Does your small business need a website?
How many times have you searched the internet today? Perhaps it was to check the weather, or maybe you were looking for a restaurant to try for dinner tonight.
We use the internet so much each day that we rarely stop to think about how many times we’ve turned to it for guidance or advice. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, your website is the first place people will meet your brand. If you’re a small business owner wondering whether a website is truly necessary, here’s all the reasons to put it back on your to do list.
From e-commerce to trades; every business can benefit
There are over 21 million internet users in Australia and 93% of these use the internet every day, according to ROI. Crazy right? Australians are using the internet more than ever before, making a digital presence one of your small businesses most important assets.
When we want to learn new information on a product or service, most of us use the internet. A survey by the Yellow Pages showed that 89% of people had searched for information regarding a product or service on the internet. Other top internet uses included maps or directions (86%), banking (86%) and ordering goods or services online (83%). The fact that this report was made by the Yellow Pages, a previously print only directory of business ads, shows just how ubiquitous the internet has become. In fact, the printed Yellow Pages is now most popular with persons over 50 making its unique demographic reach very limited, while the online directory receives 5.2 million searches per month.
If you’re looking to reach a broad, engaged audience of Australians then you need an online profile. If your business doesn’t have a website, you could be missing out on reaching a huge segment of the population.
The benefits of a website for SMBs (small and medium-sized business)
The same Yellow Pages report examined how many Australians SMBs already had a web presence. Their research showed that 72% of SMBs already had a website and most of them felt it had increased their business effectiveness. How did it do this? According to 39% of these business owners, their website had increased exposure and awareness for their brand. So, what are some other benefits to a website?
• Boost your credibility
If a person hears about your business and wants to learn more, they’re likely to search for you. If they can’t find anything when they search, they may question if you’re a legitimate business. A website can increase your credibility by proving you are an active Australian business with current contact details and even your ABN if you wish. A professional, modern looking website is equally important, as users do not trust webpages that appear outdated. With our custom web design services you can easily set yourself up with an impressive website.
• Stay open 24/7
Small business owners’ work hours tend to extend well past the typical 9-5, but even they need to stop sometimes. If a user is searching for your business outside of regular work hours, when they’re most likely to be free, they will be put off if they cannot reach you for further information. With online availability 24/7, you can generate interest in your business even when you’re off the clock. An online contact form allows people to reach out at any hour and you can respond when it suits you.
• Generate quality leads & save yourself time
How many times has a potential customer reached out only for you to realise you’re not the right service for them? By spending time getting to know your business products and services through your website first, the people who do get in touch will already know that they need what you offer. This saves you time speaking to customers who have mistakenly found their way to your business.
• Expand your reach nationally (or further)
With a brick and mortar store or word of mouth promotion, you’re limited to the immediate area your business practices in. With an online presence your reach can be expanded into surrounding suburbs, nationally or even internationally should you desire. Search engine optimisation is the best way to get your website noticed and can be tailored to your desired locations.
5 essential elements for every website
If one of the reasons you’ve been reluctant to join the other SMBs with an online presence is because it all seems too complex, rest assured it’s simpler than ever. Whether you’re looking to set up a new website or want to take stock of your current online storefront, here’s the essential elements every great website requires.
1. Good domain name
Your domain name should be easy to remember, preferably short and its an added bonus if you can include your main area of service. For example, melbourneflorist.com.au is simple, yet effective and tells you most of what you need to know about the page that will load. Of course, many domain names are already taken, and companies are seeking innovative alternatives like emoji domains to get noticed. To find out if your preferred domain is still available use our domain registry tool.
2. Mobile-friendly design
Over half of web traffic is from a mobile device. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll be losing out on half your audience from the start.
3. User-friendly features
The best websites help the user find exactly what they’re looking for in an engaging way. They have clear navigation bars to different pages of the site, plenty of images to keep it interesting and easy to read fonts.
4. Engaging content
The more information you have on your website, the more users can learn about your business. Every website should have the 4 basic pages – a home page, about us, services/products and contact page. Each of these should include engaging, helpful content to tell the user all about your business, what you do and why you do it. Want to know what great, SEO-friendly content looks like? Try our free SEO content analysis and find out.
5. A call to action on every page
The best way to get people interacting with your website is to tell them to do it. Short, sharp call to actions on every page will remind users that the help they need is only a click away. It could be as simple as ‘Call Us Today’ or ‘Learn More’ but it should be referenced often enough that users feel incentivised to take the next step in their customer journey.
Building a web presence for your business is easy with Netregistry
When you think about why you started your business, getting a website probably wasn’t one of the reasons. It’s simply a necessary step on your road to business success. If the world of the web feels overwhelming, why not ask for help?
Netregistry have both Do It Yourself website templates from $34.95/month or fully managed Done For You web design packages from $99/month to help you get your business online. Speak with one of our consultants on 1300 638 734 to find out more about our website services.