In today’s society, where most people shop online for services and products, a recent study by web hosting company GoDaddy has revealed that the majority of small businesses in Australia do not have a website – 59% to be exact. If you live in a regional area, this jumps to 65%. A website isn’t just about selling your services and products, it’s also about providing something of value to potential customers.

The team at Little Pig Consulting have come up with the TOP SEVEN reasons why you need a website.

1. Your customers EXPECT it

In the digital age, your customers expect that you will have a website. It is a form of validation for your business. Today’s digital savvy (and often impatient) customers may look elsewhere if you don’t have a business website.

2. It provides social PROOF

Online reviews influence buying decisions in 90 % of consumers. A great way to impress potential buyers is to include customer testimonials on your site.

3. You CONTROL your narrative

Whilst we cannot control what others say about us on social media channels, we can influence public perception by creating our own story via a business website. A company blog helps business owners get their message, mission, and personality in front of their target audience faster than print ads or snail mail brochures. Social icons linking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other networking platforms make sharing your content easier for your visitors who like what they see.

Research and recommendations from peers and social network connections is typically how consumers start their buying journey. Studies show that once a consumer has an idea of what they need or want, they start researching, and 72% of them go online to find educational material, reviews, and testimonials. If you’re not staying competitive with your competition, you’re giving customers a reason to ‘buy’ from another brand.

5. Be FOUND in online search results

Before making an online purchase or engaging the services of a business, 81% of consumers undertake online research. That means they go to Google and type in one or more keywords, like “cotton socks” or, if they know what they want, “handcrafted Australian cotton socks.”

No website = minute chance of showing up in a search engine results page which means you are handing sales over to your competitors. However, if you have a site, you can increase your chances of appearing at the top of Google’s results by optimising your website for search engines. Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be increased through long-tail keywords, meta descriptions and titles.

6. SHOWCASE your products and services

You’ve worked hard to get your business off the ground, you should be shouting it from the virtual rooftop via a beautifully designed website that showcases your products and services. A web presence will provide you with a platform to display your products or outline your services in detail with beautiful images.

A business website will give you an opportunity to provide short video tutorials, give customers access to downloadable PDFs, upload your business blogs and/or newsletters as well as be a space to share testimonials to entice new clients and customers.

7. SPREAD your eggs

As the old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in the one basket. Have you got a plan in place if suddenly you find yourself locked out of your business Facebook or Instagram page? Could your business survive whilst you rebuild and repopulate your social pages? In today’s digital era, you need to be present across numerous platforms not only for exposure but also as a safety net.