Guest Blog With Alisha Harris: Do You Really Need a Website?

by Alisha Harris

When people look for information about your business, often they are going to search for it online as opposed to making a phone call or visiting you in person.

The best way for you to control the information they find, in order to ensure you are adequately showcasing your strengths, is to have your own website. 

Boost Your Credibility

People are more inclined to buy from businesses that they know, like and trust. By having a website that is representative of your company, you can develop and strengthen the recognition of your brand. It also provides more exposure for your business that improves your overall discoverability online. 

Your business must be easily found in order to become known. To show up in search engine results (ex: via a Google search), you need to have an online presence that is specific to your business.

A website is helpful because it contains all the information about your business in one place. Social media and other online sources can all be used to drive traffic to your website. Think of your website as the single source of truth people can use to find out more information about you. 

A professional website is a great place for you to showcase your business with more depth. In today’s world, potential customers are looking to understand more about the brand they are buying from.  Not only do people want to know the name of your company, but they want to know the story behind what you do and a clear value that can be gained by working with you.

When potential customers get to your website, they are searching for the exact services you offer, how you provide these services, and how these services can be useful to them. In and of itself, a website is a strong indicator about the trustworthiness and professionalism of your business. You can also add elements to it that further strengthen this idea.

After you’ve worked with a customer, they have the ability to leave reviews about your business on a wide variety of platforms (ex: Google, Foursquare, Yelp). Why not make it easier for people to discover the great things being said about you? In addition to reviews or testimonials, your website is the perfect place to list your service guarantees, company accreditations, and other qualifications you may have.

Your business is tasked with standing apart from your competition, and your website can help you do this. Whether by showcasing a distinctive technique that you use to provide a service, sharing a company story that connects with your audience, or proving that you actually have satisfied clients, a unique website is essential in making sure your information is highlighted appropriately. 

On Other Platforms, The Rules Are Subject To Change

The more your business is seen by potential customers, the greater the likelihood that you can present yourself as the perfect solution to their problem. A great way to increase the visibility of your business is to make sure you have presence on both social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) and in online directories (Angi, HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack).

However, the rules of engagement and visibility are completely dependent on the platforms that you may choose to use. Every one of these platforms is a for-profit corporation, just like your business. They have an obligation to the company’s shareholders to achieve the highest possible level of financial success.

This means that if they can make a modification to their platform in order to generate more money, they will likely make that change despite the fact that you as a small business might suffer. Though these changes may appear to be arbitrary, they may negatively affect your business’s posts!

This is not meant to imply that you should not use these platforms. Rather, you as a business owner simply need to be aware of the fact that unless you are paying for these platforms, they have very little reason to make sure that your information is being presented in such a way as to give your business sufficient exposure. With your own website, you have more control over the information people see about your business. 

Provide Insights Into Your Target Audience

Overall, you can achieve higher customer satisfaction and increase customer loyalty by meeting and exceeding their needs and expectations. In order to provide your customers with appropriate solutions, the first thing you must understand is what they are looking for.

When you have your own website, you can use analytics to track how visitors find you and what makes them actually ‘click’ on your business. You can also uncover the geographic location where your services are most popular and gain insights into which third-party websites, such as social media links or online directories, are sending you the most traffic.

By studying this data, you will be able to discover which aspects of your services your customers find most useful, as well as which aspects they dislike the most. You can use this information internally to enhance your offerings, as well as externally to create advertisements that speak directly to your customers. 

Where To Start With Design

Websites that are overly elaborate and packed with features are unnecessary for most small businesses. Take into consideration which aspects of your website will directly benefit the people that will be using it the most – your potential customers. Your website is a way for you to directly provide value to them. Make sure that the functionality is not overly complicated, and focus your attention on creating an enjoyable, aesthetically pleasing user experience.

If you’re new to having a website, start with a simple, one-page design. Make sure all of the basic information about your business is easy to find, including the services you provide, any reasoning for choosing you over the competition, and your contact information. The great news about having your own website is that you have control over how your business is being presented, and have the ability to change it. Over time, you can add or remove information as needed.

While the actual cost of building a website varies, consider the cost of not having one at all. If you’re unable to be found online, any potential customers will turn to a competitor who is more visible. Even gaining one new customer from your professional, well-designed website could offset the entire initial investment!

Alisha Harris is the owner and creative director of Original Account Strategies, a website & graphic design agency specializing in helping businesses share their stories effectively. With a background in Spanish Communication and Theatrical Costume Design, Alisha has passion for creating impactful, aesthetically pleasing visuals and aligning them with the message that is being shared. Her mission is to help people that are doing great work shine with their full glory. If you are ready to showcase your business in a vibrant and meaningful way, please get in touch.

Want more from Outgrow Your Garage?

-Support, connections and resources are invaluable tools for entrepreneurs. Small business owners from a variety of industries come together twice a week for Co-Working & Office Hours to work on their businesses, share insights, and troubleshoot issues. Running a business can feel isolating. You don’t have to do it alone!

-Business education should be easily accessible for everyone at an affordable price. We want you and your small business to succeed. No matter what area of your business you need help in, we offer a variety of business course topics that teach you how to turn your every day tasks into organized systems.

  1. […] you read our guest blog “Do You Really Need a Website?”, you’d know that your website is one of the most valuable marketing assets you have. Its […]

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