Okay, this fact’s not really all that fun considering how many people prefer to connect with businesses online. Companies without websites not only neglect to meet their customers’ or clients’ needs but miss out on countless opportunities to earn money.
So why don’t more businesses create websites? Because, to put it simply, the opportunity doesn’t seem worth the time, effort, or upfront cost.
In the early days of the internet, that would have been an accurate assessment. Websites used to require significant expenditures. You’d have to pay someone thousands of dollars to build one, or spend hundreds of hours trying to do it yourself.
But these days, it’s easier and cheaper than ever to launch a website and start generating leads and connect online. If you’re still not sure your business needs a website, read on.
Let go of these 6 myths about business websites.
Let’s leave outdated assumptions about websites in the past. Here are six common myths about websites it’s time to dismantle once and for all.
Myth: You don’t need a website if you run a purely local business.
That means people are constantly searching for businesses in particular areas that meet their needs: local lawyers, local plumbers, local financial planners, local dentists and doctors and pet-sitters and consultants and personal chefs… Companies with websites will show up in those searches—simple as that.
By not having a website for your business, you’re missing out on the opportunity to connect with people doing local searches for a company like yours.
Potential customers are searching the internet for businesses in your community right now. Don’t send those leads to your competitor because they have a website and you don’t.
Myth: You don’t need a website if you’re small.
Fact: You need a website even more when you’re small.
On a basic level, a website ensures your business has visibility. Something as simple as a landing page with your company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) can be vital information for people searching for your business.
And a website not only gives visitors the information they’re looking for, but also lends your business instant credibility. It’s a reality of the internet. Users perceive companies with websites as more professional, responsive, and trustworthy. And the more engaging, up-to-date, and user-friendly your website is, the more credibility you gain.
Myth: You don’t need a website if you’re not focused on growth.
Fact: A website is a prerequisite for staying competitive.
I get it—not every business owner wants to grow their company. But be careful not to fall into complacency and lose the success you’ve worked hard to earn. Every day your business goes without a website is a day your competitors with online presences have a chance to win over your customers or clients.
At the same time, those competitors are gaining market share. They’re advertising to your audience and showing up where you aren’t.
On the flip side, if none of your competitors are active online, you stand to outperform them by launching a website. It’s an easy path to standing out in your market and reaching unserved or underserved populations. Sure, your focus might not be growth at the moment, but a little boost in business is nothing to be afraid of.
Myth: Websites are expensive and time-consuming.
Fact: You can get a website up and running cost-effectively, within an afternoon.
Websites used to be clunky and expensive, but that’s not the case anymore. With today’s tools, you can build an online presence in hours or less. It doesn’t need to be complicated, either—some of the most effective websites are the simplest.
DIY website builders are much more affordable than they used to be. Plus, many web-building tools have intuitive features that make it easy to build pages, and provide access to customer service departments who can quickly solve problems.
For more information, make sure to check out our guide to launching an online presence.
Myth: Websites are hard to maintain.
Fact: Although they do take some ongoing effort, websites aren’t difficult to keep fresh, up to date, and in working order.
Website maintenance for most small businesses means checking semi-regularly to ensure your services, portfolio, and contact information are up to date.
The primary reason to maintain your website is user privacy. When you first build your website, you’ll set up security features that will help protect your customers’ contact information. When you schedule your regular web maintenance sessions, you’ll want to check and make sure those security features are updated.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to continually look at your website and consider ways in which you can optimize your users’ experiences.
Finally, if you want to keep your business at the top of search results and provide your visitors with compelling information, consider regularly updating the content (words, images, video) on your website.
Myth: Websites don’t bring in business.
Fact: They definitely do!
Websites absolutely bring in business—perhaps in more ways than you realize.
A business website is an essential touchpoint for generating leads, converting leads into buyers, and even upselling and cross-selling existing customers or clients. Consider all the opportunities a website offers:
- Contact forms
- Blog subscriptions
- Mailing list subscriptions
- Contact us pages
- Landing pages
- Calls to action
Last but not least: live chat. In fact, one of the most effective ways to generate business from your website is through chat.
Live chat enabled on your website helps your customers stay in touch with you and your business 24/7/365. Whether you monitor it yourself or have help from Ruby, live chat is an essential tool in growing your business and maintaining those more important-than-ever customer relationships.