if you are relying on personal referrals or your physical storefront alone, you’re leaving a good deal of business on the table. In fact, 46% of all searches on Google have local intent—these are customers nearby who are looking for products and services like yours. 

But I don’t have time to build a website. They’re too expensive. I won’t know how to manage it! 

Sure, you can come up with 1001 reasons why you don’t already have a website. Here are 5 important reasons to rethink that.

1. Customers expect that you have one.

90% of consumers systematically visit a company’s website before sending them an email or calling for information. Having a website gives you credibility; consider it your online storefront.

2. Being online is table stakes in a constantly-connected world.

Researchers had predicted that by 2020, customers would manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. Often, a person will find the information they need in search results, on a website, in a chatbot response, or otherwise without directly contacting your team. If you don’t appear online when they are making a decision and your competitor does, you are out of the running without ever having had a chance to be in the game.

3. Your customers want to be inspired, and they go online to find it.

41% of Canadians seek inspiration online; 35% prepare their physical purchase ahead of time by selecting items to buy, checking availability at the store, etc. The images, video, and copy on your website help prospective customers understand what it might be like doing business with you. Browsing your site gives them ideas and enables them to envision your products or services as part of their life.

4. You could lose the sale to comparison shopping even while a customer is in-store.

Research shows that 82% of smartphone users consult their phone at the store for purchases they are about to make. When they go searching, does your business appear prominently with a professional look, compelling reviews, and information that helps them choose you? 

5. Today’s customer likes to do their own research.

Fully 57% of the B2B buying process is done prior to engaging with a salesperson. Your website is a great place to showcase blog posts, articles, reports, product sheets, videos, and other types of content that feed those research needs.

What should I look for in a small business website?

It is most important that your site is secure, stable, and protected by SSL (secure socket layer) to encrypt any information submitted to your company by people who visit your site. 

There are a lot of elements that go into a website, so a good web partner will not only host your site but keep your framework, theme, and plugins up to date. This reduces the risk of a security breach.   

It’s also important that your website is a clean, professional and accurate representation of your business. This is your digital storefront, and you want to give customers a good impression from their first interaction with your company.

Finally, you need customers to be able to take the logical next steps that will move your relationship and transaction along. Do you want people to phone you? Click for driving directions to your location? See your upcoming events? Do you want them to be able to place an order, buy tickets, or process a payment online? 

A good website isn’t a flyer, or an online brochure. It’s a part of your customer’s experience with your company. Your website is an investment in your company’s growth that can pay dividends as it increases your visibility and can even automate some tasks you’re currently trying to manage yourself.

If your current website isn’t doing that for you, let’s right the course.

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