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Do I Need a Website? 10 Reasons Every Small UK Business Needs a Website and 3 Reasons Why You Might Not

Article By
Josh Page
September 7, 2023
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Do I need a website for my small business in the UK?

Small business owners often ask “Do I need a website for my small business?”. In the modern world of web design, digital marketing and SEO, the answer is a massive yes.

For small businesses in the UK, a website is going to be your digital shop front. Your website is a fundamental part of your business and will improve your credibility, increase your lead generation and massively excel your growth.

Without a website you are missing a critical part of your marketing strategy and will likely fall behind your competitors.

10 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs a Website

1. Your website is the digital face of your business

For a potential client searching online for businesses in your industry, your website is what you want them to come across first. If you don’t have a website, you could lose that client to a competitor who has a website set up to show them what they need. 

But I use social media for my business!

Social media is a great way to connect with your local market and clients, but it is best used alongside your website, not an alternative. A Facebook page for example has many limitations and will restrict you from implementing SEO strategies and putting your personal brand on your website.

Another consideration is that you don’t technically own your social media pages. If one of your main social media pages had an outage you could be left without a way to contact your customers. Whereas with your website, it’s yours. 

That’s not to say you should not use social media, having a strong presence on Facebook, Google Business and other social media can really help you reach a wide range of people. Using a full range of tools alongside your website is going to give you the best chance at positive results, but your website will likely be your main source of traffic.

2. Social proof is key to growing your business online

Social proof is how you prove to your potential clients you are an expert and the choice for them in your industry. When potential customers are Googling for businesses in your market, they want to find a company they can trust. If you have a strong set of reviews and proof of your work (through a gallery or case studies), you will be creating strong social proof and your clients are likely to be more confident in working with you.

According to Online Review Statistics: The Definitive List (2023 Data) by Luisa Zhou, 97% read reviews for local businesses. If you are not creating strong social proof around your business, you run the risk of missing out on nearly all of your inbound leads.

Statistics on the importance of social proof for local businesses
Statistics on the importance of social proof for local businesses

3. Your competitors have websites, you need to stay competitive

71% of businesses have a website in 2023, part of which is due to the pandemic pushing people to online work, but the result is here to stay. Businesses who are not online are falling behind and every day new websites go live, some of which are in your industry.

With how easy it is to get a website online, there are few reasons why you would not go ahead and get started.

4. Websites are a cost-effective way to market your business

Traditional advertising and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) are strong but potentially expensive methods of advertising. Whilst using multiple marketing methods is advised, your website can be an extremely cost-effective marketing tool that should not be ignored.

With SEO you can push your website to the top of the search results for relevant topics related to your business. You can do this by creating quality content that your users are interested in, educating them and building credibility around your expertise.

5. A good website makes your business stand out

If you have a well designed, responsive website that is on brand, you will stand out from the crowd in the right way. It’s an easy way to build credibility around your business and give your customers all of the information they need to make the right decision.

Creating a website that hits this criteria is more difficult and can be expensive if you look for support from a freelancer. I offer affordable plans that help local businesses get online from as little as £100 a month with no upfront fees.

6. Websites are flexible and change with your business

Businesses grow and what you offer as a business is likely to change. You might change your pricing, start to operate in new areas or offer a new service in the same industry. With a website, you can easily add this to your website and start offering these services to your customers straight away.

7. Getting a website online is affordable and easy

Getting started with a basic website is quick and easy. You can set up a Google Business page and a Google website to match within a day. There are a wide variety of other website builder platforms available including Wix and WordPress that make building a basic website a drag and drop experience.

8. Analytics give you insight into your business performance

With analytics tools attached to your website you can easily see how many visitors you are getting on a regular basis, where they find your website (social media, Google, direct searches) and other important factors such as what users do once they get to your website.

Using this data you can make informed decisions on changes to make to your website, use different approaches and create content to fill gaps in your marketing.

9. Direct communication with customers is easy

Your website can be used to easily communicate with customers. Through contact forms allowing direct emails, live-chat integration for one-to-one conversations and content updates to keep your customers in the loop, you can always be confident that your customers know what's going on with your business.

Most website builders have great tools for built-in contact forms and email collection. There is also a wide variety of SAAS softwares available for chatbots and more.

10. Turn your website into an online shop with e-commerce

If you want to sell products on your website you can do this with e-commerce integration on most modern website platforms. Webflow, Wix and Shopify are great tools that you can offer products on and sell directly to your customers online.

You can sell your products with delivery services, local delivery and collection or just selling digital products that you deliver immediately to your customers through email and download links.

3 Reasons Why Your Small Business Might Not Need a Website

1. You are not looking to grow your business further

A website is nearly essential to any local business looking to expand their services and reach new customers. But sometimes you may just be happy with where you are at. Whilst it’s advisable to keep growing your business anyway, as you never know when you may lose a client or decide to expand your business quickly.

2. Your work from referrals is enough for your business

If you have a very loyal customer base that is constantly referring business to you, it may make sense for you to forego any digital marketing efforts. As above, it’s advisable to continue marketing your business as you never know when you may lose a client and need to fill some space in your calendar!

3. You are in a unique market position

You are the only business operating in your local area for your industry. This is a very unique position and may have you feeling that a website is not useful for your business and you might be right. It’s possible that at any point someone could enter your market and disrupt your position.

What are the next steps?

Decided you need a website? I think you are making the right choice (and the statistics say so too). From here you can look to build your own website, depending on your technical and design skills you can experiment with one of the many site builders available, or you can look to hire out help to build a website.

There are a wide range of design freelancers and agencies available to help you with building your website with a mix of pricing options available.

I support local businesses with their website and digital marketing growth through building awesome Webflow websites.

Still not sure if you need a website?

If you have some specific questions that you want help with you can get in contact with me today and I’d be more than happy to answer them for you. There is a wealth of information online around web design and the importance of a strong web presence and the reasons for it.

In the end the decision is yours as to whether a website is the right choice for your business. However, if you want to expand your reach and find new customers online, a modern, responsive website with strong social proof and authority in your industry is essential to your success.

Want to learn how a new website can grow your business?