As a business in the 21st century, realizing that you need a website for your business is equivalent to discovering Facebook yesterday (pun intended). In fact, it demands an emergency board meeting to discuss how you can make up for the tons of lead-generating traffic your competitors have enjoyed for years to the detriment of your business. Sadly, the more you delay, the farther they leave you behind and the higher the budget you’d have to spend to catch up.
You don’t like playing catch up, do you? Especially as you’d likely only get the crumbs from a very juicy market opportunity that is opened to all regardless of the depth of their pockets. On the bright side, the good news is that if you get on your A-game asap, although it might take a while, you can certainly catch up.
We’ve specially put together this article to help you make all the right choices and get in the game on a high note.
Want to get it right from start and not avoid the common mistakes businesses make when trying to build an online presence? We want that too, so be sure to consume every inch of this content.
Now let’s get right into it!
Why do I need a website for my Small business or brand?
A decade ago, trying to convince anyone that they need a website for their business or personal brand would have been a near-impossible task. However, today, it’s surprising to see that some business owners still have reservations about opening a site for their business. Surprising isn’t it? If you’re one of the persons still pondering, why do I need a website for my business? Well, there are a few things you should know:
- For one, the whole world has gone digital, and the fact that you don’t have a website means you’re already behind.
- Your competitors are taking advantage of traditional offline marketing channels like you while attracting online traffic too through their website, certainly putting them ahead of you overall.
At this point, you probably have an answer already to the question “why do I need a website for my small business?” and wondering how you can jump on the wagon and make up for all the lost past years.
The good news is that it’s never too late, however, you have to act quickly and fast.
Why does a new business need a website?
There are a ton of reasons why you need a business website in this digital age. A website literally acts as an online identity for your business, contributing to branding, customer acquisition, and your overall marketing plan. However, to make things as clear as possible, we have put together some of the top answers to your question to satisfy your query on “I need a website for my small business”
From questionnaires to customer satisfaction forms, answer pages, and social media DMs, having a website and online presence, in general, ensures that customers can easily reach your business in seconds. People are too reluctant to call or send a mail, DMs are preferred and you sadly can’t change that, regardless of how good your services are.
b. Building your brand and community
Arguably the topmost benefit of having a website, you can enhance your brand visibility and stand out from your competitors. You can also build a community of loyalists to keep you directly connected with your ideal target audience. Keep in mind that you’d also receive constant referral traffic from visitors along the way.
c. Support services and information channel
Your website can help you easily communicate news, the latest processes, and launch to your customer wherever they are in the world. While at this, you can also enhance the processes of ordering products and overall logistics. Properly leveraging the power of a website to automate customer queries can save you time and money.
d. Marketing experience and flexibility
Traditionalists might not like it, but online marketing is a thing that you just have to embrace or get obsolete eventually. Having a website is the ultimate online marketing channel through which your online customer would purchase a service.
e. Business development and customer acquisition
Having a well-designed and high-traffic website is literally a stable source of customers if you can get your conversion strategies right.
You can read more on the Benefits of Online Marketing for Small Businesses in 2022.
Why does an old website need to be redesigned?
An old website needs redesign every few years or when there’s a significant algorithm update by google. You might also need to redesign your website to match more trendy appearances (constantly changing) or optimize conversion when you’re trying to get more customers.
Those who already have a website might think, well, I’m exempted from this. However, this is not exactly true due to two solid reasons: traffic and conversions.
Having a website is the first step, staying sensitive enough to know when to redesign it is another intelligent acumen on its own. Traffic and conversions are the blood that gives life to an online business, therefore, your site should frequently undergo redesigning to address that. Just like a physical salesperson or vendor increases his chances of sales by developing new tactics or positioning items in a store strategically, you can increase the chances of a conversion by restructuring your website.
Basically, the same psychology that’s used in the physical world for sales is still valid for online channels. Simple things like putting your call to action button in the right place and making it the right color can increase how frequently people click it.
Asides from direct conversions, it is important that you redesign your website to keep up with algorithm ranking updates made by google. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics change every year, therefore, not updating your website according could see you lose ranking to competitors.
Trust us, you really don’t want that to happen.
When is it time for a web redesign?
Hitting the nail on the head, you should update your website at least every 3 to 4 years. However, keep in mind that’s just a rough estimate, there might be drastic updates or changes that might require you to do that sooner or possible trends that require you to leave your site untouched. Your best bet is to learn to read the market and make informed decisions from the data.
If you love to stick to precise data, 3 years is a good time. Usually, it’s consistent with the current rate of design and SEO trends. Therefore, most times when you leave your site longer than this, it starts to appear too old to the casual visitor.
As a small business, chances are, you might not have the resources to throw around, unlike corporations with deep pockets. To help out, we have put together a list of the top signs that your site needs an immediate redesign. They include:
1. Out of date technology
Like it or not, tech is moving forward every day, and if you don’t move along, you’d be left behind. For example, 5 – 10 years ago, you could have gotten away with a single design for mobile and desktop, but today, that’s not possible. Google would fish you out and penalize you specifically for it. Mobile responsiveness is the new tech, and your site has to evolve with it or you’d lose traffic.
A good example of this is the flash player. Developed in the early 2000s, flash player was revolutionary, but over time, it became a drawback when mobile browsing became dominant. If your site still makes use of any obsolete or old technology, surely it’s time to redesign.
2. A restrictive template
Templates are especially useful for small businesses starting out and in need of a website. However, although arguably god-sent, they limit growth and a time would come when you have to ditch them for something more robust. As your business grows, your website would expand to accommodate the features and the wrong template would only limit you.
From hosting better web apps to better creativity with designs or adding more pages, leaving behind a restrictive template could do your business a lot of good. A good example of this is an eCommerce business looking to expand its product ranges. You can read more on 25 Must Have Features Of A Good E-Commerce Website to give you a better idea.
3. Your business is rebranding
Along the line, there might come a time when you become focused on changing or modifying your brand values to fit your current services. At this point of reflection, some things have to change too, and at the top of the list is your website. That’s your digital identity, therefore, it needs to change to reflect your new appearance and values.
Minor differences like color patterns, design schemes, and content tone can make your business look and sound a whole lot different to online visitors. At any point in time when your website does not reflect your brand personality, it’d look outdated.
4. You’re targeting a new market
Targeting a new market is one of the actions that absolutely requires a website redesign. For starters, your site should incorporate their ideas and aesthetics to be able to attract them. Certainly, a website that primarily sold to elderlies now trying to target millennials would have to undergo a lot of changes to ensure their appearance “vibe” with the new target market.
5. You’re not meeting your business goals
Arguably the most important factor, you know you need a website redesign when your website isn’t doing its job – which is to attract new leads. A good way to know this is if your bounce rate is very high with extremely low email sign-ups. A good and intuitive design would always influence conversions and attracts new visitors. An underperforming website in all aspects is a cry for a redesign.
Get more insights by reading this article What are the websites that need redesign?
Which website builder is best for business?
WordPress is the best website builder for businesses due to its simple-to-understand and easy-to-use CMS. It’s no fluke that over 70% of websites today are hosted on WordPress. For starters, this is because it offers complete control compared to other website builders as well as not requiring that you know even a single line of code.
You can read more on why you should choose WordPress as your website builder.
What are the best features a business website must have?
If you’ve come this far, you should know by now that it’s not just about redesigning your website. Rather, it’s more of ensuring your redesign targets the right points to address pressing needs that would move your business further.
As a result, you might wonder, what are the best features a business website must have? Well, we covered all of that in this article – What are the best b2c websites features for small businesses?
But for the sake of this content, we narrowed it down to a list of the must-haves for your new business website. It includes:
1. Nice design and functional:
The appearance of your website is what makes the first impression above all other things as soon as visitors land on your page. As a result, making it as simple and attractive as possible is not an option. The design should echo your company’s values, products, and services to enhance your brand and resonate with your target audience. Getting this right is non-negotiable.
Another important box that your website must tick is functionality. Having all the fanciest designs for the best branding without the functionality to back it up is just like trying to fix a wall crack with plaster – it’s useless. Your website should look appealing while being highly functional for visitors.
2. Easy to use:
An easy-to-use website makes life easy for visitors, who in turn would likely reward your business with patronage. Despite all the lovely complex designs flying around today, website users just want something simple enough for them to understand at a glance or they’d leave in a heartbeat. Remember the attention span of the average internet user is only 8 seconds. You have to ensure you make things easy enough for them to stay longer!
3. Optimized for mobile
Although we already discussed this before, let’s brush through it again. A website that is optimized for mobile ensures that you don’t lose traffic from those who prefer browsing with their phone. Mobile internet surfing has become so important that Google penalizes websites that are not optimized for mobile view by dropping their ranking. Ensure your business doesn’t suffer needlessly by doing the needful!
4. Fresh, Quality Content:
Content is King. We know you’re probably tired of hearing that, but in the real sense, that doesn’t change the fact that it is true, and would probably continue to be. Fresh quality content is loved by Google, who always ranks sites that publish new posts frequently. Running a blog on your website is the best way to ensure there’s always new content for visitors and Google bots. While at it, ensure your content is fresh, free from plagiarism, easy to read, and answers questions visitors may have.
Check out this article on How to get Free Content for My Website.
5. Clearly defined call to actions:
The main purpose of your website is to make sales, yes? If so, ensure you have strong and clearly defined call to actions at strategic points on your page. The trick is to ensure that at any point the visitor makes up his mind to purchase your service, there is a clearly defined call to action that’s pointing him at exactly how to get it done with no hassle. A little slip and they might change their mind in microseconds.
Search engine optimization or SEO are a set of rules a website adheres to, in order to appear as friendly as possible to Google search bots. Trust us, you really want to get this right or risk never appearing on relevant pages on Google search engine result pages. What’s the point of having the best-looking and easy-to-use functional website if there is no traffic flowing towards it?
Now you see why SEO is important. This article – 8 Ways to make your Website SEO Friendly: Secrets for Keeping clients forever! would do you a whole lot of good.
What is the best loading speed of a business website?
For the best experience, you want your website to load within 3 seconds max or 2 seconds if it’s an eCommerce site. According to statistics, between 2 and 3 seconds mark is the point where bounce rates shoot up to the highest. Literally, 40% of consumers would not wait more than 3 seconds before leaving your site, therefore, no matter what you do, ensure your site doesn’t load slowly.
What is the best Web design platform to use?
The best web design platform to use in building your website is WordPress. WordPress remains the most robust tool for building and managing your website. From blogs to personal sites and businesses, eCommerce, and more, WordPress allows you to build a custom website that fits your exact purpose. Another added advantage is that it’s totally online, which means you don’t need to download any desktop software to use it. At most, you’d have to purchase hosting from a reliable server provider.
Read more on The Different Types of Website Builders and why you should opt for WordPress.
How can I build my business websites? DIY, web builders, and WordPress
Building your website could be easy and hard at the same time, depending on the peculiarity of the situation. However, focusing on the procedures, you can either build your website by yourself from scratch, following DIY instructions, or make use of website builders like WordPress, Shopify, Big-commerce, and more.
1. DIY Building of a website from scratch
This process is the most tedious and requires that you know code. There are so many languages that you can use to build a website ranging from Node.js to Vue js and older languages like HTML. After building the site, you’d need to integrate it into a Content Management System (CMS) like Strapi, from which you would be able to make changes on the site.
Of course, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article if you could write code well. Therefore, we would not be dwelling on this aspect too much, instead, number 2 would be your way forward.
2. DIY Using a website builder
Website builders literally saved us all from the initial must-learn code of the early days of the internet. In the early 2000s, there was no way you could build your website if you didn’t know code. This was the nature of things until WordPress broke the chain of exclusivity. Today, using a website builder to build your business website is even easier than putting a Lego toy together. You can learn more about the best website builders to use for your business.
Thought that was all? Not so fast! Although website builders are easy to use and simple enough to use yourself, business websites would probably need some sort of expertise or you might run into silly mistakes. Although it’s common knowledge that SEO is an important aspect for your site to rank, what isn’t talked about enough is the fact that SEO activities start from when you’re building the site. Getting the foundations wrong could mean your site would receive zero SEO benefits. Important details like H1 tags, headers, meta descriptions, and more could plummet your ranking if not gotten right from scratch.
Depending on your experience and understanding of website builders, it might be best to leave it to professionals. On the flip side, you can attempt it, make foundational mistakes that you only realize months after using the site, then circle back to inviting a professional to patch things up.
Ultimately, this is not to say you can’t do it yourself, but regardless, professionals would always be steps above and you can’t exactly match their experience overnight.
Why DIY could be costlier (low quality, lose really great leads, etc.)
Building a website yourself isn’t farfetched, and with the right knowledge and dedication, you can certainly pull it off. However, although this method is cheaper, it could quickly turn out to be more costly than paying a professional from the start.
Here are a couple of reasons why DIY building of your website might not be a great idea:
1. Might be costlier in the long run
Just like we earlier discussed, building your website yourself might be costlier in the long run. For example, imagine you running into duplicate pages problems when building an eCommerce website, causing Google to penalize your website with a low ranking despite publishing good quality content.
Worst of all, you might not discover this for months or years without a professional taking a look. At that point, you’d probably pay x3 more than you would have paid a professional to build the site, to get the issue fixed.
2. Low quality
Looking closely, we can always tell when a site was built by an amateur as opposed to a professional. The difference is usually in the minute details that unprofessional would most certainly ignore, but visitors can easily tell as soon as they land on the site. Therefore, unless you’re ready to put in the effort to get the best result, your self-build DIY website would likely look low quality.
3. Poor optimization could mean poor conversions
Designing a website has more to do with psychology than we think. Just like how stores place sweets, drinks, and mini beverages at checkout points because they know you’d probably fancy one while waiting to pay after a shopping spree, putting the right things at the wrong locations on your site could plummet your conversions. This is why website optimization is extremely important.
Sign up, contact us, view demo, and portfolio of works – these are a few buttons that their location can make or break your conversion rates. From statistics, signup buttons with the color red don’t usually do well because people often associate red with danger, therefore, drastically reducing their chances of clicking it.
4. Brand mismatch
Yes, you might know how to run a successful business, but a professional website builder can more accurately interpret your brand values into designs. Certainly, you agree that your site should echo your brand values, don’t you? You might build the best website, but ultimately, its design, appearance, and overall feel may not resonate with your brand objectives.
This article explains the idea elaborately, check it out – Online Positioning and Branding For Small Businesses.
Reasons to use WordPress for your website – The advantages of using WordPress
We would recommend WordPress for you that’s looking to build any type of website for your business. Here are some of the reasons why you should use WordPress for your website:
One of the best indicators of how good a product is is how much people use it. Sometimes, you don’t need to carry out a deep research, but rather just look around you. According to a study, WordPress hosts over 34% of the website market and over 60% of the CMS market, making it by far the most used platform for websites all around the world.
This is a testament to its quality, and high level of reliability, causing top websites like CNN, TED, and TechCrunch to use the platform. Certainly, it’s safe to say that your site would be in good hands if you opt for WordPress as well.
2. Strong support:
the popularity and usability of WordPress ensure that you are not without support at any step of the way. There are countless tutorials, guides, resources, and videos that you can find online for any problem that you may have. There are also WordPress forums to keep in touch with other users from all around the world.
3. SEO friendly:
You might have heard all the fuss about SEO and how it’s important to your site, some may even sound exaggerated, but you best believe it. SEO can make or break the success of your site, therefore, it’s something that you need to get right from the foundations of your site, and there’s no better website builder to do this with than WordPress.
WordPress is arguably the most flexible website builder on the market today. Basically, it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. You can choose to stick to the simple platform that allows you to create and publish blog posts or the more complex functionalities for business websites using plugins and widgets.
Virtually everything you want your business website to look like can be accomplished using WordPress although you may need to install third-party apps.
5. High Security
Surely, WordPress is a highly secure and safe platform, if it wasn’t, high-profile companies wouldn’t be using it, would they? However, it’s default security doesn’t mean you’re completely safe from malicious attacks or hackers. Instead, WordPress provides the means to completely secure your site with password protection for folder contents.
Also, they release frequent updates, and updating your platform accordingly would help fight off security threats and fix bugs. For starters, ensure you enable an SSL certificate for your WordPress site. You can get this from your web hosting service. Another good rule is to install a WordPress security plugin and WordPress backup plugin. This ensures your site is difficult to hack and if they somehow breakthrough, you have a backup and wouldn’t lose all your files.
WordPress Vs other website builders
In simple terms, WordPress is the one-solution-fits-all-business kind of website builder compared to others that specialize in certain areas. From eCommerce to blogging, simple web design, booking/ reservations, and more, there is simply no model of business that WordPress cannot accurately reflect as a website builder.
Certainly, we are not on the wrong side considering the fact that over 39.5% of website owners in the world and from varying business backgrounds also prefer WordPress. We think you should too!
How much should I spend on my business website?
On average, you can expect to spend anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000 or even more, depending on the complexity of the website you’re looking to build. Most industry consultants today recommend that you spend between 10% and 12% of your gross revenue on marketing and advertising. Basically, this should include the cost of your website.
In the end, it’s all about the size of your business and the kind of website it needs. Building an eCommerce website as complex as Amazon’s when you’re only averaging $50,000 Income per month isn’t the wisest idea, is it?
Get a professional!
DIY websites are great and would save you lots of money if you could pull it off. However, the risks surrounding unprofessionalism remain and we’ve seen many businesses circle back to hire a professional to fix developing issues in the future.
This is why we recommend leaving it in the hands of professionals in the first place, people who would ensure you get the fundamentals of SEO, branding, and designs from scratch to produce a highly functional and user-intuitive website.
With several years of experience under our belt, building a website tailored to your specific business needs is something we can probably pull off while asleep.
Of course, that never happens, as we put in 100% to meeting our customers’ needs, but you get the point.
You can find a testament to our quality from the shiny reviews our clients from all over the US, UK and Canada have provided over the years. Let’s give you a reason to write one for us too.