Why a Website is Important for Your Small Business

When starting a small business, there are a few things needed to be successful.  I know that common misconception is that you do not need a website.  A debate that I have seen in the small business community is the need for a site.  A website can help your business if done correctly.  As with any other marketing strategy, if executed well, it can help you to be profitable.  After all, as entrepreneurs, we are in the business of making money.  Here are a few tips on why it’s essential to have a website and how you can make money from it.


In my line of work as a freelancer, it is sporadic that I make in-person contact with a potential client.  My entire business is operated in the online world; therefore, I need a central location where prospects can get to know me and what I offer.  The easiest and most efficient way to start building an online presence is by having a website to direct people, so they know how to get in contact with you.  As soon as someone views your website, they should get an overall impression of you immediately.  A first impression is made within seconds of meeting someone, so think of your site as a first meeting.  Take this opportunity to showcase your brand and personality.  One key factor to keep in mind is that your website should align with your brand.  For instance, if you are an individual that specializes in providing service to moms that do yoga, then a site that feels cold and corporate will cause confusion to your target audience and inevitably cost you in the end.  If you are an entrepreneur or freelancer, websites that show photos of you and your products can feel more relatable, while still being professional. 


Having a website can also be an excellent place for you to display your client testimonials or case studies.  If you are just starting out you may not have client testimonials yet, and that is perfectly fine.   There are a couple of ways to help show your credibility while in the beginning stages of your business.  I have found that bartering services in exchange for a testimonial to be the most beneficial in my experience.  Also, potential clients do not want only to see a list of what you offer under your services page if you are a service-based business.  I know that I am a visual learner and I respond more positively to examples of services more than just telling me what you can do.  If you are starting out, our bartering services technique can work in this category as well to help build your business portfolio.  There are ways to make money from your website in addition to in showing who you are.


Some small business owners will add a blog to help with online visibility, but this can also be a great way to make a little cash.  I mean who doesn’t love making extra money for minimal effort?  One of the more obvious ways to make money from your business blog is through advertisements.  Companies like Google offer to post ads onto your site, and every time a purchase is made by someone, you get paid.  Also, you can participate in affiliate marketing.  This is a process in which you are given a specific link for people to purchase through and when they buy from it, you get a percentage.  This is also a great way to get started building your reader audience by asking for guest posts or other bloggers to sponsor posts.  One question you may have at this point is, How do you drive traffic to your website so people can see how great you are? 


A profitable marketing strategy that involves your website for your business is driving traffic from outside sources to your site.  You can always set up your social media platforms with your related business and direct people to check out your website.  This can also be done in reverse to drive traffic to your social media as well.  By adding clickable social media links to your site, you are increasing your chances of clients by directing them to see you through spaces like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.  If potential clients are seeing you building your business through multiple streams, then they are being exposed to different aspects of your business that help to make your credibility.  Social media is a great way to engage with your audience with the ability to reach them on a more personal level.  Another way to drive traffic to your website is by building a profitable email marketing list.  Even if someone is not on social media, chances are they still have an email address for communication.


The possibilities seem endless when you add an email marketing strategy to your business plan.  When you build your website, merely adding a way for you to capture email addresses can help you with potential sales.  When someone adds their email address, you can use this information to later reach them by utilizing lead generation.  Convert that looky-loo into a buyer or client.  What can you offer to entice people to give you their email address?  By creating an excellent opt-in page to your website, you can provide viewers with something in return for their email.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to opt-in pages.  I have seen everything from free consultations to free printables and resource materials.  Using this approach is another good way to make passive income through your website by offering a valuable freebie and then when they sign up to receive emails from you, you can provide a higher value product or service.  Therefore you are making sales by setting up a one time process.


As with everything else when it comes to starting and operating a small business, everyone has their own opinion.  I have run into entrepreneurs in my business community that promotes that creating a great portfolio is best in place of a website.  I know that a site is more than it seems.  I see the value in all of the benefits of having a website.  Creating a strong and credible online presence is vital in converting lookers into clients.  With so many website options out there that are either free or very little cost investment, why not try out a website and see the potential success in your business.