In my years as a digital marketing consultant, I have discussed the importance of having a website with literally hundreds of small business owners. I have noticed that there are 2 distinct camps when this topic comes up:

The “Get-it” Camp: You believe that not only is it mandatory for every business to have a website, but that it is equally crucial that the website is visually appealing, carefully written, and strategically designed to generate a sense of urgency for new customers to do business with you.

The “Doesn’t Matter” Camp: You probably don’t think it’s necessary for your business to have a website. After all, you get all your business from referrals and repeat customers anyway. And if somewhere along the way you did get convinced that you “probably should” have a website, you probably don’t really care what it looks like, what people think about it, or what Google thinks about it. You got your website up, you got with “the times”, now if everyone would just let you get back to work, right?

As you can probably tell, I’m a fan of “Get-Its”. But don’t be offended or discouraged if I’ve singled you out as a “Doesn’t Matter” person, because you are some of my favorite people to work with when you finally realize that it does matter. Starting fresh with a positive direction is an exciting thing. In fact, let me give you some fresh thoughts to ponder- 5 reasons why your business needs a really good website. You’ve read this far so you must be up to the challenge:

1. It’s a resume for your business. You wouldn’t apply for a job without a resume would you? I wouldn’t either, but I have used a bad one before- something I just threw together. I thought my reputation would be enough, and I would be able to sell myself on the rest. Problem is, I didn’t get any opportunities to even get in the door or speak with a hiring manager.

2. It is your opportunity to show off.  You’ve completed dozens of jobs that you are really proud of, your customers are ecstatic, and you’ve got the pictures to prove it…in case anyone asks.  But why not show off your expertise before they ask?  A custom website is the perfect venue, and a totally acceptable way to show the local masses what you do… whether you’ve built it, killed it, cooked it, or fixed it.

3. Google.  In case I need to say more, some people, wait- most people, heck- almost all people search for local businesses on this search engine.  Just like having a storefront, it’s all about location, location, location.  Think of Google like a shopping mall- shoppers walk around in search of something. They find a store they like and go in.  If they really like it, they spend money.  Having a good website is like having a store in this mall- the mall brings you the traffic, you just need to secure a prominent spot, with an appealing storefront.  When customers walk in, you need to make sure your store is interesting enough to keep them from walking out empty handed.

4. It’s your 24/7 salesperson.   Believe it or not, people want to be sold when they are searching for something they need.  If you get the chance to speak with them, and are a great salesperson, you will answer their questions, answer even more questions they didn’t know they should have, and make them feel excited about doing business with you.  But you’ve got work to do, you have a personal life, and you need to sleep sometime, so even though you feel like you have to be everywhere, all the time, you know you can’t be.  Shouldn’t you put a good website on your payroll to do the sales for you?

5. Customers and potential customers expect your business to have one.  When you go to a restaurant, you expect to get a menu. It’s comforting to browse and read what the restaurant has to offer, and then you can make a well-informed decision about what to order.  It’s that simple with small business marketing- if someone learns about your business through a referral or an advertisement, they want to be a well-informed buyer and check you out first.  If they go to Google to type in your business name and come up with zero results, they will find one of your competitors instead and may choose to do business with one of them.  And go figure, it will probably be the one with the awesome website.

Do yourself a favor- do a Google search today with a keyword for your business category and the city you want to do business in.  If your name pops up, check yourself out as if you were a local consumer.  See who else is showing up and check them out too.  If you get excited about your website or any of your other online profiles, then pat yourself on the back and get back to work.  If not….then I would say today is the day to “Get It” and have a professional create a really good website for you.