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2020 WEBS - Why I need a website

The question is asked quite a bit. Social Media has expanded massively over the last few years and there are a lot of companies who have their own Facebook page, an Instagram account, pinterest etc. In the eyes of some, this is all that's needed, but in reality, it is simply not the case, a website is in fact, your No 1 marketing tool and asset.
Read on to see why....

Website benefits and Statistics

Take the food & drink trade here as an example. Many other small businesses can take similar results from these stats.

  • 90% of internet users research for bars & restaurants online via a search engine
  • A website lets people know who you are and gives potential customers a feel for your restaurant, menu and atmosphere.  All this along with easy to view contact details, hours, payment methods and location.
  • Does your bar/restaurant offer products or services in addition to your drinks or bar menu? Your customers can see all this on the website.
  • What do you offer that your competition doesn’t? Use your site SEO to sell your USP (Unique Selling Point) to customers. A specific house dish or 3 course meal special, a specialist beer, a range of gins, specialist coffees, do you specialize on live sport? Let people find you when they search for these things.
  • Pictures sell more than words! Fill your site with images of great meals, happy customers, ice cold beer. That’s what they want to see.
  • When you’re closed, your website is still open – all day every day.
  • The Stats

  • 90% of users begin a product search using a search engine, Google being the most popular.
  • 30% of consumers won't consider a business which doesn't have a website
  • 75% of business to business searches state that a website will positively encourage a decision on choosing a supplier with over 60% making this decision based on the site content alone.
  • Website Objections?

    Q: I'm a small business and can't afford a website
    A: A website is your number 1 marketing tool and asset. Anyone can afford a clear, tidy and easy to use site, especially at this price of €100

    Q: I have enough business already, I don't need a website
    A: A website is not just there to generate new business, it's also for existing customers. Maybe they need to check online for your opening hours (which can change season to season), check your number to make a booking or appointment, see if you have special offers on currently, new product lines...

    Q: I have a friend who says he can make me a website for free
    A: Unless said friend is a web designer, just no. I’ll have my mechanic friend take a look at my car, but my other friend who has changed a bicycle tyre, no gracias. There is a huge load of work that goes into a new site design – search engine optimization, design flow, responsive design, file compression and image optimization. Then you need the website maintained so it retains its rankings in search engines.

    Q: I can get a free website
    A: Ok, there are options to create a free website, that's true. There are limitations, and free is rarely free. Most will cap space (eg. to 500MB which is not a lot for top quality images alone), or not offer a professional looking domain name (I'd prefer www.2020webs.com to www.2020webs/ freewebsiteservices.com/ 2020webs), the site will be on a low quality server and with a low bandwidth, not a good idea for user satisfaction, you'll get irrelevant ads across the site....Put simply, a business website needs to look professional or people will not use you - see the stats above again.

    Q: I don't need a website, I'm not an ecommerce or an online business, just B2B
    A: Check the statistic above regarding business to business companies, you still ned to be found by other businesses.

    Got Facebook? You still need a website

    A lot of small business owners or startup businesses avoid a website due to cost, time and effort. A Facebook page is very easy to setup, costs nothing but time and can be live within an hour or two:

    'I don't need a website, I've got a Facebook page'
    A: Ok, but really, you don't. Facebook has a page with your name on it, same as every other FB page for a business. It's an incredibly useful Social Marketing tool but it is not a website. See the stats above.

    'Facebook is free and everyone uses Facebook'
    A: Yes it is free, but it's not true that everyone uses facebook. Many business pages may have a considerable number of followers/likes who may choose to receive information and updates from that page but the rest of facebook may well have no idea that you even exist. Compare that to the statistics for people searching the internet via a search engine to find suitable products / services.

  • When people search for your business type, they are looking for the most organized and informative platform they can find. This is more easily found on a website.
  • Customers want to find relevant information and they want to find it fast. A well designed website offers this much quicker and clearer than a FB page ever will.
  • As mentioned above, a large number of people are not on facebook or use it sparingly, or simply for socializing with family and friends. Many who do don’t know how to find all the information on a FB business page. A website (when designed correctly!) follows a pretty simple formula: Provide a clear, simple and easy to use navigation system so a visitor can easily see a ‘map’ of all your web pages and what you’re offering. Easy to find contact information – telephone numbers, email address, location.
  • A regular mistake made by facebook business pages is the use of images rather than written content. Promo and special offer images are great for impact, but, for example, check the number of times you have visited a restaurant or café facebook page to check out the menu only to find a poorly optimized image which is too small to see or is unreadable. There are plenty, in fact it’s a majority error. A website which is fully responsive (works on all devices) is optimized to ensure the same menu is viewable comfortably on any device you choose – pc, netbook, tablet, smart phone. (NB – this can be an error made by many inexperienced website owners as well!)
  • Facebook is free. Well, unless you pay for more possible custom across the platform with ads and promoted posts, you’re only getting to page likes and follower, and even then only a small percentage with see your posts. With a website, you're advertising on your own platform, which costs nothing and reaches across the internet for all to see (with good Search Engine Optimization)
  • Facebook has no analytics. You may have xx likes and followers but no real idea of how many have visited the page or seen your most recent status update/offer/new product. A website can give you this – how many unique visits per month, hits etc.
  • You can't SEO a facebook page. A person may find your facebook page by searching for your business name, but if they use terms related to your services rather than your name (they may not even know your business name), they simply will not find you. Most web searches will find the required business type or service through this process. Without a website, you’re not getting any of this traffic.
  • So how much does a website cost?

    A site can cost from nothing (check the small print) to €1000 times XXXXX. It really depends on the business, the requirements of the site, its size, complexity….and so forth. Small business? Fine, start small and spice it up at a later date. A decent budget website can be purchased now from €100 plus a monthly package rate covering hosting, SEO, admin and maintenance. Around 50% of small businesses don’t have a website. For literally less than €1 a day for the first year (it's even cheaper year two on!), you can have a web presence which is fully responsive (works on all devices), looked after for you and seo’d to rank on google. Yes, that is ONE EURO a day!!