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Website Design

Why you should have a website (even if your competitors don’t)

Launching a small business website can seem like a major challenge. Between upfront costs and ongoing management, some small business owners shy away from taking the leap to create a website, especially if they’ve had prior success against competitors who also lack a digital footprint. Of the 27% of small businesses that don’t have a website in 2022, 86% plan to create one in the near future. Just because your competitors operate without an online presence now doesn’t mean they will forever. Establishing your small business website is one of the most valuable ways to reach and convert potential customers.

Why Small Businesses Need a Website

1. People are looking for websites

In 2021, about 76% of consumers looked for businesses online before making the trek to a brick and mortar store. Having a website that appears in search results, highlights reviews and includes photos makes you a solution to searchers’ problems. Whether someone needs to find a quick bite to eat near work, a doctor close to home or a specialized cleaning service, you’re immediately added to a potential customer’s list of possible solutions. Having a good website that clearly answers a searcher’s questions no matter what device they’re using helps you move up the list.

In the past, many home contractors and construction companies didn’t have websites. While this trend has since changed, many of these sites are outdated, hard to navigate, bogged down with broken elements or don’t work properly on smaller screens. Giving potential clients a more user-friendly experience than other local construction companies offered helps Decks Unlimited stand out online—just as much as their work does in person. Using a simple yet striking design with a straightforward structure, we built Decks Unlimited a responsive web footprint to showcase its stellar work and client reviews. Since the site launched in 2019, the company has consistently seen a conversion rate over 50% higher than the average general contractor’s website.

2. Your business will look legit

There’s no doubt that word of mouth is a powerful marketing method. Combining that tool with a professional website can help your establishment look credible. Online searchers and potential customers who were recommended by family, friends, neighbors and colleagues will be impressed with a well-designed, helpful website. Without a website, word of mouth may not always be enough on its own to entice new prospects, especially when so many consumers expect businesses to have an online presence.

It’s not uncommon to find local travel agency websites. However, many have busy site navigations with overwhelming content that isn’t always the most helpful for eager vacation seekers. We wanted The Travel Team’s new website to break away from that mold. Through a sleek, streamlined design and search-optimized travel journal, The Travel Team saw a 650% increase in organic traffic that converted into a number of corporate and leisure leads.

3. You control the first impression

Inside your business, you maintain more than just inventory or services. You also carry authority over your brand, voice and other factors that make your business uniquely yours. A website gives you a place to share what makes your business special. You can choose exactly what information to share with your customers in exactly the way you want it to be portrayed. From the story behind your business to what goes into your products and beyond, a website is your opportunity to make a lasting first impression.

When it comes to choosing a service like horse training, searchers want easy access to key information like business history, facilities, lessons and pricing. Building out Amy Hanssen Training Center’s website, we aimed to address all of these areas with a clean design and navigation. The end result left Amy Hanssen Training Center plenty of space to detail their family business’s story—which began back in the 1830s—and gives potential customers the ability to learn about and pay for services right on the site.

4. Social media alone isn’t enough

“If I have social media, why do I need a website?” That’s a fair question. While social media is undoubtedly a great tool to connect with your audience, it does come with a few limitations. Changing algorithms mean even the people who follow your company may not see the information you share. And if you rely solely on social media, you’ll be alienating audiences who don’t use those outlets. (Believe it or not, there are still many who don’t.) Your website will always be there for customers looking for information—because you own it. The same can’t be said for your social media page. You could get locked out or could even have your account deleted for any number of reasons.

Many local photographers rely on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook for their business. It’s easy to post images, share updates and drive engagement. Despite those benefits, it’s extremely difficult to stand apart from other photographers on social media. When creating Shaw Photography’s website, we chose an elegant yet approachable design that is reminiscent of the stunning photos the business produces. From the home page, viewers can see the breadth of Shaw Photography’s work and effortlessly find their contact details.