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If your business is without a website, is it costing you potential customers?
Many small businesses make do without a website. You might be surprised to learn just how many don’t have one. According to research done in 2017 by Approved Index, a B2B comparison site for business services 2 million businesses in the UK don’t have a website.
“Today’s consumers are more savvy than ever before because they have so much information at their disposal to aid almost every purchasing decision and this research often starts by heading to a brand’s website.
“Whether a business is online or offline, the majority of active customers will turn to the web first to help them find relevant companies, and reports have shown that consumers are far more trusting of brands with a quality website.
“Our findings prove that businesses who continue to ignore the importance of a website run the risk of losing millions of pounds to competitors.”
Cameron Blair’s from Approved Index comments.
Why should you invest in a website?
Creating a strong online presence is one of the most valuable assets for any business; not just to share information, but to build credibility.
According to a survey by Weebly, 56% of the consumers surveyed said they don’t trust a business without a website. By not having a website, you will be automatically losing the opportunity to get in touch with your audiences.
There is a list of checks we all have when deciding to purchase goods or service from a business. Most of the time we don’t even think about it until one of those tick boxes is missing. As Cameron Blair says, users are used to having lots of information at their fingertips.
If I’m looking to buy a service, the very first thing I do is to check out the website of a business, and I find it a bit disappointing if they don’t have one. Then if they do have one but it’s a smaller company I look at their social media and blog posts. Quite a few times I have taken a pause when I see that the last post or blog article they added was two years ago. I also look at reviews and recent examples of their work (if possible). The only exception to this rule would be if it’s a small home cake bakery or a local handyman. These types of businesses are usually very low key, and a website would be over-kill.
How can a website help boost your business?
Exposure to a wider audience
The main advantage of having a website is to reach out to a broader audience with ease. It will also help your target audience understand your business and services.
A website provides you with warm leads, people who are already interested in your products and services. It is easier to convert these types of leads into customers.
Saves on advertising
Many businesses go without a website because they perceive it as an extravagant expense. Other forms of advertising (particularly traditional ones) can seriously start to add up when you are totally reliant on them for business. Once a website is set up and established it is an extremely useful marketing tool. I get all my work from my website; I don’t do any form of paid advertising (no PPC either).
100% accessible to everyone
Without a website, your business is inaccessible to a lot of people. Online activity is increasing amongst consumers all the time. People do more online now than they ever did before and with a website, you can reach these people really easily.
What are the options for businesses who want a website?
Businesses are usually limited to the following options:
- Paying someone money to build you one
- Learning to do it oneself
- Buying a website template (doing it yourself)
As a business owner, you haven’t got time for two and three which usually just leaves one option – pay someone.
How much does a website cost?
When considering which website designer or agency to use it is crucial to consider the type of website you need and the size.
Types of websites:
- Basic Websites – Individuals to small businesses
- Advanced Websites – Small to medium businesses
- Complex Websites – Medium to large businesses requiring 3rd party & database integration
- Bespoke Website Applications – Large businesses requiring custom website applications
- E-commerce Websites – Any business that sells online
- Website Redesign – Any business that needs to update an existing site
|Domain Name||£3 – £10 per annum|
|Hosting||£10 – £60 per month|
|Site Design & Creation (and coding)||£5 – £130 per hour|
|Content||£10 – £50 per hour|
|Images||From £0+ depending on the source|
|Ecommerce Functionality||£300 – £2,000 one-off cost|
|Mobile Responsiveness||£200 – £2,000 one-off cost|
|On-going Maintenance||Anything from £0+ depending on requirements|
|Marketing and SEO||£100 – £500|
Check out my blog post on How much should my website cost?
What about social media?
On face value, there’s no solution as simple as a social network to get you up and running with an online presence. While a business Facebook page is also a must these days, it shouldn’t be a substitute for a professional website. Social media only targets a certain audience type (depending on the platform you use).
You will never out rank an equivalent service provider who does have a website with a Facebook page. You can’t gain organic rankings from social media in the same way you can with a website. This ultimately limits your audience.