Websites Aren’t Just For Selling Online

A common misconception in the small business world is that websites are only really for e-commerce/selling products online.

Whilst e-commerce is a truly gigantic industry (one that’s continuously growing as time goes on), websites are relevant to every single business in 2022, regardless of size, sector, product or service.

The events of the past few years have only served to further evidence this claim, with the pandemic increasing web use by up to 70% and leaving businesses without any online presence at risk of being forgotten entirely by once loyal customers.

Here are five reasons why we think you should have a website if you’re not selling directly online:

A black and white photograph showing two men in an office on laptops discussing business

1 – Without A Website, You Don’t Exist.

It might sound a bit absolute, but it’s the truth. The modern consumer expects to find you online – websites are no longer a shiny impressive marketing tool, they’re the bare minimum.

Your customers are online, so you should be too.

Think about the last time you were looking to find out more information about a service, product or business – what did you do? There’s a pretty good chance that you, along with billions of other people every single day, headed over to Google and were one of 99,000 searches performed every single second.

How many of those searches are from potential customers?

A black and white image of a man with a box on his head

By having a professionally designed website built with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind, you can ensure you’re giving yourself a chance to appear where potential customers are expecting you.

Do this well, and you’ll be driving organic traffic to your site. As we’ll discuss in more detail later on, this gives you an opportunity to turn this traffic into conversions and intrigue into revenue.

Being found on Google also enables you to build up brand authority and be seen as more trustworthy by those that come across your site. In fact, 75% of consumers admit they judge the credibility of a company based directly on their website.

It’s also imperative if you’re a business aiming to serve clients or customers locally. 76% of people end up visiting a business they’ve searched for online on the same day, and the search terms “where to buy” and “near me” have surged 200% in popularity in the past two years alone.

To conclude, your customers are expecting to find you online, are much more likely to shop with you if they do, and will mentally match the quality of your website with the quality of your business!

A man uses his mobile phone to look at a website

2 – If You’re Not Online, Your Competitors Will Be!

In 2018, around half of all small businesses reported they were online. That figure is now closer to 80%

If you’re a small business without a website, you’re handing over all of those potential clicks, conversions and customers to your competitors without even putting up a fight.

Take a look now – head over to Google and search for an industry term, a relevant product or service and you’ll likely see plenty of results from your competitors.

Not only are you giving away sales and leads, but you’re also allowing your competition to establish themselves as authoritative brands which lead above you in your industry. They’re beating you just by showing up.

The stats really do speak for themselves on this one – with recent studies showing that brands that have a website and a regularly updated blog enjoy nearly 70% more leads than those with a website alone, whilst those that have no website whatsoever are losing an average of 75% of their potential customers.

A black and white image of a chess victory

3 – Websites Help You Learn More About Your Audience

Having a website, and knowing how to use it, gives you the opportunity to turn the tables on your audience.

They can use your website to find out more information about you, your business and services, and you can use analytics reporting to discover information about site visitors that can help drive decisions and optimise your offering.

Powerful analytics software, such as Google Analytics, allows you to uncover a treasure trove of data on your website visitors. 

This includes behavioural data (looking at how visitors use your website and interact with its content) as well as powerful demographic insight which can reveal exactly who you’re reaching with your online presence. 

Combined with Google Search Console, a free tool that helps you monitor your performance in search results, you have the ability to determine how you are being found, who is finding you, and what they’re looking for.

If you’ve built your website through a site builder like Squarespace or Wix, then you’ll have some in-house analytics on those platforms too. Whilst nowhere near as powerful as what you can achieve with Google Analytics, they’re a good place to start familiarising yourself with what metrics matter. 

Utilising data is one of the most important things you can do as a business in the digital age; it can remove the guesswork from some vital decision making and ensure your website content and design is continually being optimised to improve performance across the board.

You no longer have to rely on assumptions or outdated and expensive 3rd party data.

An infographic showing various reporting pages for website analytics

4 – Websites Support All Other Marketing Efforts

Think about what marketing methods you currently implement or promote for your business. Word of mouth? Social Media? Print ads? 

Good news…

A website enables you to direct all traffic from all marketing channels to a space that is entirely yours, fully optimised for your target audience, and easily discoverable through search.

In a recent report by Nielson, word-of-mouth was shown to be the most effective form of marketing, followed incredibly closely by a website. The relationship between the two has become inextricably linked. Here’s why:

When someone is recommended a product, service or business, they might make a mental note, save it on their phone or write it somewhere like a notepad. When they’re ready to contact, purchase from or discover more about the business in question, what are they most likely to do?

Yep, you guessed it… search Google, or go directly to their website!

All roads lead to Rome!

A photograph of London bilboards

5 – You Still Need Conversions If You’re Not An E-Commerce Store!

So, you don’t sell online – that doesn’t mean you’re not interested in “conversions”!

Whilst the term is more commonly associated with an e-commerce purchase, a conversion can refer to a tremendous variety of actions that businesses want to promote, direct traffic toward, monitor and optimise.

Tracking conversions is an important activity that gives you the ability to analyse the performance of your marketing strategies – this means you have to decide what a “conversion” means to you, as well as where and when you should monitor for conversions taking place.

There are two types of conversions: Micro and Macro.

Think of macro-conversions as the ultimate end goal you’d like your site visitor to achieve – this could be something like a lead generating form response/contact form, a phone call, or a paid subscription.

A micro-conversion occurs when your site visitor completes an action that indicates they have taken a step forward in their journey toward your macro-conversion (or end goal). Common examples of these include signing up to your newsletter, downloading something like a whitepaper, PDF, or ebook or even watching a video or interacting with other site media.

Utilising Google Analytics, you can track multiple conversions on your website for free. You can then work out something called your “conversion rate”, which is:

“CONVERSIONS OVER A SET TIME FRAME” 

Divided By…

“TOTAL SITE TRAFFIC FROM SET TIME FRAME” 

Equals:

“YOUR CONVERSION RATE”

This metric is incredibly important as you can look to continually improve/optimise your conversion strategy once a baseline has been established.

For example, did you know that reducing the number of form fields from 11 to 4 in your contact form can generate 120% more conversions?

Every single website should be created with a macro-conversion in mind, and yours is no different.

What would you want your site visitors to do?

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So, What’s Next?

Now you’ve read just important a website is, you might want to consider developing one of your own. That’s where we can help. 

We can partner with you to create a website designed with conversions in mind – with on-page content optimised for search engines as well as users at every stage of the buying journey.

We can also help you digest data and turn it into real analytical insight.

Sound good?

Get in touch!