As an owner of a service-based business, it’s understandable that you might ask yourself whether you need a website to be successful. You may think a website is only necessary for a business that sells physical products or that you can get by with just your social media presence. But the truth is, you should still have a website for your business.
Marketing is extremely important these days and as a service provider in 2022, the very best way to reach potential customers is online. No matter what service you provide, you’re bound to have hundreds of competitors who are trying to reach the same clients as you. A website is a really important way to stand out amongst the crowd and the benefits from a good website vastly outweigh any negatives.
Here are eight reasons why you should have a website for your service-based business:
1. A website builds trust and makes you a credible choice
Trust is one of the most important things for service businesses. Quite simply, if potential customers don’t trust you, they’re not going to use your services. Having a website is one of the most fundamental ways of showing potential customers that your business is legitimate and that your services are a trustworthy option for them to choose. 84% of consumers think that a website makes a business look more credible than a company that only has social media profiles.
In addition, over 30% of consumers won’t even consider using a business if they don’t have a website. So, while things like Google My Business and a strong social media presence are great tools for bringing in customers and shouldn’t be disregarded, a dedicated website is something that people are actively looking for to prove credibility. This is an excellent way of building trust between you and your potential customers.
2. Nearly all customers research their options online before deciding on a service
Think about how often you go online when you’re considering buying something. It’s probably quite a lot, isn’t it? Well, customers looking for specific services are no different. A total of 97% of consumers go online to find and research local businesses. On average, customers look at approximately three service-based companies online before making contact with one of them. From this, we can see that customers expect to find a website for reputable companies so they can compare their services and will be put off a company if they don’t have one.
So, if you don’t have a website for your business, you’re immediately pushing yourself out of the running. It’s not that surprising really. If you were a customer who was shopping around for a service and you couldn’t find the business online anywhere, you’d be unlikely to pursue it further, wouldn’t you? It makes sense for a customer to go with a competitor who has a website containing all of the necessary information about their services over one that doesn’t show up in an online search. Without a website, you’re invisible to those customers.
With so many users researching their options online, you need to be up there with your competition so people can find you during their online research and then actively consider you when they’re deciding on who to spend their money with.
3. Customers will be able to find answers and contact you with ease
The internet doesn’t have opening times as a normal business would. This means that your potential customers are constantly online consuming information, doing research and making purchase decisions. They expect access to your business at any time of day or night. And even more, than that, they expect the whole process to be as easy as possible. They might want to know what services you offer, what your prices are, when and what days you open, where your premises are, or even make a booking right there and then.
Understandably, it would be very hard for you as a business owner to be around to offer that level of customer service 24-7, and no one would expect you to. But a website can do it for you. A well-structured website that offers all of this information makes your business instantly accessible and flexible to the needs of your customers, meaning that they will be able to find the answers they’re looking for at any time and can contact you or book a service with ease whenever it suits them.
4. It will save you time in the long run
Leading on from that last point, another obvious benefit of having a website for your business is that it can close sales for you and will save you time in the long run. We understand that creating your website in the first place can seem like a daunting prospect and come across as a long and expensive process. But it doesn’t have to be that difficult and many services and tools can help you. Then, once your website is up and running, it really can save you lots of time moving forwards.
It’s much easier to have clients come to you, rather than you trying to find them. Instead of you convincing every new prospect why they should choose you and answering simple questions from potential customers, your website can do a lot of that work for you while you’re out running your business and providing the services that your customers need. With a strong website, you’ll spend less time looking for your next customer by getting in touch with potential leads and more time making money from the bookings that come directly through your website.
5. Websites allow you to showcase your business
As well as providing customers with the essentials about your business around the clock, you can use your website to showcase the best things about you and what you have to offer. A website is an excellent opportunity to highlight your very best services, shine a spotlight on testimonials and positive customer experiences, talk about your credentials and training experience, and of course, proudly display any awards that your business has won or been nominated for.
Anything that you think sets you apart from your competition or emphasises your business’ best qualities could be included on your website. It doesn’t matter that as a service-based company you don’t have products to list, there’s still plenty of valuable content that you could feature for your customers. A website is your virtual shop window. It’s the ideal place to display all of the great things about your business and it can help convince potential customers to choose your services over your competitors.
6. A website is necessary for any digital marketing efforts
If you’re advertising your business online, you’ll need to send people somewhere when they click on your ads. If there’s nowhere to send them once they click, your marketing efforts are essentially pointless as the users won’t make a purchase or take any of the actions you want them to. The natural place for your digital marketing campaigns to take users to should be your website.
Your website should be the main online hub or home address for your business, and all of your other online appearances – such as social media, Google My Business, online directories and of course your digital advertising – should circulate your website and lead straight back to it. A suitable landing page on your website would be the ideal place for users to be taken to from any of your digital adverts and then from there they can explore and find out more about your business and ultimately get in touch with you to book a service.
7. Websites are great for SEO and being found online
We all know the importance of being found in a search in this day and age. Appearing in the results pages on Google and other search engines simply allows you to attract more new customers, which is essential to your business. The good news is that a well-optimised website, which has proper SEO practices in place, makes your brand more visible in the search results.
It can help you rank well for a variety of search terms, which in turn drives a steady stream of organic traffic, valuable web visitors, and, of course, leads. Even if you’re not very familiar with SEO and the tactics that you’d need to put in place, several free SEO tools make it easy.
8. You can track your customers’ habits and your online performance
Finally, having a website for your business will also allow you to track your online performance. Whilst the most obvious benefits of having a website revolve around getting found online and bringing in leads, you shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of being able to take a deeper look into your customers’ habits with the help of tools such as Google Analytics. With a dedicated website for your business, you can set up a Google Analytics account to measure your website traffic, customer behaviour, goals and the answers to many other really helpful questions.
For example, you will be able to see how many people are visiting your website and specific webpages, how long people stay, where they come to your website from, what journey users take through your website and whether they complete the desired action, and not to mention lots of interesting information about users and their demographics such as where they live, their age and gender and their interests. You can even use analytics to measure the results of any digital marketing campaign that clicks through to a page on your site.
All of these stats give you valuable insight into your customers and their behaviour, as well as an understanding of how people interact with your business, what kind of content they like and how you can improve their user experience. So by having a website that is linked to a GA account, you will be able to target your customers more strategically and improve your future marketing efforts. As you can see, it’s a good idea to have a website for your service-based business.
With the vast majority of customers searching online to choose a company, you’re limiting yourself if you don’t have one. A website is the best way for customers to find you and contact you with ease, it makes your business look trustworthy and credible, provides you with the opportunity to showcase all of the best things about your business, and is a great tool to go hand in hand with your digital marketing efforts. Plus, it can genuinely help you to be found in the search results and allows you to track your online performance. It’s a no-brainer.
The good news is, that it’s now much easier and more affordable to create and maintain a website than it ever has been before. If you want help and advice with your website build, you can get in touch with our team of experts and we’ll be more than happy to help you get started.