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8 Reasons Why Websites are Essential to All Small Businesses

In 2020-21 COVID drastically changed the way we do business. Lockdowns hurt the profitability of many struggling small businesses, and, to survive, many of them took to the internet to see if they could reach their customers online.

Businesses have been transitioning to digital to reach new markets and boost sales for years, but the lockdowns of 2020 and the challenges of the past years increased this focus significantly. Now that more businesses are looking to establish themselves online due to the pandemic, it makes sense that the old way of doing business just isn't coming back.

For web designers this newly fueled demand has led to a recent boom in business. Many website developers have experienced significant growth throughout the last couple of years as more and more businesses scramble to get online.  As we enter a post-COVID world where digital is the new norm, it’s safe to say the demand for affordable website demand will continue to rise. 

Businesses with a website are no longer an exception

Why are websites so important to small businesses today, and how can you convince small businesses in your area that they are absolutely necessary?

Simply put: businesses who invest in their online presence are able to build their brand, attract more potential customers, minimize their risks and yield more profit than other marketing methods alone.

But where should businesses start? The most important thing to establish is a strong digital presence with a professionally designed website that clearly presents a business to its customers.

Here are eight reasons why getting a website right now is essential for any small business

1 - A website is always open

Despite lockdowns forcing some businesses to shut down their physical storefront during COVID-19, many were able to continue to operate thanks to their online presence. With a website, a company can continue to serve its customers 24/7.

A website is an essential communication tool for any company looking to provide a service or sell goods. No matter what time of day it is, a customer can always find the business’s website to learn more about what the business offers, see if they are open, ask questions and find out where they’ll be able to purchase products and services.

Businesses can update websites with new information and features at any time. They don’t have to worry about being open or closed during a specific period of the day, like brick-and-mortar businesses.

Strategies like search engine optimization can help extend a business's reach and allow even the smallest of businesses to improve their marketing efforts and show that their doors are always open online. 

2 - Customers expect it now more than ever 

Websites are no longer an exception. They’re an expectation. When a business has a website that serves the needs of its customers, it can save time and money while also building customer loyalty.

Customers are used to seeing companies’ websites, and they see it as a sign the company cares about their customers enough to have invested in this valuable resource. A website provides a digital space for customers to get more information about a company and its products or services.

Websites are an extension of a business's goal to serve their customers' expectations better. A website is the ultimate customer service tool. Contact pages, email forms, chatbots, and FAQ pages can help answer customers whenever they have any questions or concerns. Blog posts and landing pages can deep dive into topics that interest customers.

Meeting these expectations of customers is never easy, but having a good website can help a lot when striving to serve their needs better. 

3 - A website earns trust even in uncertain times

These days people tend to question the legitimacy of any business without a website. Companies with websites just look more professional and more credible than those that don't have one. Many consumers see the lack of a website as a “red flag” and question the seriousness of the business.

Building long-lasting relationships with customers is the bedrock of trust. Websites not only allow businesses to build better relationships with their customers, but they also help businesses save more time in the process.

Businesses can use automation and perennial content on their website to communicate with their customers more, which helps cultivate this trust. Social proof and customer testimonials on the site also increases a business's authority and credibility in the eyes of customers.

4 - The competition has a website

When customers compare two businesses, not having a website puts a business at a disadvantage.

Think about it from a customer's point of view. If you're looking for one of the best businesses in your area for a particular niche, and one business loads the customer up with an informative, well-designed website, and the other has no website at all, which business do you think the customer will find more appealing?

Businesses with a website immediately set themselves above any competition that doesn’t have one. Businesses can use their company website to highlight their brand distinctions, what makes them unique and why they are the best choice for consumers looking for their products and services.

Websites serve as a bridge, connecting customers searching for local products and services online to qualified businesses. Businesses without this digital bridge are unable to connect with consumers and will lose out to the competition.

5 - The future is uncertain 

Some companies think, just because their business is profitable today, they don’t need a website. But who knows what tomorrow will bring? We witnessed this first hand during COVID - businesses that were once flourishing came to a screeching halt and are now struggling to survive.

An uncertain future is never a good thing, and if a business doesn't prepare for the future, it's always uncertain. A strong digital presence can provide stability and growth for a business when it’s needed the most.

If another pandemic hits and businesses find themselves floundering because local customers aren't buying, they can always pivot with an established website. They can market to others outside their usual service area or find other markets altogether.

The ability to gather email addresses and customer reviews is also a benefit to businesses and helps with this future-proofing. Email lists are largely built from websites that prompt prospective buyers to sign up for free offers.

These lists assure businesses will have the ability to communicate with people interested in their offer no matter what happens, whether the times are good or bad. 

6 - Customers are MOBILE

In the hectic and busy world we live in, customers are always on the go. They're constantly using their smartphones to look up local shops and services. The need for a mobile-friendly website has never been greater.

In fact, it is estimated that over half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and that number is only growing.

Mobile customers can be a huge asset to a business. Often customers will search for or review businesses while out and about. They'll snap pictures of the business and upload them to review sites like Yelp, Google My Business, and  or share them on social media.

Interacting with these mobile customers becomes much easier when customers can point to a mobile optimized website that works on all devices. The more accessible a business, the more likely consumers will interact with that business and choose them over the competition.

7 - Online ordering is more common 

Online ordering and eCommerce used to be “nice to have” features. However, the recent pandemic proved that online ordering is a necessary sales channel and is here to stay.

Just as email became a necessity for businesses once the internet made it possible, online ordering is now becoming a necessity for small business owners. Customers commonly expect to make purchases on their own terms and have access 24 hours a day.

This convenience factor is not only a boon for customers but also for businesses. Online ordering allows business owners to potentially sell more and increase their profits because their website sells around the clock, even when they’re not working. 

8 - It’s more affordable than you think

Businesses can no longer use cost as an excuse not to have a website. Web design is now more affordable than ever. Web designers are able to create a professional website for businesses even with tighter budgets.  We have All-Inclusive Website packages starting at $599.

BellStar MEDIA can help small businesses drastically reduce the time and costs it takes to build a website. We have created a package to produce websites for a fraction of the cost at prices that our competitors can't touch.

The benefits of websites go beyond just making it easy to find information about a business. Websites are essential to every successful small business because they allow businesses to interact with current and prospective customers better, present specials and promotions, sell their products, create an unforgettable brand identity, and increase search engine visibility.

Websites work for any business, and that’s exactly why they’re essential for all small businesses.  If you currently run a business or are thinking about starting one, now is a great time to build your website for your local businesses.