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7 reasons why referral based businesses *still* need a professional website

Even if your business is entirely built on referrals, having a professional website remains crucial for your business. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of investing in a professional online presence and having robust online reviews.

1. Enhanced Credibility and Trust:

When potential clients receive a referral, their first instinct is often to research your business online before reaching out. When they Google your company name they need to see a professional website that establishes your credibility and showcases your expertise. Your website should reinforce the trust that the referrer has placed in your business. Additionally, solid online reviews serve as social proof and can further strengthen that trust, making potential clients more likely to choose your services.

2. Greater Online Visibility:

A well-designed website with Search Engine Optimization boosts your online visibility, making it easier for referred clients to find you. Even if referrals are your primary source of business, enhancing your online presence ensures that potential clients can quickly locate your website and access the information they need to make an informed decision. How awkward would it be for a referred prospect to google your company and not be able to find you? If you aren't in the top 3 listings your credibility will be affected by the searcher, even subconsciously.

3. Showcasing Services and Portfolio:

A professional website enables you to display your services, portfolio, and accomplishments in a visually appealing and easily accessible format. This gives potential clients a better understanding of what you can offer them and demonstrates your expertise in your field, further establishing your credibility. Anyone can say that they do a great job, but showing it with a case study makes your service all the more appealing. People need to see themselves in your service and case studies. Don't skimp on this!

4. Maintaining a Competitive Edge:

With the increasing reliance on digital marketing, not having a professional website and online reviews may put your business at a competitive disadvantage. Your competitors most likely are using their online presence to attract more clients, and having a strong online presence can help you keep up with, or even surpass, the competition. If you look like the smallest kid on the block how likely are you going to be picked when it comes to the big game? Time to hit the proverbial gym 🙂

5. Expanding Your Reach:

While your business may be referral-based, having a professional website can help you tap into new markets and expand your reach. As your online presence grows, you may attract clients from outside your referral network, further bolstering your business's growth potential. Referrals can max out and you may one day want to expand beyond your current network.

6. Meeting Customer Expectations:

Your clients expect that you'll have an online presence, including a website and online reviews. Failing to meet these expectations can lead to missed opportunities, as potential clients may view your business as outdated or less trustworthy. This may not be the case if you are an old-timey wood carver who sells one of a kind garden gnomes but most people live in a digital age. Let's meet them where they are at.

7. Increased Engagement:

A professional website offers opportunities for clients to engage with your business through various channels, such as contact forms, live chat, or email sign-ups. This increased engagement can help you build stronger relationships with clients and create opportunities for upselling or cross-selling your services. A contact made today could do business with you in several years time. Start the conversation now.


In summary, a professional website and strong online reviews are essential for businesses, even if they are entirely referral-based. These elements help establish credibility, trust, and visibility while showcasing your expertise and maintaining a competitive edge in the market. Investing in your online presence can lead to new opportunities and help your business grow in the long run. At Thrive, we understand the importance of a strong online presence for referral-based businesses and are committed to helping you succeed.

Contact us today to learn more about our website design and digital marketing services tailored to your unique needs.


Noah Britton

Hi, I'm Noah Britton, the founder of Thrive. I focus on understanding our client's goals and proposing solutions including branding, website design, and marketing. After 20 years in business, I've earned the grey hairs and expertise needed to knock your project out of the park.

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