Websites are no longer a luxury item. They’re a necessity.

Nearly half of small businesses don’t have a website because they think it’s not relevant to their business or that it’s too expensive.

Your pitch should passionately address these objections and more, preferably before they’re brought up.

Let’s go over small business owners most frequently asked questions and objections and discuss how to respond to each.

Q1: Does my business really need a website?

Your knee-jerk response might be to say “of course,” but that’s actually the wrong response.

Small businesses want to make sure that they’re not wasting money on things they don’t need so you must understand and consider the client’s unique scenario in order to show them you’ve carefully evaluated their unique situation.

Here’s how I’d respond to that question.

Well, it depends… If you have too many customers or you’re making too much money, then no, you shouldn’t create a website
But if you’d like to increase revenue, get more customers and retain current customers, then yes, you definitely need a website.

Businesses that are online grow 40% faster than those that aren’t.

Fun facts:
  • 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day.
  • 1 in 3 mobile searches occurred immediately before a consumer visited a store.
  • People Google 7 billion unique local searches per month in the U.S. alone.
  • 92% of smartphone owners in the U.S. search for local information.
  • 12% of people search online for a local business every day
  • 89% of those searchers took some form of action after such a lookup.
  • 25% of U.S. searchers made a purchase after a local lookup.
  • 51% called
  • 48% went to the business.

Consumers expect businesses to have a website today.

Not having a website or having a poorly designed website makes you lose credibility in the eyes of consumers.

87% of Americans are online today, and that number is only going to increase.

Millennials (18 to 34) are now the largest consumer group, and they expect businesses to have a website and are more likely to contact them if they do. If a business doesn’t have a website, or their website is ugly then they are unlikely to use that business.

While those between the ages of 35-54 are less critical of businesses without websites, they’re still more likely to contact the business that has a website. This age group also believes that a good website increases a business’ credibility.

A website buries bad reviews.

Reviews are the be-all-end-all — especially for small businesses.

Fun facts:
  • 97% of consumers used the internet to find a local business
  • 12% of consumers searched for a local business every day
  • 54% of consumers looked for a local business online at least once a month
  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
  • 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business

So if you have a less than four-star rating, best hope it doesn’t come up on the first page of Google. Unfortunately, it likely will though, especially if you don’t have a website.

The best way to combat negative results is to suppress it with positive content that *you* control. The more website SEO pages you have, the more likely you are to bury bad results.

But even if you have a positive online presence, you still need a website… because the majority (37%) of local searchers immediately visit the business’ website upon reading a good review.

bad reviews

The top types of businesses that people read reviews for the most are:

  • Restaurants/Cafes
  • Hotel/B&B
  • Medical/Healthcare
  • Clothing Store
  • Grocery Store
  • Hair/Beauty
  • Automotive
If I were you, I’d pay special attention to these categories, and focus on targeting a business from one them. Also, consider seeking out businesses with bad reviews, so you can use this as ammunition for your sales pitch.

Q2. I already have a web page on someone else’s website. Why do I need two?

It’s likely small businesses have already been hit up by Yelp and the local Chamber of Commerce to get a listing on their directory.

They may not know the difference between a web page on one of these sites and their own website.

If they bring this up, here’s how I’d respond.

That’s great! You should have listings on site directories like these.

However, a website is different from these listings.

First and foremost, you don’t “own” your listing, meaning if you get a bad review, it’s likely going to show up at the top of your page, and the only way to bury it is to pay a recurring monthly fee to Yelp to keep it buried.

Second, these listings lump you into categories, and often, your competitors will be linked to directly on your business page.

95% of people use search engines to find local businesses. If you don’t have a website, it’s likely you’re not showing up, unless you’re on a long list on a directory’s category page, which isn’t so great since it’s listing all of your competitors too.

Third, websites are the second most-used media to find local businesses. Only two forms of media were used by the majority of consumers: search engines and company websites.

And when consumers do find you on places like Yelp, YellowPages.com and Google My Business, they usually click through to the business website.

So these listings should be supplementary to your website. You should be trying to drive traffic away from these listings, to your website.

For example, if someone is searching for a local dry cleaner and finds a few listings near her, that searcher is going to go “one click further” and click on the listing with a website.

When searching, people always want to know more. Your link gives them the option to do just that.

Q3. I don’t have a computer. How will I maintain a website?

It’s likely a lot of prospects will not be computer savvy. Here’s how to deal with their concerns.

It doesn’t require much effort or resources to maintain a website today. I can easily make updates or changes for you for an affordable price.

Q4: My customers don’t use the computer.

Maybe your current customers don’t use the computer that much. I mean, I guess it’s possible, even though 87% of Americans are online today. (Although do you know anyone today who doesn’t have an iPhone or smartphone?)

A much more important concern should be about all the prospects who DO use the computer and aren’t seeing you pop when they conduct local searches.

And just because your customers are older doesn’t mean that they don’t use the computer… or won’t be using it soon.

The fastest growing sector of the American population becoming computer literate is between the ages of 50 and 75.

Couple that with the fact that Millennials (18-34) are now the largest consumer group, and they expect you to have a good website today.

Q5: I already spent our marketing budget for the year on YellowPages.com.

A website is not an advertising investment, but rather is complementary to your advertisements.

Those ads you purchase from Valpak, the Yellow Pages and Yelp are owned by them and are a recurring cost to your business. As soon as you stop paying, your ad disappears.

On the other hand, you own your website, and therefore, can control what users learn about you and your business.

Your website is an asset, like your business phone. You only have to purchase the site once and then just pay the hosting fee each month to use it.

 

“Customers and other people who come in contact with your business expect to find a reputable businesses on the Web, so don’t risk your credibility by not being present.”

Q6: A website is too impersonal.

Most small businesses pride themselves on providing amazing customer service, so this might be an important one to them.

Here’s how to address it.

I understand your concern completely. However, what you’re not considering is that people use the Internet to get information.
Unlike paid ads, Google doesn’t target a set demographic. Whether you use magazines, newspapers, tv or Facebook, all of them are targeting very specific audiences.

A website gives you access to literally everyone/anyone who uses the Internet, targeting no one in particular aside from the keyword(s) they search.

So yes, a website may feel impersonal, but that’s a good thing because remember, searchers are looking for information, not a relationship… not yet anyway.

A website gives you a higher number of prospects to create a relationship with.

If Internet users don’t find you on the web, they’ll seek out your competitors who have websites.

Also, one more thing: Internet users hate ads.

Fun fact: 615 million devices now use adblock tools so they don’t have to see your ads. That’s 11% of the global population. Adblock usage is now mainstream across ages.

Q7: What are the costs involved with having a website?

There are three basic costs.
  1. Designing the site (One-time fee)
  2. Hosting the site (Monthly or annual fee)
  3. Buying the domain name (Annual fee)

The priciest of these costs is the website design, which is a one-time fee of no more than $1,000, and I design the entire site for you.

Your “online rent” or hosting fee will depend on which hosting provider you choose. This is something I can set up for you as well, if you provide me with a credit card to use to set it up.

You could pay as little as $3.99-$6.99 per month or as much as $29/month, depending on which hosting provider you choose.

The domain name is the least expensive of the bunch, usually ranging between $9 and $12 annually. I can help you choose a domain name if you like.

Q8: How do I know you’ll do a good job?

This is probably the hardest question you’ll have to answer. I have a few different ideas as to how to respond to this.

You’ll have to experiment with which one works the best for you.

Response No. 1: Pay upon satisfaction.

When I design websites, I usually require half upfront and half upon client satisfaction. This makes the client feel more secure.

You could take this one step further, and have them sign a contract that states they’ll pay upon website completion.

If you do a good job, you should be fine, and get your money.

Response No. 2: I’m working with an experienced web designer.

Be honest, and explain your situation to the person.

Tell them you’re taking an online course that teaches you how to design beautiful websites, and you’ll have an experienced designer mentoring you.
By using one of the responses above, or whatever creative ones you come up with yourself, just make sure you put the business owner at ease — like s/he’s not taking a risk by working with you.

NEXT: What’s WordPress, and why should I use it?