Why Do I Need a Website for My Business? 4 Reasons To Launch a Website
Whether you have established your business already, or you are currently building it, there are solid reasons to launch a website to represent your brand virtually. Discover these reasons.
Have you ever wondered – do I need a website for my business? Perhaps your business is already doing well without one, or you are unsure if owning a website is worth it. Maybe you have just started your business and do not know what steps to take to reach online success?
In either case, a website can help establish a credible web presence and grow your business online. How exactly? Continue reading to explore four important reasons why your small business needs a website. By the time you finish, your question is likely to shift from Do I need a website for my business to How do I launch a business website?
Why you should launch a business website
Do you have a business profile on Facebook or another social media platform? If you do, that might support your business sufficiently for the moment. But even if you run a small operation, there are reasons to build a professional business website.
In short, relying on a Facebook page or other social media alone to drive your digital marketing strategy might not be enough to build a strong online presence. Can a website offer more? Here are four reasons why any business owner should consider building a website.
Reason #1: Establish credibility and increase market share
According to Statista, between 2012 and 2021, small EU businesses owning a website grew from 66.5% to 75.3%. The number jumped less dramatically for medium-sized businesses, from 84.8% to 88.8%. Clearly, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) see the value in owning a website. But why? Credibility plays an important role.
In today’s digital world, customers expect you to have a website because many businesses already do. When faced with options, people tend to trust businesses with representative websites that make businesses appear more real. Therefore, we can conclude that not having a website means losing potential customers and revenue to competitors.
Your business can use a website to build credibility and tilt a customer’s buying decision in your favor. Furthermore, once you have a website with a recognizable domain, you can create a company-branded email address with that domain name. This further makes your small business appear professional and trustworthy.
Reason #2: Improve the customer experience and retain customers
Customers should be able to access relevant information about your business, and it is always easier to have all information in one place so your potential client does not need to google your business name and potentially find inaccurate or outdated information.
Customers are primarily interested in how your product or service works, where you operate and when your opening hours are (if that is relevant). You can also use a business website to tell your story and build a relationship with your customer. In short, your small business website can act as a business card.
A business website can also support customers around the clock. You can use features like an AI chatbot to reply to basic customers’ queries in real time or create a landing page with practical tips and answers to FAQs that would enable customers to resolve common problems autonomously. This can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and bring them back again and again.
Reason #3: Employ search engines to attract new customers
People perform online searches to find information they are interested in, and having a website can help you get found online. But do you know how your website is visible on the results page of Google and other search engines?
Search engine algorithms scan and index websites to provide internet users with relevant results for their search queries. So, if they search keywords related to your business, in theory, they should be presented with a link to your website. This is what makes it possible for business owners with websites to attract potential customers who need their products and services.
How to take advantage of search engine optimization for visibility
It is crucial to optimize your website to make sure it is visible online. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one way to ensure that. An optimized site will improve its rankings on the search results page and drive viable website traffic to your website.
To keep up with search engine optimization, take care of the following:
- Perform keyword research to target the desired customer.
- Optimize existing content to ensure your landing pages attract and retain your customers.
- Build good quality backlinks to promote your own website via other reputable sources that are visited by your target audiences.
- Employ social media channels (e.g., a Facebook page or an Instagram profile) to share content from your website to attract new customers.
- Keep up with the analytics to track and adjust your SEO and business or ecommerce marketing strategies.
Content creation is one key aspect of search engine optimization that is easy to implement for business owners. Knowing that Google prioritizes providing valuable content to its users, you can utilize content creation to your advantage. By creating high-quality content around business-related keywords, you can increase your reach and grow your customer base.
Reason #4: Exhibit social proof to build a good reputation
How many times have you bought products that your friends recommended? How many times have you decided not to buy something because of negative reviews online? Undeniably, the opinions of others significantly influence the buying decision of your potential customers. This is what social proof revolves around.
Displaying social proof on your website signifies that you are credible and trustworthy, and it can prove to be an effortless way to attract new customers. But how exactly is that done?
Some ways to promote social proof include adding reviews from third-party review sites, popular media publications and notable awards of excellence you have received for your services.
How to launch a business website
The process of launching a website for your business can be broken down into five key phases. Let’s go over each one.
1. Conceptualization phase
As with anything business-related, building a website requires planning. You must clearly envision how you want your site to look and function, including how it fits within your business model. Key questions to consider are:
- What is your website name?
- What is the purpose of your website?
- Who is your target audience/customer?
- What are you hoping to achieve?
Answers to these questions will guide the design and development of your website.
2. Building phase
Once you have established a clear picture of how you want your website to look and function, it is time to build it. Unless you are skilled yourself, you may consider outsourcing web design services and hiring professional help. Here are a few tips on how to find a designer. Let’s explore the available options you can choose from.
- In-house team: If you have a team of web developers and designers, you can build your website internally. This option gives you total control over the design and functionality of your site, but it can be expensive. The costs to hire an in-house team to build a website are heavily dependent on your geographical location, the number of people on your team and the level of its expertise. Altogether, it is easy to rack up a bill in the tens of thousands of dollars each month.
- Web design agency: Hiring a web design agency is another option for many business owners who are not tech-savvy but want a high-quality, custom-built website. Agencies typically have a team of experts who can handle everything from design to development to SEO to content creation. Unfortunately, this option is also costly, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 or more depending on the complexity of the project and the agency’s reputation.
- Freelancer: Hiring a freelance web designer or developer can be a more affordable option than hiring an agency. Freelancers typically have lower overhead costs, translating to lower service prices. However, it is important to vet your freelancer carefully to ensure they have the technical skills and experience to build a high-quality website. According to our calculations, prices for freelance web design and development can range from around $1,000 to $3,000 or more, depending on the scope of the project and the freelancer’s experience.
- Website builders: A website builder offers a cost-effective way to build a website. Platforms like Wix, Squarespace or Weebly provide pre-designed templates and drag-and-drop interfaces that allow you to create a basic website from scratch on your own. The downside to website builders is that you have limited design and functionality options, and you may need to pay extra to implement advanced features. Moreover, the seemingly low price – which, on average, is $20-$30 per month – continues to add up over time for as long as you have the website running.
- Free web design services: No, this is not a scam. You can get free web design services if you know where to look. For example, WAcademy can offer free web design services and build a completely custom and unique website at no cost. How? We run an internship program, and our main objective is to train the web designers of the future. So, we partner with SMEs and provide them with free web design services in return for an opportunity for our interns to practice new skills while working on real-life projects.
Ultimately, your choice will depend on your budget, timeline and the level of customization you require. When selecting the right option for you, consider whether you want a custom site or an affordable site. Or if you do not want to compromise at all.
3. Optimization phase
After getting your site up and running, there are further optimizations you can implement to enhance your site’s overall functionality. For example, you should implement an SEO strategy to establish a good web presence and make sure your website ranks well on search engine results pages.
You might also need to implement a cookie banner notice on your website in compliance with local data and privacy laws. What about implementing promotional pop-ups to notify visitors about ongoing sales or new services? Perhaps you are yet to integrate a social feed or Google Maps? Needless to say, website upgrading opportunities are endless.
WAcademy SME partners can select from a range of additional web services to make their websites more functional.
4. Launch phase
Now that your professional website has been fully built and optimized, it is time for the world to hear about it. You can raise awareness by promoting your website on social media platforms. Also, you can run ads to drive traffic to your site. You might even find it beneficial to launch a PR campaign to let everyone know about your new amazing website.
Before you start promoting your site, make sure it is compatible with different devices. Since most people use their phones to access the internet, it is crucial to make sure your site is accessible via mobile devices and can be used via any mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
5. Website updates & maintenance
Creating a good website is not a one-and-done ordeal. To keep your website up and running, you have to maintain it and continuously revise its structure and material. Make sure your content – including descriptions, images and videos – is up to date; otherwise, people will not give your site a second chance.
As your business expands and you acquire new clients or site visitors, you may also need to update your site capacity to handle the growing traffic. Moreover, do not forget that the software and plugins you use on your business site require regular updates too, for optimal performance.
Why small businesses choose WAcademy web design services
At WAcademy, we are committed to helping small business owners and those interested in earning passive income thrive online. We understand that launching small business websites can be a significant investment that not all SMEs can cover. Fortunately, WAcademy interns make it possible to design a custom website at zero cost.
Our trained web design interns work closely with our SME partners to understand their needs. This is how they are able to build custom, fully-functional websites that represent each unique brand. Sounds too good to be true? With a focus on training aspiring web designers and assisting up-and-coming SMEs, we have found the perfect solution.
In 2017, we began a virtual internship program for aspiring web designers. In early 2023, we already had over 30,000 websites under our belt! The proof is in the pudding, and this achievement demonstrates it is, in fact, possible to offer free web design services while nurturing the next generation of web, graphic and UX designers.
Our web design interns know all the latest web design tips and work under the supervision of experienced professionals to ensure that your website is of the highest quality.
However, note that while our web design services are free, website hosting is outside the scope of the WAcademy project.
To ensure that hosting costs do not deter our SME partners from empowering our interns, we have partnered with Getspace. This web hosting provider offers a comprehensive hosting package that covers WordPress hosting, your own domain name, data backup, an SSL certificate, professional email inboxes and an Elementor Pro license with premium features.
So, have you decided that your business needs a website? Are you ready for WAcademy interns to build you a custom website for free? Register today, and let’s get started!