Do you actually need a website for your small business?Feb 17, 2021
For some small businesses having a website is essential; however, for others, a website isn't necessary. Regardless of what you plan on doing with your company, evaluating if you should spend money on a website can be a serious thought.
Let's start with why you should not have a website.
Believe it or not, there are multi-million-dollar. companies that don't have websites. Their entire business is built on referrals, and the need to have a website has never really mattered. This is because those companies never found the need to create a website and build an online presence. The reason this is important is that they chose to allocate their money to other areas. Now am I saying a website wouldn't have helped them? No, certainly not. What I am saying is that they didn't feel the need to have something that showed the world they are a "real company." The reason I use quotes is that most people we do business with at my company, Growth Generators, we hear it all the time. “I want to be a "real company," so I need a website”—most of the time, it's far from the truth.
Your company has too much work, that website would distract you from completing projects.
This may sound like a shock to some people who read this article, but yes, there are companies that exist that have so much work going on that the key decision-makers can't distract themselves with a new project. It happens all the time, and because the website is such an important part of a business, it has to get input from the owners of the company. If it doesn't, then it may frame the company in a light that is less desirable. Because of this, key players such as upper management can't be distracted to have meetings, request revisions, or get sidetracked thinking about something they don't see value in right away. For this reason, there are lots of companies doing well over a million dollars in revenue that haven't thought about making a website, and chances are, they may never see one.
You have an extensive email list or customer database that calls you back regularly for work.
Sometimes companies have huge email lists where they are in constant earshot of their customer. Great examples of this are lawn care companies, handymen, and general services. These are great because they have customers who call them regularly for work. Everything from odds and ends, to yard maintenance. Those companies keep their email addresses and may have a CRM to keep track of them all but don't have a website. Their call to action is a direct reach out to the business owner or salesperson who can get them the help they are looking for. These companies and services companies, in general, seem to regularly not have a website. It's usually an uncomfortable conversation among family and friends that makes them get one after being in business for years.
You are about to Sell/shut down your company.
For obvious reasons, if you are in the process of selling a company or shutting down a company that doesn't already have a website, why get one? It's silly, and there is no reason to invest in one before a sale or a shutdown. If you're selling, that new purchasing company now has even more work to do because they may have to redirect visitors to the new company site or migrate content over to the existing website.
Either way, it's pointless for companies in this position to have a website. They won't gain anything out of it.
Now that we have covered why you shouldn't have a website, we need to cover the obvious.
Why do you need a website for your company?
It seems pretty obvious that the vast majority of companies should have a website. But why?
The most obvious reason most companies need a website is to make them look like "real companies."
There is a serious consumer fear when customers can't find you online. Regardless of the company as a consumer, they want a place to go to learn more about a company. The industry doesn't matter, but for example, a new restaurant without a menu can be missing tens of thousands of dollars in revenue because if someone doesn't know what they sell, they will go elsewhere. This is true for any company; as a consumer, we want to know it's a real company. Even if the website isn't the best, it has to show what the company does and show it helps people. In today's day and age, it's the standard to have a website, and without one, you could possibly be turning away customers because of their fear of working with you.
When you want to grow online.
Having a website is the keystone to growing online. Without one, growing online is difficult. Unless your plan is to grow and thrive in a Facebook group, having a website is the next best thing. Setting one up and building it out with features, descriptions, and anything else you do is key to growing online. There is a basic level of SEO that needs to be done, and once it's built out, it's a consistent effort to help it grow. When you have a website built and never touch it again, it's not going to grow, it will work in the beginning because it's new and there is content for google to read, but after a while, that growth stops. Over time it will even decline because Google looks at it and isn't sure if you are still a real company. If it hasn't been touched in years, Google doesn't know if you still have a website up for a business that is no longer around. To keep Google showing you to more and more people, you need to do two things.
Start a blog
Having a blog such as this is a great way to help drive traffic to your website. You can create content that relates to what you do and how you help people. For example, I love helping small businesses grow and think outside the box. Just like this article is giving the pros and cons of having a website and who may need one. It's new content to show Google that it's an active website as well as it is content for Google to sink its teeth into. There are valuable keywords throughout here that I want Google to show this article for. In the next 3 months, Google will start to show this article to the right people, and traffic will flow into my website.
Blogs are like lottery tickets. Even with the best keyword research and following SEO best practices, it's not always a guarantee you will get traffic. For this reason, I tell everyone to write content. Think about all the questions people ask you, and if you can write an article to answer that question, it will help Google show your website out. Do this enough times and show you're an expert, and people will want to do business with you. People are googling all the time, and if you have content that can last years, Google will send you traffic for years. Keep creating new content all the time and the chances to cash in on Google traffic will only increase. Even if you don't know what you're doing and you pick competitive areas, your content will get clicks. Google tries to match questions with answers, and if you can answer the questions, Google will send you the traffic. The key to it all is to write good content. If you ask anyone who builds traffic to websites, they all say the same thing. Start writing good content, and you will be rewarded for it. It's only a matter of time.
Having a website is key for selling products. In today's world, either with or without a pandemic being able to sell online is huge. People are spending the most amount of time ever before on their phones scrolling and searching. Having a website where you can facilitate transactions is going to be huge. Along with that, if you are a store and you sell items having them online for people to browse can help you get visitors. I know this sounds silly, but if someone doesn't want to leave their home unless they know what they want, having them find you online to find the product they fall in love with is powerful. More often than not, people shop online and pick up in-store or find out what the store has online. If there isn't an e-commerce section of a website that constantly has new products going up, people become disinterested. They want to see what's going on all the time and to see if you carry the style they are looking for. This doesn't just have to relate to clothing. This can relate to any industry. If you're a brick-and-mortar store, you need to give people the ability to shop online.
I know it will be extra work for you in the long term, but it's far easier to get found and have someone at least raise an eyebrow when they stumble upon your stuff. It could be the thing that makes or breaks your store because if someone has to roll out of bed to go check out "the new store in town," they might pass. But if they can browse your store in bed and find something that may interest them, you might get a buyer. Along with that, if you give them an incentive to give an email address, you may be pleasantly surprised who signs up. For 10% off, one time for an email address could turn someone into a lifetime customer. I can't even begin to tell you how powerful this is. Specifically, we tested this with a customer and how long it took the first email to hit their inbox. We increased email automation sales by over 300%. It's silly not to. Trust me; it works really well. Here is an example of email automation we built for a customer and their old one.
Creating a resource
Believe it or not, most companies get tons of traffic through their knowledge base. Most of the time, people don't know how to do something or have a question. More specifically, an employee may have a question on how to do something. By giving employees one location to go look things up and get answers to their questions, it's going to save time and money. The company that does this best is HubSpot. Their knowledge base is incredible, and employees and consumers alike use it all the time. The articles in there can link to blogs and other resources to keep people going and remove the need to spend employee working time on mundane tasks. This makes the company significantly more profitable as they only have to spend time once updating the knowledge base, and everyone can find the answers they were looking for.
I know this may seem obvious, but websites are a great place to give away free stuff. That can be things like a checklist, workbook, or anything else. It saves a significant amount of time to hand out free resources. This can also be used to distribute company documents or forms that clients may need to fill out. Either way, having them live on the website and giving people the opportunity to get them there as opposed to having someone in the office email them out each and every time will save countless amounts of headaches. Do yourself a favor and import documents to your website. When you do, after reading this article, come back in a couple of months and thank me for saving you time.
Have an important newsletter or raffle you need to collect data on? Websites are a powerful tool for people to enter their personal information. Suppose it's to collect data; it's far easier to have a data collector as opposed to going in and doing everything by hand. Let the website do the work for you. If someone wants to join your email list because you send awesome emails, let them. It's easy to get people to join your email list, and it's better than having that person reach out to the company to say, "Hey, add this email [email protected] to your list". Suppose someone had to go in and do that every time, your wasting time and paying someone to do something that can be automated. Add a capture or create a page on the website so people can stay in the know as well as save time. As a bonus, every email address you capture is someone potentially willing to buy or be a customer. They may not actually spend money with you, but I am willing to bet they would consume your videos, blogs or spend time on your website, and that alone can help you rank higher on google. Either way, for something so easy, just do it.
I hope this blog has helped you make up your mind if you need a website or not. If you do feel free to reach out to my company, we can build you an incredible website as well as help you drive tons of traffic to your website. If you want to sign up for my weekly emails below, feel free. I give away tons of knowledge about small business development, sales marketing, and more.