Having an online presence hasn’t been easier – or more important – for small business owners. But business owners still ask this question a lot: “Can my small business get by with just a free tool like Google Busines Profile? Or do I need a website?”
While small business owners are busy and would like to streamline their marketing efforts, the fact is that they need a website to fortify their online presence.
7 Reasons Why You Need a Website Along with Google Business Profile
1. Consumers Expect Small Businesses to Have Their Own Website
It’s 2023 and having a website for your business is as necessary as having a phone number. Studies found that 70% of consumers feel it’s important for a small business to have a website,30% won’t even consider a business that doesn’t have a website, and 68% of consumers think every small business should also have a blog along with a website.
People search for information on the internet – be it about a company or anything else. Having a website allows customers a sneak peek into your business before coming to your doorstep. Your small business website must have a map of your location, multimedia, products pages, tell your story, link to your social media pages, contact information, and much more.
Customer expectations matter. Having a website is expected from businesses in a digital-first world.
70% of consumers find it important for a small business to have a website.
Consider including high-quality images and video, testimonials, employee profiles, and your company’s history on your site so your customers get a sense of authenticity to your brand.1
2. Having a Website Gives You a Competitive Advantage
More than half of all small and local businesses have a website. If you don’t have a website and your competitor does, a prospective customer can go to their site, place orders, sign up for a newsletter, and more.
Don’t miss out on all these amazing opportunities to serve your customers with only having a Google My Business listing. Not to mention the possibility of engaging with them to keep in touch and encourage return visits.
3. It’s Easy to Set Up a Simple Website
A few years ago, setting up a website was much more complicated than it is today. You’ll need to hire a designer and a coder, figure out how to buy a domain, point that domain to a server, set up and maintain security, and more. Nowadays, making your own website is a breeze.
If you don’t need an intricate site, a website builder is probably the right fit for your small business. Website builders are easy to use on your own and will help you build a site quickly. It allows you to drag and drop text and images into templates – no coding required. Some website builders include a domain name, hosting, and other perks for a low monthly fee, so they’re budget-friendly, too.
Building your own website with a website builder is simple. If you have all the information and images that you need for your web presence, you’re already set to setup a website.
4. A Website Gives You a Hub for All Your Marketing Activities
The elements of your online strategy probably include a Google Business profile, a social media presence (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, etc.), email marketing, and a presence in some online business directories. But all your initiatives must be tied to one official hub: your website. Without a website, your marketing tactics are disconnected. There’s no one place where you fully control your brand’s voice and the look and feel of it.
This is just as true for your offline marketing efforts. From business cards to flyers to in-store materials, everything your potential customers interact with should have your website on it. If they want to return for more information, give them a central hub to do so. All roads should point to home!
Remember to keep your website updated with relevant information and add it to all your online properties (social media platforms, business listings, etc.). Use the areas where your brand is present to point people to your website.
5. You Don’t Have Total Control Over Your Google My Business Listing – Google Does
Google My Business listings are a hub where you can gather and manage reviews, get your business on Google Maps, and help people learn important information about your business. There’s no question that Google My Business listings are a great resource for small businesses. We encourage you to get your own listing and optimize it to maximize its potential.
But on the flip side, Google has a long history of “modifying” some of its products on the fly. Ask anyone who does local SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and they’ll tell you that Google is constantly changing which elements appear in the search results, including how the Google My Business listing works.
Google also reserves the right to remove your Google My Business listing if they find something they don’t like in your profile (i.e., actions that go against their policies). That’s not likely to happen if you play by the rules. But if it happens, it can be awful for a small business owner.
Moreover, it’s possible for your competitors to edit your Google My Business listing, which is an obvious issue to keep in mind and monitor.
So, as great as the Google My Business program is, always remember that you don’t have absolute control over your listing. Google does.
6. Not Everyone Uses Google My Business
While Google My Business is a quick and convenient way to get critical information about a business fast (especially on mobile), sometimes customers want more information to make a choice. Without a website, those customers can’t learn more about your business and you won’t be on their radar.
While Google does own most of the search engine market share, you can’t discredit other popular search engines like Bing. A properly optimized website can rank on different search engines, but a Google My Business listing will only ever show up on Google search results.
There are also other business directories that you can take advantage of. Make sure that your listings in these directories are accurate and up to date.
7. A Website Can Do Way More than a Google My Business Listing Can
Google My Business listings are not fully customizable and are limited to the fields Google provides. With a website, you can do just about anything you want to. Even drag-and-drop website templates are customizable and can reflect your brand’s unique parts in a way a Google My Business listing can’t.
Websites offer valuable functionalities to help your business grow. A few examples are:
- Newsletter signups
- Detailed business information
- Direct purchases (including gift cards)
- Appointment scheduling
- Job application submission
- Branded multimedia
- Business, founder, and employee stories
- Links to social media
- Social proof or best reviews
Pair Your Google My Business Listing with a Website Now
Google My Business listings are an important part of your overall online strategy. It provides quick information to users who are looking for a particular service or product. However, a website is the face of your brand and a direct line for your customers. It gives you the opportunity to inform, engage, and keep in touch with new and old customers alike.
Thus, you need to create a professional website to strengthen your web presence. Build your eCommerce website with the help of our easy-to-use online store builder. It has intuitive features that make building a website easier. Easily choose from our hundreds of design layouts and enjoy eCommerce features such as marketplace selling, simple shipping solutions, and many more.
It’s never been easier or more affordable to build a website. Choose your plan today and start building a website now on top of your Google business account.