Still relying on word of mouth? Promoting your business via social media? Good for you: those channels are tried and tested to give good results. But nothing beats having your very own website. Owning an online home is not just for vanity’s sake – it’s a valuable tool to reach out to the right customer.
Let’s look at more reasons why a website is an absolute must-have:
1. Because first impressions count
We live in a world where people Google a business or visit online review sites before they shop. If they are checking out your online presence before stepping foot in your shop, restaurant or office, you need to look your very best. It’s harsh but if they don’t like what they’re seeing, they won’t even bother to come see you. Your website needs to mirror online the real-life experience they can expect.
2. Because you need to be found
As we said above, shoppers turn to Google first when finding a business, whether it’s an address, opening hours, to look at products or compare prices. If you don’t have a website you are missing out on all of this potential business. Even if people don’t buy your product online they are still likely to research it online so you have to have a website so these people can learn about your business.
3. Because window shopping is dead
Customers are no longer strolling down the street looking for specials in shop windows. They turn to Google or comparison sites to ‘window shop’, therefore your business must be well represented on these sites. Your ‘shop window’ should be easy for search engines to find and featured on review sites. Be sure to prominently display your street address, phone number and email (as well as social media links) on there.
4. Because no website means losing business
If you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on opportunities for customers to identify who you are and if they want to spend money with you. This said, if you have a bad website it is better to have no website. The good news is that there are many template-based websites available (such as WordPress and Shopify.com) to customise to your unique business.
5. Because it’s cost effective
Unlike a brick and mortar store, you know exactly how much your website is going to cost you to set up and to maintain in the future. Compared to costs like theft, damage and staff recruitment, a strategically developed website provides tremendous benefits.
6. Because it’s open 24/7
Your website and social media accounts are accessible 24/7/365 – no limited opening hours, no wasting time, no aimlessly driving around. A customer can browse your products and services whenever they want, from the comfort of their homes, offices or local coffee shop.
7. Because it offers credibility
If you don’t have a website, customers might (wrongly) assume that you’re small fry and not take your business seriously. With a website, you are able to tell consumers why they should trust you and back it up with client testimonials – powerful marketing tools.
8. Because you don’t have to be big to LOOK big
A website will not only give you credibility but it will also help to give the impression that your company is bigger and more successful than it may actually be. One of the great things about the internet is that the size of your company doesn’t really matter. There is no reason that you can’t get your site to rank in Google ahead of a large multinational competitor.
9. Because a website is easily updated
Unlike printed materials, websites can be changed on a minute-by-minute basis – including uploading any printed materials (brochures, price lists, etc.) that you currently use. If you feel the need to produce videos, you can also feature these online.
10. Because a website improves customer relations
With a website, a customer can make a much more informed buying decision. If they are deciding between you and a competitor, your website could be the deciding factor in winning you the business. It also provides a way for customers to benefit after a sale. If you provide information or support through a website, it strengthens customer loyalty.
11. Because you’ll generate more leads
The internet has become the new way to generate new business opportunities. If your website has been set up with proper search engine optimization, it is easy to convert (anonymous) visitors into potential sales leads.
12. Because you’ll make more sales
Without sales, your business is doomed. With an online presence, you can make sales around the clock, with no limitations (unless you run out of stock!). The more customers and visitors you have, the more sales you will generate. The more sales you generate the happier you and your shareholders will be!
13. Because you can do more effective online marketing
Having a website and online presence strategy allows you to market your business online through targeted Facebook campaigns and other online marketing methods. The type of approach depends on your business – speak to us to see which is best suited to your needs.
14. Because it’s measurable
No business can operate without Google Analytics – the search engine’s (free) way to tell you who visits your site, what they like/don’t like, what they click on, etc. It provides valuable website visitor intelligence to help you constantly improve your content.
So there you have it! With so many reasons to have a website, what is holding your business back? If it’s cost – a website can be built for very little money (even for free). A simple one-page site is a great place to start.
Get in touch with us and we’ll help you build your perfect online home.
Do you agree? Still unsure if it’s necessary to have a website? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments below.