It’s a common enough question, especially for businesses that don’t get involved much in technology or customers might not be online. The Internet is for those geeks, right, and not the common small business, sole trader or anybody else outside of the tech industry, right? If you think that way in 2017, you might want to rethink things. The Internet is much easier to use than the Yellow Pages, not only because it is faster, but also because it is in your pocket. Consumers are much more likely to search the web for a business to suit their needs rather than to pick up the phone book. Beyond that, here are 6 reasons to consider why you need a website for your business:
1) Your website helps you gain credibility
Have you ever heard the question “Do you have a website?” from a customer. People feel comfortable getting all the information they need from your site without having to be “sold.” It is your information base and also your sales tool. If your website is designed properly with great content, you can generate all the leads you need and legitimise your business. Before the Internet came along, people would flip through the Yellow Pages to find a plumber, pet groomer, garage, or any other type of business for their service or product needs. If you didn’t have a listing in the Yellow Pages, you were considered flighty. These days, in most, if not all cases, you need a website to prove that you’re a credible business, because your website is like your Yellow Pages listing. Your site can also contain reviews, testimonials, and elaborate on your services or products in much more detail. Most importantly, it can remove your business from obscurity.
2) A website complements word-of-mouth
We all know how important word of mouth is, but what do you think most potential clients do when a friend suggests a business to them? They look them up on the Web. Whether that referral is coming from word-of-mouth, a friend, Social Media, Google, AdWords, or Yelp among other sources, one of the first things that a potential client is going to do is look for your website. If you don’t have one, guess what? You’re hitting the problem with item #1 — you lose credibility.
3) Websites generate leads and feedback
The goal of any marketing or advertising campaign is to generate leads that will eventually convert into customers, and your website can do that much more effectively than anything else and its 24/7/365. Email campaigns aren’t nearly as effective, because people tend to delete emails they don’t recognize. But your website? They came to your site for a reason, and if they’re interested in what you have to offer, they’ll give you their email address and boom! You’ve got a lead that just needs some neutering to turn into a sale. Here is a great example of a website that is optimized for conversions:
- Their are two strong call to actions with an offering
- Value in the form of bullet points
- Simple, easy to read, and understand
- A title that brings you in and is very targeted
Utilising the services of a website designer will help you create great pages like this to increase leads and sales with ease (see #6 below for more info).
4) Your website can give customers what they need
A good motto for your online business presence is “if you help other people become successful, then you will become successful.” Your website lets potential customers know that you have what they’re looking for without having to speak with anyone. In fact, you can do this using multiple forms of content such as web pages, product pages, blog posts, ebooks, webinars, podcasts, and infographics just to name a few. If you provide your visitors with high quality information, a service, and or a product that can solve their problem, your visitors and google will reward you. It’s that simple!
Time is of the essence and is more important then ever today. If you’re a retailer, listing what brands you carry will help generate business because people will often search the Internet for local stores that carry those brands. Getting yourself into the search results for those brands gives you a leg up on your competition, potentially…especially if your competitor doesn’t even have a website or the proper information!
5) Your website is not an advertising scheme
One of the most common excuses I hear for businesses not having a website is that their advertising budget is already maxed out. There’s a huge difference, though, between what a website does and what advertising does. Advertising is good for a specific amount of time or offer, while a website is a marketing and communication tool that sticks around long after that 30-second radio spot is done and over with. In 99 percent of businesses your website is the front and face of the business. Think of your website as a portion of your marketing budget, and allocate appropriately to it. You know that you need business cards to do business, and a Web page is a business card on the Internet that can also drive customers to your business.
6) A professional website is not as expensive as you think
Just like advertising, your website is an investment and business expense. An investment which can return more than 10 times the amount you spend. When choosing a designer it is crucial that you go with someone who understands the goal of your online presence (i.e. lead generation, sales, your ethos, image, etc.). Most businesses are afraid that getting a website created will cost thousands of pounds, but that just isn’t the truth anymore. You can hire a website designer for the cost of a small ad in a regional paper and their work will have a lasting impact on your business. There are some pitfalls with the DIY website systems such as wix, weebly, moonfruit etc. The last thing you want to do is pay one of these a small amount of money which provides you a small amount of nothing. You may be able to produce a half decent looking website but the chances of it being optimised and SEO efficient are minimal. There are plenty of fantastic website designers out there that can create you a website for under £1,000, and if done correctly those websites will drive new customers to your business that will make up the cost and tons more. You can get an idea for what a custom website would cost by viewing my website prices page here.
So there you go, six good reasons why you need a website for your business. Don’t just settle for a freebie website. Most freebie websites are pretty static, with a Home page, an About Us page, a page with hours and directions, a contact page, and maybe a company history page. They are a lot of work taking precious time and 9 out of 10 times produce no results. Just like most things, you get what you pay for. They just don’t cut it anymore, because it doesn’t engage your visitors and they can see right through it. The information also gets out of date pretty easily.
See my article on choosing the best hosting provider HERE. My overall choices for the best hosting providers are –
Best Budget UK Based Shared Hosting Provider
Best Overall Hosting Support & Platform Shared & VPS Hosting
Best Cloud, VPS & Dedicated Server Hosting Provider
*A relatively new type of hosting, ‘Cloud Hosting’ has emerged in recent years. I will write another article on this subject and or amend this article when I have firmed up my thoughts on this development.