Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just branching out on your own, having a website to promote your services should be an integral part of your business model. Today’s consumer isn’t like those of old. They’re constantly plugged in and have the ability to compare prices and find products all with a single click. Long gone are the days when consumers wanted to sift through the yellow pages or browse the aisles of a store to buy something. Because of this, business owners have had no choice but to adapt to the times.
But that change, while it seems scary on the surface, is actually much easier and beneficial to your overall success than you’d think, and that’s what this article will cover. Below, we’ll discuss not only why your business needs a website, but what your website should consist of, which sites to use and much more. Feel free to utilize our table of contents below to skip ahead to a specific section.
Table of Contents
Why Small Businesses Need a Website
- Why should a small business have a website? The answer: it’s expected in today’s society. Studies from the Pew Research Center state that about 80% of Americans use the internet each day. These stats include the 28% of Americans who say they’re almost constantly using the internet. With the advent of social media and smartphones, users are constantly plugged in with the world just beyond their fingertips. This is one of the main reasons why your business needs a website. Small business owners need to capitalize on this. At any moment throughout the day, a consumer is going to Google to search for the exact product and service you provide, but if you don’t have an efficiently designed website, you’re going to be missing out on large chunks of business.
Why Your Business Needs a Website to Grow Sales
Let’s be honest – making money is the lifeblood of any successful business. Unfortunately, you’re never going to make sales if consumers can’t find your product. Whereas before, sales were primarily driven by word-of-mouth, today, all a person has to do is do a quick internet search. When that happens, you want your site to be the first thing consumers find.
There are several reasons why your small business needs a website to grow sales:
Businesses with a website tap into millennials’ shopping habits
A website makes your business available to a consumer 24 hours a day, 365 days a week. That’s a huge opportunity to capture business! This means that even if your storefront is closed, people can still order the items they need without having to wait until the following morning. Even if your company offers in-person services, many websites are equipped with an automatic chat feature that can capture a customer’s contact information to schedule a call the following day. This is important, especially with today’s modern millennial shopper, which according to the Pew Research Center, has officially surpassed the Baby Boomer generation to become the largest generation in the United States. According to research, 67% of all consumers are millennials, those aged 25-40 as of 2021. Millennial shoppers prioritize four main things when it comes to making a purchase:
- Easy-to-use website
- Free or same-day shipping
- Flexible return policy
When starting a website for your small business, it’s crucial to identify who your target audience is so you can market directly to them. With millennials making up the largest generation and majority of online shoppers, understanding what they look for in both a website and the products you have available is crucial.
Website sales build loyalty and bring a return of investment
When a consumer purchases your product or books your services online, you’re creating a digital relationship that will help sustain your business in the long run. Look at this relationship as the modern day equivalent of word-of-mouth referrals. According to a recent Forbes article, consumers who have a positive experience buying your product or service online are five times more likely to make a second purchase. Having the opportunity to capture repeat customers is one of the most important reasons as to why your business needs a website. But how do you ensure that your consumer has a favorable online shopping experience? The key is in knowing what to put on your website.
What Should a Business Website Have?
Remember when we said millennials favor websites that are easy to use? We weren’t exaggerating. According to the website, Small Biz Trends, ninety-four percent of all online consumers tout the importance of using a website that is easy to navigate. The main reason for this is so consumers can find what they want quickly, which is one of the main benefits of building your small business website on WordPress. It comes as a shock, but businesses have less than 15 seconds to capture a potential buyer’s attention before they leave the website in search for greener pastures (and faster-loading sites). Commonly cited reasons for this abrupt departure include long loading times, difficult-to-read content and a poorly-designed navigational menu. Now that we’ve covered what a business website SHOULDN’T have, let’s discuss what should be on the homepage of your business website.
A logo that represents your brand
Your logo is the first thing consumers see when they visit your website. After all, consumers want to make sure they’re visiting the right place of business, so placing this branding on the top of the page is crucial. This logo should be on the top of every page a consumer visits; it’s recommended that this logo contain a hyperlink to the homepage of your website so visitors can easily toggle back and forth to the homepage if they need to.
An easy-to-use navigational menu
First and foremost, the most important part of a homepage is the site’s navigational menu. This navigational menu is the epicenter of all the information on your website. It allows users to browse different sections of your website and click on links that will bring them directly to the items and products they’re searching for. This is usually displayed horizontally on the top of the website, as seen below:
A catchy design
A well-designed website is crucial to getting business. Backing up this claim is the fact that 75% of all consumers are influenced by a website’s design before making a purchase. After all, if the look and feel of your website looks lazy or out-of-date, consumers are going to assume your customer service and products are, too (even though that may be the furthest thing from the truth!) Furthermore, a well-designed website is effective for making your site user-friendly. The longer a consumer stays on your website, the better of a signal it sends to Google to reward you with more traffic.
It’s also worth noting the importance of having eye-catching photos on your website, especially on the homepage. People are visual creatures. We’re naturally drawn to pleasing colors and images that grab our attention. One of the benefits of using WordPress, for example, is that it offers a variety of different themes and color schemes you can easily add to your website to make it look more professional. Users can implement a design that beautifully represents their company’s branding, services and mission.
Easy-to-read content (aka bullet points are your friend)
No one wants to go to a website and read a block of text-heavy content. More so, no one wants to have to sift through paragraph after paragraph of content to find an easy answer to their question. The average user only reads about 20% of the content that’s written on a website, which is why bullet points are your friend when it comes to creating content. Bullet points can help you highlight the most important (and most common) information consumers on your site are looking for. Do you offer free shipping, 24/7 chat service and no-questions asked return policies? Adding these to a bulleted list will help them stand out.
Easy-to-read content is also incredibly useful in providing opportunities for internal linking. Internal linking is the process of adding a hyperlink to a certain word or phrase so visitors can access information that’s on a different page of your website. Internal linking:
- Helps boost other pages on your website
- Helps consumers find new information quickly
- Improves your website’s page rank (which gets you more traffic)
- Helps keep consumers on your website longer (which also drives more traffic)
Your company’s contact information
Last but not least, your homepage should feature a way for consumers to contact you, whether by phone, via email, social media or the physical address to your location. Business owners can add this contact information at the bottom of their page or as a tab on the navigational menu.
How Can a WordPress Website Help Me Grow My Business?
Should I use WordPress for my business website? If only we had a nickel for every time someone asked us that. The answer? Absolutely! This is why:
WordPress provides flexibility to create and design a website that fits your needs
While WordPress may have gained popularity for starting out as a blogging website, it’s come very far from its humble (but still noteworthy beginnings; check out our other post on how to start a tech blog in a competitive niche here). Business owners can download WordPress directly from their website, providing users with a blank template to build a website. The good news is that there’s a WordPress theme and package that works for every budget. WordPress offers a wide selection of free and premium templates for every type of industry, including:
Whether your goal is to communicate with consumers, book appointments or sell products, there is a WordPress theme available to you that you can customize with your own logo, color scheme, webpages, blog posts, company announcements, photos and everything in between.
WordPress is SEO-friendly
Search engine optimization (also known as SEO) is how you can drive traffic to your website via organic search results. What makes WordPress stand out amongst the competition is that they offer countless SEO plugins that are easy to use for first time users. This is one of the best advantages for using WP Super Host; WP Super Host will monitor your site to make sure it’s working efficiently. This includes managing all the technical aspects of running your WordPress website such as updating your plugins, 24/7 monitoring to make sure your site stays up and running, and site speed reports to help provide useful information on how to improve your website’s performance. All of our packages include an intuitive user dashboard, easy migration, WordPress update monitoring and much more. You can learn more about our full list of features and pricing packages here.
We covered a lot in this article but the main takeaway about why your business needs a website is that it’s critical to doing business in today’s climate. The packages WP Super Host offers can help you make sure you’re taking every step possible to building a website that reflects your company’s goals both now and in the future. You worked hard to build your company; let building and maintaining your website be easy.