10 key benefits of a website for small businesses

Many small business owners choose to focus solely on social media particularly for their launch, from a financial perspective its a cheap, low-risk solution and setting up a social media profile is easy. However, once you’ve built your community of fans where are you going to send them to so they can shop, enquire, or subscribe? How will prospective customers find you on Google when they are searching for your brands, products, or services? In this article, we explain the key benefits of a website for small businesses and the importance of having a unique digital destination to showcase your brand and drive commercial growth.

Think bigger than social media for better results
As a digital marketing agency dedicated to supporting small businesses, we get many enquiries from business owners wanting support with their social media presence and we always explain the value of a holistic approach to a digital marketing strategy. Social media is great for carving an identity for your brand and slowly building a community of followers to convert into active customers, however, a great website can become your brand’s unique online digital destination and help your small business to grow sales or enquiries quickly and efficiently.

Prioritise your brand’s online discoverability
As a small business owner in your start up months, or first 3 years, your priority should be to ensure your brand is discoverable to your target audience when they are actively looking for you and your products or services online. Why? These users are likely to convert into paying customers. For example, it’s incredibly likely that your target customer is Googling the types of services or products you offer right now – these customers want to know about your brand and visit your website. This is the number one reason why a small business needs a website, if you don’t have a website you will miss out on this opportunity for growth.

Do you understand your local customers online behaviour?
One of the main benefits of a website for small businesses is that it can provide you with access to your local target customers. With this is mind it’s important to understand how customers find, choose, trust, and understand business offerings in their local area. The below stats highlight the importance of ensuring that your website is optimised to be discoverable amongst local prospective clients:

46% of all Google searches on Google are local,
34% of consumers search the internet every day to find a local business,
97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.

The best place for a small business to grow their presence online is locally, whether that’s your city or county, and if you’re an ecommerce brand you can focus nationwide. Service-led businesses should focus on their immediate local geographic area first and before you invest in a website for your small business you can create a free Google My Business profile and get your brand listed on the local Google map.

Tip! As soon as you publish your website live ensure you link your GMB profile to it as this is a valuable backlink to boost your website’s SEO.

Common excuses for not having a website
It’s no secret that running a small business is a demanding job; entrepreneurs wear multiple hats from HR to Marketing, cashflow is often tight, and there is often not much time available for growing and developing the business to reach its all-important goals. Good websites are great for business growth whether that’s converting sales or generating quality leads and business owners should not be put off by the initial investment.

Once your brand’s website has been built it will last you for at least a few years with very little ongoing maintenance required, and if you find the right digital marketing agency to create your custom website, they will fully manage the entire process for you and exceed your expectations with a website you can’t wait to show off.

Small business website service

10 benefits of a website for small businesses
If you’re a new brand then raising awareness should be top of your list of business goals, or perhaps you want to showcase expertise in your specific field of business? Having a website that drives quality leads or generates ‘X’ number of sales per month are also popular goals amongst our clients. Whatever your commercial goals a good website can help you achieve them, below are 10 key benefits of a website for small businesses:

1. Establish your business’s credibility: having a well-designed website that looks great on every device gives the impression that you are professional and ready to do business with your target customers. If you don’t have a website, digital-savvy customers are likely to go elsewhere in just a few clicks!

2. Create a bold brand identity: a custom website can be as unique as your brand and provides a platform for you to bring your brand story to life in a visually compelling and intuitive way. From stylish animations and beautiful photography, to buttons and headlines that POP – every element of your website content should align to and elevate your brand’s look and feel.

3. Showcase your products or services: your website is your online shop window whether you’re a service-based or ecommerce business, utilise it to guide potential customers to browse your portfolio and ensure they can purchase or enquire easily.

4. Build your reputation with reviews and testimonials: including customer testimonials on your website is a great way to impress potential customers, build trust and boost conversions. According to Trustpilot, 88% of consumers factor in online reviews to their purchase journey so always factor in social proof content within your website design.

5. Help prospective customers seeking your products or services to find you: search engine marketing and SEO is what makes your website discoverable online amongst users who are actively searching (or Googling) online your brand, products, services etc. It’s essential to optimise your website with on-site SEO so that each page on your website can capture traffic and rank on search engines for a specific target keyword or two.

6. Drive incremental enquiries or sales: the main purpose of a business website is either to drive sales, enquiries, or both. To ensure it can deliver these goals, every piece of content on your website should be fit-for-purpose to guide users into action and drive them further down your sales funnel.

7. Become an information resource: if your business operates in a niche industry or is a service provider, a website is a great place to demonstrate your expertise and build authority in your field. For example, add a blog to your website and update it regularly with well-written informative content which discusses common problems and topics that your potential clients are searching for on Google. An effective content marketing and blog strategy can improve your websites SEO value and your brand’s online discoverability.

8. Build a mailing list: email marketing is an effective tool for generating leads or orders from prospective customers and driving repeat business from existing customers. You can build your email list (database) by adding a form to your website to collect information from users who want to subscribe at various points in their user journey on your website, for example, at the checkout before or after the purchase. Consider a small business friendly platform such as MailChimp for your email marketing needs.

9. Collect data to drive growth: every website should be set up to accurate track every piece of activity that happens on it, this data will provide you with valuable insights to help you drive your business into its next phase of growth. Google Analytics is free and can track plenty of useful information for small businesses. For example:

– do you get more leads on Sundays? Consider increasing your digital marketing spend on Sundays to maximise this opportunity for more leads.
– does your homepage have a high bounce rate? It’s time to test new, engaging content.
– are you getting traffic from Australia? Perhaps you should introduce international delivery.

10. Get quicker referrals: should your brand or business name come up in a conversation between a current client and a friend of theirs, the first thing that friend is likely to do is Google your business or search for it online. If you have a fit-for-purpose website they are highly likely to find you instantly, take a look at what you do and either get in touch to discuss their needs or place an order with you.

It’s time to create a custom website for your small business
Your website is the most important digital destination for your small business. Your customers will likely discover your brand for the first time on your website so it must create a ‘wow’ first impression and guide users into action such as learn more, send an enquiry or make a purchase. As a small business owner one of the best cost-effective investments, you can make is in a custom website that it unique to your brand and fit-for-purpose to deliver your commercial goals.

A well designed and custom-built website on a platform such as WordPress boasts many benefits:

– It will last you many years as it will be unique to your brand’s look and feel
– They are very easy to maintain and keep updated yourself so no expensive monthly fees
– You can add new features and functionality easily as you’re not restricted by a template.

Learn more about Hi Digital’s custom website design service and do get in touch to discuss ideas with us.

Grow your small business’s digital presence
Digital marketing can steer your small business towards its goals, and we’d love to be a part of your brand’s growth. Hi Digital are a boutique digital marketing agency dedicated to growing small businesses with effective digital strategies. We’d love to help you reach your business goals and be a part of your brand’s growth. Please email us info@hidigital.co.uk or please get in touch with using the form below to book a free consultation with us.

Alternatively, find out more about what we do or discover free digital marketing tips on our blog.

5 reasons every brand needs a responsive website

When considering the digital part of your business the first thing you will probably think of is your brand’s website, or lack of. A great responsive website is the most tangible digital asset a brand can have whether your business model is B2B or D2C, and if you offer ecommerce or have a more traditional bricks and mortar set up. Two of the most common questions we receive from clients are:

1. Do we need a website?
2. Should we invest in a new website?

The answer to question one is easy: yes, you definitely do – 86% of UK adults (aka your potential customers) use the Internet daily. Our answer to question two depends on your current website: is it a responsive website? A responsive website automatically adjusts the webpage content being displayed to the device, such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone, which the user is browsing with. Today every website should offer an intuitive user experience to each user on every device. If your brand’s website isn’t responsive then we recommend you invest in a shiny new one to create a ‘wow’ first impression with your customers and, provide a great user experience with all users.

Below are five reasons every brand and small business should have a responsive website:

1. You’re missing out on mobile and tablet customers
Depending on your industry 25-75% of traffic to your website will be via a mobile device, that’s a huge pool of potential customers wanting to know more about your brand. If you invest most of your resources into your social media channels your traffic will be weighted to mobile and smartphones. If your website doesn’t work for these users, they’ll find a brand website that does in just a few more clicks.

2. Without a website your business is not easily discoverable to customers
Users searching for your brand name or your products/services locally and/or nationally will not find you in a search engine – 77% of UK adults use the Internet to find information about goods and services*. Google is arguably most people’s best friend so if you’re not on Google how are potential customers going to find you? Google loves responsive websites and lists them higher in organic search rankings too giving your brand more exposure.

3. You’re creating a negative impression of your brand
We’ve all had negative experiences trying to make a purchase on or even browse a website via our smartphone, many of us get frustrated and leave after a few seconds. Having to pinch and zoom to read text, buttons not working, and endless scrolling are just a few of the common bugbears from bad design and UX (user experience). Don’t be that kind of website! Treat your website like your shop window and create a first impression that wows on all devices. Engage users instantly and help them choose you over the competition. Impressing the digital savvy consumer of today is tough but get it right with a fantastic browsing experience on each of their devices and you may have a loyal customer for many years.

4. Your competitors may not have one… yet!
Stand out from the crowd and give potential customers another reason to choose you. If your competitors already have one don’t stand out for the wrong reason, create your own and do it better.

5. It’s not as hard or expensive as you think
Responsive websites are easy for talented designers and developers to create and build. We offer end-to-end responsive website packages which ensure your brand has a website that is fit for purpose to deliver your business goals, easy to update and delivers a ‘wow’ first impression. Our great value service includes project management, content planning, copywriting, design and development – we always adopt a collaborative approach and welcome your team to be involved at every key stage. We charge a clear one-off fee which varies depending upon the brief and once your website is live there are no on-going maintenance fees.

If it doesn’t have one your brand needs a responsive website. What next? Whether you have a dated website that you have haven’t refreshed in years or you’ve never had one, we’d love to help you create the website your brand and your customers deserve. Please email us info@hidigital.co.uk or get in touch to schedule a free consultation with us.

Hi Digital are a boutique, digital agency dedicated to helping start-ups and small businesses to fulfil their goals, with a winning digital presence and effective use of digital marketing. Find out more about what we do and how we can help your unique brand.

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