I started my marketing agency in October 2019. But before that, I was working as a marketing freelancer for different small service-based businesses for about 3 years. Within that time, I was fortunate enough to also interview a ton of small service-based business owners.
I found details on how much they were making, to where they wanted to grow their business, how they were marketing their business, etc.
Within a couple of months of doing this, it really became abundantly clear to me what the difference was between those who were succeeding, those who were average, and those who were struggling.
When analyzing the 3 groups of people above, I was fascinated by the clear differences in “perspectives” by each of these 3 groups – on things such as the importance of digital marketing, content creation, websites, financial statements, learning to effectively manage their finances, and etc.
But in this blog post, I want to zoom in on the importance of a website for a small service-based business from the perspective of those who are running competitive, successful, and growing small businesses. That said, why is a good website important for your small business?
1. Can Give You a Huge Potential Reach to Your Market
Imagine you run a small accounting firm.
Across South Africa, there are a lot of people who are starting a new business. There are also a lot of people who have been running their business for a couple of months or a few years.
Some of these people do not have an accountant yet. Some of them have an accountant but would like to switch their current accountant for whatever reason.
A large portion of those small business owners mentioned above will start their search for an accountant or accounting firm on Google.
My point? These days, people search the internet for businesses, products, and services FIRST to find and compare providers before making a purchasing decision.
The days of consumers relying on Yellowpages and phone books are long gone. If someone needs to find information, they are most likely turning to the world wide web to find it (other than word of mouth and referrals). So when they search for something you offer you should to show up.
Most successful and growing small service-based businesses tend to have a strong SEO marketing strategy such that the thousands of potential clients find them on Google every single month.
As a result, if the website looks good, seems trustworthy, and contains the key information prospects are looking for, the business automatically generates a ton of leads and clients every month directly from the website, Google, and other internet search engines.
2. Can Generate a Ton of Leads for Your Business
A good website will help you generate leads every single month provided that you have a solid marketing strategy that you are consistently implementing.
It is important for your website to look good and have adequate information in the correct structure because your website is often the first impression you give potential customers. If they found you through a search engine or through a link a friend gave them, your website will most likely be your first point of contact with them.
Before they even see your office or store or talk to your staff, they will see your website. You want that first impression to be a good one.
Your storefront and showroom look good, right? Why do they look good? Because you know customers will see them and form an opinion about the business based on them (in addition to factors such as customer service, reviews, quality, price, etc. of course).
Think of your website as your digital storefront and showroom. People are looking at it and are forming an opinion about the business based on it. So it must look good!
What Exactly Makes a Good Website?
A good website is simple, clean, well-organized, easy to navigate, clear/concise, modern (in terms of style and layout), functional, branded, has a blog with a ton of helpful content, has pictures and/or videos from the founder/employees of the business and motivates the visitor to do business with you.
Information such as hours of operation, location, and contact info should be extremely easy to find depending on your goal.
People want a quick solution to their problem or a quick answer to their question. Make it easy for them. They also want to look at something that is visually appealing. Give them that with a good website.
A good website looks good in all popular browsers. You should browser test your website to make sure it looks right and functions properly across all browsers.
A good website also looks good and is easy to use on all popular mobile devices. The current trend of increasing mobile use to access the internet means your website needs to be properly built and designed for optimal mobile viewing.
A qood website is also well-polished. This means it has no to minimal spelling or grammatical errors, no lame clip art, no 1995 web design traits, no blurry images, no loose ends.
Your content is complete and visually appealing. Fonts match across the entire website and font color and size choices have been properly made (yes, this means no lime green size 18 font on a white backdrop with a flashing clip art graphic underneath it).
3. Is the Central Hub for Your Digital and Traditional Marketing
As with most marketing and advertising methods, you are most likely going to point prospects to your website to learn more about your business, products, and services. Most prospects expect to have easy access to your website anyway. If not, that could be seen as a red flag.
Besides, your website is like an employee that is available 24/7 and ready to answer general questions your potential clients have. Potential clients LOVE that. If they could find all the information they need before even contacting you, that is the ideal situation. Give it to them.
4. Your Top Competitors Are Doing It
If you are as competitive as I am. This is a big one. Your top competitors are investing in their website design and online marketing. If you want to go head to head with them, you must do the same and BETTER.
You want your website to stand out from the competition. If you have an old, outdated, and low-quality website, your competitors will beat you.
Their well-designed website supported by good marketing and content will perform better than your website. This means you’ll lose leads to your competitors. They’ll attract more prospects to their website because their website is more appealing.
Your website’s design is an opportunity for you to set your business apart from the competition. When you’re competing with other businesses, you generally have the same services and similar pricing. You need that one thing that will make your business stand out from the rest.
A well-designed website is an opportunity for your business to showcase your unique features. You can show your audience why they should choose your business over the competition.
5. Sets the First Impression for Customer Service
As customers, we all want great customer service and experience from our vendors and service providers. People can judge how you will treat them by looking at your website.
Your website design gives them insight as to how you view your audience. If you don’t put any effort into your website design, your audience assumes that you won’t put effort into truly helping them.
Your website is like a customer service representative. If your website is modern and inviting, your audience will feel more welcome. You’ll give the impression that you are open and welcoming to new people who visit your website.
On the other hand, an outdated and unappealing website makes your business appear cold and aloof. People don’t want to check out a business that doesn’t value them enough to make a good first impression.
Think of your web design as the digital face of your business. If someone walked into your physical location, wouldn’t you want a friendly face to greet them and make them feel welcome? An updated and modern web design is the equivalent to a friendly face greeting your new prospects and customers.
A good website design is critical for your business if you want to dominate in your market as long as it’s also supported by a solid marketing strategy with great content.
But, ultimately, don’t just consume this content. Ask yourself how you can implement it starting today and #StartDoing.