Why your small business needs a great website

By Antonella Portelli

Not sure if your small business really needs a website? Do any of these sound familiar?

  • ‘I don’t have any products to sell online’
  • ‘My business doesn’t need a website, I’m too small’
  • ‘I don’t need a website, I’m on Facebook’
  • ‘Aren’t websites expensive to set up?’

If you’re a small business owner in Malta who is still on the fence about creating a website, we’ll save you some time: Yes, you need one. A good one. A professionally designed, lead-catching, sales-increasing, brand-differentiating website.

In today’s digital world the internet is the first place people search for information. It’s now expected that reputable companies can be found on the web. From Googling, hitting review sites or checking in with peers on social media, 90% of consumers search the internet for services and products before they make a purchase.

A website is likely to be the first impression a customer will get of your business. If you don’t have a website and your competitor does, you can pretty much guarantee potential customers will go to them first. Keen clients such as Joseph Dispensing Opticians and Silhouette, understood this perfectly, which is why they both recently approached us to design stunning e-commerce websites that created the right impressions of their brands.

How can a website help your small business?

Websites are multifunctional and can do much more than just be a shop for your products to sell online. Think of your website as a massive marketing and communications tool. You can tailor your website to suit your brand, making you stand out from the crowd and help potential customers find out easily and quickly which unique value proposition makes you stand out from your competitors. 

You can also link your website to other forms of marketing, such as social media, to provide an integrated approach to brand awareness campaigns and PR efforts, driving valuable traffic to your website.

As a showcase for your work, a website can highlight your time-saving solutions or award-winning design projects. From the latest news and weekly offers to where you’re located and how to contact you, it is a one-stop-shop for you to connect with your customers and for your clients and suppliers to find out all they need about you. Plus, the information is easily available 24/7, freeing up your precious time.

Not only is it a great way to reach new customers, a website also provides a platform for you to stay in touch with recurrent clients. A great user experience matters and reflects on your brand. A bad website can do more harm than no website at all.

Get the basics right

So many companies spend on fancy graphics and corporate videos but fail to provide the three basic answers visitors are looking for: Who are you? What do you offer? How do I contact you? These three questions need to be answered without the user needing to scroll down the page at all.

You can also turn your small business into a big business. A professional-looking website can put you up there with big boys. For example, Gozo Garage’s refaced website, designed by Keen, helps to put the company on the same level locally as the multinational car hire giants. 

Keen's website design of Gozo Garage

Make your website fit for people and Google

Google isn’t a search engine, it’s an answer engine. Most people use it to find the answer to a question or the solution to a problem. Many small businesses in Malta and Gozo don’t utilise the potential yet and instead of concentrating on creating content that answers the questions their customers are asking, they write self promotional content that reads like an advert. Business owners who take the time to understand the problems their customers need to solve tend to prosper in the search engine results pages. 

How much will a new website cost?

While the cost of setting up a website varies depending on the complexity and framework, once it is up and running maintenance costs are fairly low. Print materials and promotional products can cost you more. The truth is the price of having a website is much lower than the price of getting left behind – it is an investment in your future and sustainable growth for your company. 

If you’d like to discover what opportunities your business is missing and more importantly how to change that, get in touch with us at Keen to arrange an initial chat with one of our experts.