If you are a Business Owner, and on the fence, if you should have a website or not for your business. I will save your time by telling you, Yes, you need a business website in the current digital age.
As more and more consumers realized they could find what they needed online faster and more effectively than a phone book, behavior shifted away from using the printed directory.
The number of consumers that go online to find a local business has jumped to 97 percent. If you want them to choose your company, you need to be found online—meaning you need a website.
Not Convinced, Yet. Here are the reasons you should have a website:-
1. Improve Business Credibility
A simple way to view a website is that it is your online business address. This is where your customers, clients, and associates go to find you on the Internet.
2. Build Your Business
Before broadband technology became widespread in 2004, websites were used primarily for marketing and informational purposes. A website functioned more like a brochure; you put one up to stay ahead of the competition. But there wasn’t much thought and purpose behind the content.
Share Your Story
Find Your Team
3. Build a Strong Relationship with Your Market
A business by definition is a living, breathing entity. Loyalty is achieved when customers know they are dealing with a company that understands their needs and not just a company that wants to profit.
- Let the Market Know “Who You Are”. Outside the Home and About Us pages, you can set up a blog page where you can share your thoughts and ideas with your audience.
- Address the Needs of Your Market. Invite your audience to engage you by encouraging them to post comments on your blogs. Embed survey forms and ask your audience to participate and convey their needs.
- Educate the Market of Your Business. Utilize the 80-20 Rule; 80% of your content should be usable or relevant to the needs of your audience while 20% should educate them about your business.
- Improve Customer Service. In addition to e-mail, social media, mobile and landline, install chat support as the 5th avenue for customer service. This will give your end-users more options to relay concerns and inquiries.
4. Efficient Way to Promote Your Business
If you are still using traditional forms of marketing, you are wasting valuable resources, time and money. Traditional forms include press releases, print ads, flyers and distribution Point- of- Purchase materials.
While still popular, traditional methods cost more money and cover less ground. It is also unsustainable; flyers, posters, print ads and press releases usually end up in the trash can.
Online marketing is faster, more efficient and inexpensive. There are many tools and techniques that you can use for online marketing but without a website, these strategies will fall short.
Think of the website as the sun with these online marketing tools as the planets revolving around it. Your online marketing efforts will create inbound avenues to a specified destination place which is your website.
Among the most popular online marketing tools that you can use to create inbound traffic to your website:
- Social Media – Of the 3.5 Billion people online every day, 2.34 Billion or 67% are on social media.
- Blogging – Companies that blogged 16 times a month received 4.5 times more leads than those that blogged 0-4 posts per month.
- E-mail Marketing – E-mail marketing is 40 times more effective in acquiring customers than Facebook.
- Use Videos – Embed a video on your Home page. A video can deliver your messaging content faster and more efficiently than text. Video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%.
Finally, online marketing is a sustainable process. Your content will not go to waste. You can easily update it and reuse it after a few months.
5. Showcase Your Work, Products & Services
A website will give you the venue to present samples of your work.
If you’re offering interior design services, content writing, professional web design services and other types of work that can be made visual, a portfolio page will encourage more clients to try you out.
If you want to increase the impact of your portfolio page, include 5 or more client testimonies. You can put the client testimonies in the Home page which is where users land after clicking unto your link or the Services page.
6. Keep Track of Your Business in Real Time
One of the most significant benefits of having a website for a small business is that you can keep track of its performance in real time through the use of analytics.
Analytics will provide you valuable data on how your business has been moving within a period of time. Key indicators of business performance include the following metrics:
- Number of visitors going to your website.
- Number of “unique visitors” or those who visit your website only once.
- Page views or impressions tell how many times a page has been read or visited. This will give you an idea on which type of content visitors find interesting.
- Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website without exploring past the page they landed on.
- Average time on site will show how long visitors view your content. The longer the average time on site, the better for your website.
7. Expand Market Reach And Coverage
If you have a school, having a website will expand your market reach and coverage. You can offer online courses in specialized subjects to people outside your jurisdiction.
For example, you are planning to introduce a school for Business Leadership training. You can create modules that can be uploaded on your website. People who sign up for your courses, will be able to access the modules and undergo online learning.
Now let’s take it a notch higher by introducing a Learning Management System (LMS).
An LMS is a digital platform that allows you to replicate conditions for face-to-face instruction. There are LMS platforms that have features for virtual classrooms.
In addition to modules-based learning, you can provide classroom-style instruction or one-on-one consultation.
The courses can be accessed by anyone with Internet service. If you live in Los Angeles, someone from Europe or Asia who is interested in your program can sign up.
8. Keep Your Business Open 24/7
Unlike a commercial establishment, the Internet doesn’t have operating hours. Your customers can find you 24/7. There are no holidays and you can “work overtime” without incurring extra costs.
Thus, a website can be an effective way to improve your customer service.
If you have chat support available, all you need is to hire customer service agents who can manage incoming inquiries and concerns, and have them addressed immediately to the right person or department of your company.
You may want to outsource customer service to another region where time zone differentials exist.
For example, a North American company can hire customer service agents from the India. With the 12-hour difference, the agents can provide customer service to your clients while you are sleeping.
9. Stay Ahead of the Competition
Or at the very least – keep pace with the competition.
It’s not going to look good on your brand if your competition has a website and you don’t.
More than branding concerns, not having a website gives you one less stream of revenue to help your business stay profitable.
Go back to “Keep Your Business Open 24/7”.
With a website, your business can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection. Prospective customers can view your products, testimonials, and read your content before they make a decision to buy.
10. Manage Your Business Reputation
The website is your platform on the Internet. This is the place where you will be heard and have 100% full control over your content.
Let’s say you’re the meat refining business and there are concerns about tainted meat being sold in markets and popular restaurants.
You can put a disclaimer on the home page of your website and inform site visitors that your raw materials are sourced from a region that has been declared safe for consumption.
You can embed an explainer video on the home page or add images of certifications from recognized organizations attesting to the safety of your meat. From there, link the home page to your social media accounts.
If you want an effective website or one that can help you take your business to another level, you have to be prepared to invest in one. In a survey of small business owners, 28% identified cost as another reason for foregoing a website.
A website is not an expense. It is an investment because you should expect a return on your money within a period of time.
For your investment to pay out, you have to make sure your website is professionally designed, fully functioning with fast download speed and packed with great content.
Do not penny- pinch and try to do a website on your own despite the availability of free templates. Your best option would always be to hire a professional web designer who has the experience and training to build a functional yet aesthetically beautiful website.