Why is a website important for a small business?

Coffee cup and laptop with overlaid text that reads

Why do small businesses need a website?

Right now, at the end of 2019, it feels like the internet has been around for such a long time that it’s difficult to remember a time when we didn’t search online to find things.

Need a plumber? It takes seconds to Google one. Want to find a restaurant while you’re visiting somewhere? Search and you shall find. Need to send a birthday present to a relative? You can do that online too and you don’t even have to go to the post office!  Having a website means that no matter how small or niche your small business is, you can be found online.

Yet there are still small businesses that don’t have a good (or any!) online presence. Why does this matter – surely word of mouth is still important in 2019? Well it matters because studies show that 70-80% of people research a business online before making a purchase decision1. So even if your business is recommended to a prospective customer, chances are they are going to look you up online before they contact you. 

First impressions count; website speed and responsive design

If your business doesn’t have an appealing, responsive website then your customers will very quickly move to one that does. Research shows you have 0.05 seconds(!) to make a good first impression on a website user 2. First impressions aren’t just about design, site speed is important too. Even for exquisitely designed websites, the bounce time may be as low as 3-5 seconds and if your current site takes longer than that to load then your user has moved on.

Have you ever visited a website on your mobile phone and found the text was so small you had to zoom in to read it? Websites like these are frustrating and don’t encourage users to explore their website. Lack of responsive design also affects the perception of the business; 57% of internet users say they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website3.

So how do you wow users who visit your website and turn them into customers?

Our advice for small businesses who are thinking about creating or updating their website:

  1. A well designed website will catch their attention
  2. Ensure your website is fast, don’t lose customers due to slow loading speeds
  3. Responsive design-make sure your website is easy to read and navigate on all devices
  4. Make it easy for users to do what you want them to; ensure calls to action are clear so users can easily navigate your site. 
  5. Content is king; make sure your website pages are concise, clear and well written. Spelling errors and grammatical errors do not make a good first impression!
  6. Keep it up to date – remove dead links, keep your blog up to date and regularly check your content is up to date.

If you’d like to chat to us about creating a website for your small business or if you need help refreshing your website, contact us here

  1. https://clutch.co/web-designers/resources/small-business-websites-2016-survey
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01449290500330448
  3. https://www.socpub.com/articles/the-5-mobile-marketing-mistakes-infographic-14849

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