Why a Small Business Website Should Be Your Priority in 2022? Because 97% of people search a business online before going to it. If you don’t have a small business website ready for them, odds are that they won’t be walking through your doors.
Couple that with labor shortages and shutdowns affecting businesses across the nation, not having a website will cause you to miss out on a lot of new customers this year.
Here is why a small business website should be your priority in 2022:
Growing Online Traffic
Online traffic has grown rapidly in the past few years alone. With people remaining home and encouraged to shop remotely, that number will only increase in 2022. If your business isn’t ready to adapt to those customers, then you’ll miss out on those sales. Even if you don’t have a product to sell online (you’re providing a home improvement service, mechanic, etc.), having a website will still bring more eyes to your business. A key aspect of any successful business is to go where your customers are. If you don’t allow online customers to find you, then the hard times your business has likely faced will only get harder this year.
Local Search Engine Results Pages
When customers need something immediately, they will often search for businesses “near me”. By putting a website together with your phone number, location, and hours (and throwing that information on Google My Business), your location will now pop up for local search engine results pages. It’s unlikely that a small business will end up at the top of the results page for every related search, but having a local presence can make a huge difference in your brand awareness.
For example: you’re one of three local pizza shops in your small town. One of the other restaurants doesn’t have a website at all, the other has a rarely updated Facebook page, and you have a website and Google My Business set up. Someone in town wants to have some pizza.
Unfamiliar with the area, they type in “pizza places near me” and search. Your business will be the first shop they see complete with a map location, your hours, and a phone number. The shop with the Facebook page is buried under the search engine results, and the shop with no online presence doesn’t appear at all. Which place do you think the customer will visit? Yours.
Digital Salesperson at All Times
Your business probably has a phone number that people can call to schedule appointments, order a product, or ask questions. However, what if someone has questions and you’re not open? What if they want to place an order but have anxiety dialing the phone? With a website, you can resolve all those concerns.
Think of a website as your 24/7 digital salesperson. It’s designed to constantly show people the best sides of your business as well as easy instructions on what to do if they’re interested in your product or service. If someone has questions, they can just type in your website and get all the information they need within minutes. Research shows that around 70% of consumers search for a business before making a purchase. Without that website, you could be missing out on those customers.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?
Now that we’ve addressed why you need a small business website in 2022, we’re going to address a bit of the logistics. We have a more in-depth guide on starting your own website here. If you’re a restaurant looking for more specialized tips, then we have an article for you as well.
One of the biggest factors when putting a business together is cost. When someone says website, many business owners often think in dollar signs. Like any other aspect of your business, it’s important to know how much you’re going to spend to plan appropriately.
Thankfully, building a small business website isn’t simply a one-cost approach. There are several different paths you can go down to get the result you want. Keep in mind that your budget will likely determine the result. The average amount small businesses spend on building a website can be anywhere from $2,000 – $10,000. However, that number can fluctuate depending on what features you need and what route you choose.
You’ll also need to consider upkeep costs. A website isn’t a one-and-done affair. It requires maintenance, web hosting, changes, and the occasional cleanup. Web hosting typically isn’t expensive and can start at just a few dollars per month. Maintenance costs will usually be covered if you hire a company or keep a developer on staff to do it for you.
Best Website Builder for Small Business
If you’re intent on saving yourself website costs, then you could always put one together yourself. Nowadays, you don’t need to be a development genius to get it done, as there are a lot of programs that exist to make the process as simple as possible. If you go down the DIY route, remember that everything regarding your website falls on your shoulders, so be sure that you do your research and have a concrete plan and design strategy.
Here are some of the best website builders for small businesses:
Wix – If you have almost zero knowledge of web design, then Wix is likely the platform for you. With an easy-to-use editor and hundreds of design template options, it gives you everything you need to make a cohesive small business website. The only caveat is that, once you publish your website, you can’t change the template retroactively. Be sure to do your research and test some designs out before you settle on one you like!
SquareSpace – If you spend any time on YouTube, you’ve probably heard of SquareSpace. It’s similar to Wix by offering design templates and a mostly easy-to-use editor. However, it offers more features and is a bit more advanced. While this leads to greater customization, it also means that you’ll need to spend more time learning the program to get the look you want.
GoDaddy – If you’re in for a fast solution, then GoDaddy is what you want. GoDaddy can build you a website will little information in just a few minutes. This will get you up and running quickly, but it’s not without its flaws either. There isn’t as much customization when putting your website together as the other builders, and you won’t have as much creative control.
WordPress – WordPress is the most advanced website builder on this list. It offers a lot of options and customization via plugins and both backend and frontend editing, but there’s a major learning curve to get the most usage out of it. There also aren’t as many templates for WordPress as there are for the other website builders, which means you could be doing most of your work by hand. However, if you become familiar with the program, you can fine-tune your website to be just the way you want it.
Weebly – This is a website builder with simple drag-and-drop features and customization, but it often leaves you hanging. There aren’t a lot of built-in tips or directives in this program, which means you’ll need to figure most of it out on your own. However, if you’re familiar with code, Weebly has a code editor where you can tweak your web pages.