I was talking to a very close friend yesterday afternoon; she is opening a family business and asked me how she can start showcasing her products on the internet. In the beginning, we talked about marketing strategy, branding, logos, social platforms, and all the online paraphernalia that everyone thinks when launching a business project. I have to say, we share lots of ideas and at the end, she was pretty happy with all the information captured. One of the subjects discussed was whether or not her company needs a website.
Like many small business owners, you might believe that your company will not have many benefits from having a website, but the truth is that getting a designed website can help your business grow substantially and stand out from the competition. I compelled a list of reasons to have a website and come up with more than 50! Then I narrowed the list and here are the top seven:
1. A website increases your opportunity of closing a sale
When you are looking to buy something you just grab your phone or turn on the computer and ‘google’ it, simple as that. And you are not the only one; in today’s world, there are a growing number of consumers that make use of internet and search the services or products online and if you don’t appear on Google search or Bing, then your potential customers might go to your competitors who have a website. If you don’t have an established online identity customers won’t find you. At this point, not showing up in the search engines (or on the Internet at all for that matter) is one of the fastest ways to lose a business. Moreover, it makes you and your company look dated, out of touch and untrustworthy. If you don’t have a business website, today’s digital-savvy (and impatient) customers may look elsewhere.
2. It gives your business online presence and social proof
We as customers search online for businesses, services, and products that they’re looking for, and before buying we’d mostly as for recommendations, we ask our friends/ family and if they cannot help then we check reviews online. And while there are reviews on Yelp, FourSquare, Bing, Google, etc. and social networks, other people prefer to read hosted reviews for your brand directly from company websites. Similarly, leads are looking for reviews about your product, and since potential buyers are already looking for you online, including customer testimonials on your site is a great way to impress potential buyers. Having
3. It goes in the path of your marketing strategy
Your marketing strategy goes along with your return on investment, and a website will act as a hook for all of your advertising tasks. All business details, product information, and promotions should live on your website first. Then, you can create marketing materials that fall in line with your company name and then use your social media networks for organic advertisement, which will drive customers to your website for additional information.
Consider that potential customers want to see your product before buying and know more about it (and how to use it); so a good idea could be building a blog on your site to explain more about your value proposition. And if you don’t sell anything but create content instead, such a blog post or photography portfolio, then your own site is the best option for you.
4. It showcases your products and services anywhere, anytime
Online website does not only show your products or services locally, but it can also market your business on a global level and 24 hours/ 7 days a week, the whole year. A website is considered as the easiest way to reach the customers all over the globe. Your website can help you deliver a consistent message and promote a strong brand. If you are selling goods and services, why not expand it globally? By having a website, you are able to market the customers who might be visiting from out of town. A website is one of the best ways to offer a coordinated digital product to potential and regular customers. Having today’s busy lifestyle, this is a great selling point of your business which helps in making a purchase decision to your customers. It acts as a portal so customers can learn more about your company, as well as research product information and determine if they want to do business with you. If you’re a small business owner, you need to realize that a website isn’t an expensive luxury or a frivolous endeavor but an affordable and fundamental tool that every company needs.
5. It is very cost-effective
Websites are affordable nowadays: Setting up an online presence is cheaper than ever before. The fees for hosting a website start at around $5 per month — probably one of the cheapest marketing costs out there. When you use a free website-building tool, like WordPress or Wix, you position your company to reach thousands of more potential customers for less than you would spend mailing ten brochures by traditional mail.
6. You can make it simple
Furthermore, websites can be simple: You don’t need a bunch of pages, menus, widgets, call to actions, sections, etc to show what you have to offer; a simple one-page website can be enough, especially when you are starting. These one-page websites can be used as landing pages, in which you can collect leads and email subscribers, and with all the drag-and-drop tools that exist nowadays, there is no need to sign up for an expensive landing page company that charges you on a monthly basis. Even if you are not tech-savvy or creative, you can now use simple do-it-yourself web publishing tools to build a website in a couple of hours.
7. You can create a resource or library centre for your employees
Finally, your site can have pages that can be accessed with a direct link or with a login button. Such pages could contain videos, documents, and guidelines that can be very beneficial to your team. They can be accessed from anywhere at any time.
Unless you’re a small business owner who is not interested in growing your brand, you need a website. Many small business owners rely on using only the email or social media because they think it’s complicated or expensive to set up a website, however it’s not. In other words, take my advice small business owner, there are no more excuses. If you’re putting off building a website, you’re hurting your business. It’s time to get started.