We hear it all the time: “But I get most of my business from referrals. Why would I need a website?”
Many small businesses out there today, especially ones in industries like finance and real estate, still rely on a fantastic way of bringing in revenue: referrals. It works because most people want to do business with other people they know, like and trust. Or at the very least, someone their friends or family knows, likes and trusts.
So, if things are going well and business is good with a referral-based model, is a website even necessary?
Yes. A million times, yes. And here’s why:
Referrals Will Still Look for You on the Web
That’s right, even those who are likely to contact you by word of mouth are still probably going to search for you on the internet first. They may look for online reviews, a website to learn more about your company, or read through your social media profiles to get a better sense of who you are and what you do. In fact, 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search online.
And if they can’t find you, you’re risking the chance that they may not reach out to you in the first place. Having your phone number or email address from a contact of theirs is nice, but making sure your covering all your bases is ideal.
Your website is also a great way to validate the great things they may have heard about you from others. Word of mouth is great, but re-assuring those who were referred to you by giving them information online will increase your odds of them reaching out to you.
To top it off, if you build a strong referral-based system in person, consider integrating the same program on the web. Providing links to one another’s websites (also known as link building) will help boost your group’s SEO, and it will also make it really easy for your referral partner’s customers to find and learn about your company as well.
A Website Shows Your Professionalism
Imagine you’re going in for a job interview. They ask to see your resume, but you don’t have one. Would you expect them to take you for your word in regards to your expertise, experience, and skill?
A website works the same way. You can utilize a website to professionally showcase your wealth of knowledge, your products or storefront, your niche, your number of years in business, your dozens (or hundreds) of happy customers.
This ensures that whoever comes across your website (referral or not) will see you as a professional in the industry.
Your Current Customers May Need Additional Information
A website isn’t just for quality sales leads — it’s also a great way to continue providing support to your current clientele!
Whether they have a commonly asked question, a minor problem, or need additional resources, your website can provide content to assist them with their concerns and challenges.
Adding content to pages like FAQs, Resources, Webinars, Courses, Workbooks, etc. can allow them to find the information they need without ever picking up the phone to give you a call. This in turn also saves you time, since you won’t have to answer the same questions over and over again (or at least not near as often).
A Website Can Close the Deal
Although there are many people who will likely work with you no matter what — just because someone they know has worked with you before — you don’t know for sure how many would be more likely to work with you after having seen your website.
Websites often help businesses of all shapes and sizes turn interested prospects into happy customers. Think of it like a full-time, 24-hour sales expert who you don’t have to pay an annual salary for.
Websites Are a Vital Piece of Any Successful Marketing Strategy
Even if you don’t already have a website, it’s very possible you’re already utilizing several other methods to market your company.
Both digital and print marketing tactics work best when all sales leads are funneled through one major avenue, such as your website. Email newsletters, brochures, social media posts, advertisements, business cards — all of them will be able to work together more successfully when you have a well-designed, branded, and optimized website.
Your Audience Can Expand
You may believe that no one will contact you if they don’t know you personally. But how do you know for sure?
One of the top benefits of having an online presence is that it allows you to reach more people more quickly. Nearly every business owner out there today would say they want more revenue. Starting with a website can help you do just that.
Even if you are someone who only works with people in your local area, SEO still matters. If you’re set on not having a website, at a minimum you should register your business with websites and search engines, such as Google Business. This allows you to show up on local searches, expanding your potential customer base in your own neighborhood or district.
Starting Now Will Help You Win Against the Competition
Time is of the essence, especially when it comes to search engines. The longer you wait to begin building a presence on the web, the longer it will take for you to rank highly. It also means you’ll risk losing out to competitors who have already created or are about to create their websites.
Do yourself (and your company’s future) a favor: begin working on a website now. You’ll thank us later!
Reach Out to a WordPress Web Designer in Denver, Colorado!
If you’d rather leave the heavy lifting to the professionals, Hummingbird Collective can help. We offer website design, social media and other digital marketing services for small businesses and nonprofits in the Denver area and beyond.
We love working with passionate organizations who are ready to take the next step in their digital marketing efforts. You can learn more information about our digital marketing packages by reaching out to us online, or calling us at (719) 422-5198 to tell us more about your story!