Business referrals are great. In fact, referrals can be one of the biggest compliments you can give. And for many small business owners, it’s their main source of revenue.
But even if referrals or “word-of-mouth” marketing are your main staple for sales or new business acquisition, it’s still in your best interest to have a website.
In today’s digital landscape, there are several reasons why this is so important. So let’s explore a couple of these relevant factors…
Potential customers may still want to learn a bit more before they contact you
Even if potential customers have been referred to you, they may require a bit more background information to determine if you can assist them with their particular needs. So they will likely perform a Google search.
As a local business owner, ideally you have claimed your business listing on Google My Business. You’ve filled out your relevant business information thereby optimizing it. Perhaps you even have some nice reviews left by previous customers. Better yet, you have a professional online presence with your business website.
Why you should have a website…
Having a website gives them the opportunity to learn more about your products or services before they decide to contact you. Reviews from Google are great but having testimonials on your site can also help build trust and reflect your credibility. They see that you have successfully helped others with your services and this alone can be motivation for them to contact you.
Furthermore, a website isn’t just a marketing tool – it’s a business hub. It can bring a sense of comfort to your customers knowing that there is someone well-respected in their industry that can assist them with their needs. So if you are one of the business owners who says “I don’t need a website” – you’re likely doing yourself AND your potential customers a disservice!
“A website is the essential foundation for establishing your business identity. Without a website to act as a digital destination for customers, you may as well not have a business at all.”
Sometimes business referrals don’t work out…
Individual experiences can vary when it comes to referrals. So even though your business or service may come highly recommended by a previous client or customer, sometimes it still does not work out. There may be differences due to timing and availability and or you may not be a good fit for each other.
Yes, this happens – so relying simply on business referrals is not recommended. You need a back-up – hence a website where other prospects can find you!
My own personal experience…
A while back I needed to find an attorney for my particular situation. Discussing the matter with a friend/colleague, he recommended the services of an attorney who had assisted him previously. Taking his business referral, I reached out to said attorney – thinking they would be a great fit for my needs based on this recommendation. However, as it turns out, nothing was further from the truth!
It was by my own searching online that I found the website of the attorney whose services I utilized. Their website was so full of useful information! They had a local office, info on what to expect with the process and some great testimonials that brought me piece of mind. Oh, and they actually responded to my inquiry!! How about that? Communication!
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…
Still not convinced on the importance of a website? Then at least be sure to claim your biz on Google My Business and Bing places for business. They can be invaluable tools for local search even if you don’t have a website!
Business referrals can be like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when they come your way. However, don’t ignore other possibilities. Not having a website where online searching prospects can find you may be costing you sales in the long run.
If you do have a website, don’t let it sit idle. Be sure to keep it updated with fresh content. A steady stream of fresh content on your site establishes your credibility, can help you connect with potential customers AND also helps your SEO!
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Written by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Graphic Designer and Nature Inspired Art photographer visually enhancing client’s print and digital media. Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place.