The question comes up with almost every person who speaks to me about what they think they need from me, what i think they think they need from me, in general, with social media, the king of online audience engagement being social, why do you need a website as well?
1. Your customers expect it.
If this were the only reason on the list, it would be enough. Think about it. Would you trust a business that didn’t have a website?
If you don’t have a business website, today’s digital-savvy (and somewhat impatient) customers may look elsewhere. Credibility is key to convert a potential customer into a paying customer. There is little that can have as big an effect on credibility as a website.
2. It provides social proof.
In a 2019 survey, ninety percent of consumers claim that online reviews influenced their purchase or engagement decision.
You could rely on Trust Pilot, Yelp, Facebook and other review sites to host reviews for your brand, but you can kill a few birds with one stone on your own website.
Since potential buyers are already looking for you online, including various customer testimonials on your site is a great way to impress potential buyers, while keeping them engaged with all else you can say on your site about yourself and what you do, with your own styling and branding.
3. You control the narrative.
It’s true that you cannot control what others say about you on various social media channels, but you can influence public perception by creating your own story via a business website.
A company blog helps business owners get their message, mission, and personality in front of their target audience faster than print ads or snail mail brochures.
Plus, social icons linking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other networking platforms make sharing your content easier for your visitors who like what they see.
4. More bang for your buck.
When you make the decision to have a site created, you position you and your company to reach thousands more potential customers than other forms of offline visual advertising.
I used to head up marketing operations within a few companies I worked for (back in the day). In the infancy of online advertising and websites, printed media and adverts were still all the rage. You’d regularly be squeezed to fork out £1000+ on an ad in a paper, magazine or an industry publication, far more than £1000.
Give me £1000 publications will charge you, i will develop your site and have your brand and message in front of thousands or targeted audience and demographic, quicker than the offline ad would have gone to print.
5. You don’t need to be a technical whizz.
Thinking about how to get a website can be daunting if you don’t have a clue how to turn a computer on. When I started in web development and design, I had to learn HTML among other languages, to write code, make something that was red and position it x or y. While useful to have such skills to fully customise a site to your liking, they are not essential for you, the customer to know anything about.
I use WordPress to develop the sites I make, which more often than not comes with a self explanatory user interface with basic tools for you to edit and update your site yourself, from the comfort of an app on your phone.
6. Your competitors have company websites.
Consumers typically start their buying journey with research and recommendations from peers and social network connections.
Studies show that once a consumer has an idea of what they need or want, they start researching, and 72 percent of them go online to find educational material, reviews, and testimonials, according to this report.
So if you’re not staying competitive with your competition, you’re giving shoppers a reason to buy from another brand.
7. Never put up the ‘closed for business’ sign again.
Nobody wants to work at 3 a.m., but some people like to shop then. Having a business website or e-commerce store means that you can sell products all the time — not simply between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
An online store can mean a dramatic boost in sales, especially when you factor in additional customers who are not restricted by geography. Your online presence also supports marketing campaigns, customer service, client relationship building, brand recognition, and almost every other element of the revenue stream.
Combining your website with marketing tools, like email marketing king Mailchimp, helps you reach new customers and generate repeat business.
8. You’ll show up in Google search results.
Consider this: 81 percent of consumers perform online research before making a purchase. That means they go to Google and type in one or more keywords, like “best leather shoes” or, if they know what they want, “handcrafted Italian leather women’s shoes in Glasgow.”
If you don’t have a website for your business, the chances of showing up on the search engine results page (SERP) are zero. But if you have a site, you can optimize it for search engines, thereby increasing your chances of appearing at the top of Google’s results and getting more visibility with potential customers.
Long-tail keywords, meta descriptions, and titles are just some of the things you don’t need to know about when working with me, I can fully customise on your site to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and resulting online performance.
9. Create a resource center for your staff.
In addition to helping customers, your business website can also benefit your own employees.
A website at the end of the day is another tool for your business to use to sell your product or service. What if you don’t have this tool? Do you have members of staff who spend far longer on the phone than they need to, over complicating or changing the sales message every time they speak to someone new?
Having a website acts as a single point of reference for you and your staff to direct customers to where there can be FAQs, and many other things that a customer may ask on the phone, your website does the answering for you, leaving your staff to spend more time on other as important tasks.
10. Showcase your products and services.
Finally, not only can you display your products or outline your services in detail with beautiful images, but you can provide short video tutorials or downloadable PDF instructions to give hesitant customers no reason to go elsewhere to purchase what they are looking for.
Back in 2016, I was taken on as Marketing Manager at a local building supplies company in Glasgow. Without a website for 5 years prior, they were a prime example of what I was talking about above. Many struggles associated with not having a website.
They have both a retail and trade side to their business. No retail customer could fully see what they sold without attending their store and no potential trade customer could see much benefit to using them over a competitor with tools like online account management not an option with them but one with a competitor.
A VERY long story short, after 7 months I had the (MVP) minimum viable product created. Minimum Viable Product is a great way to have any project go, basically trial by fire. With websites, it is often the case that a website is finished when your customers have used it for a while. Kinks, problems and issues in large websites such as the one in question cannot be found with a few eyes but with customers using it and giving feedback.
18 months after i started on the project, providing all technical, creative and digital management of the project, the company has gone from nowhere online selling £zero to the best performing online building supplies business in Glasgow, turning over well in excess of £500k online.
Need help setting up your small business website?
Call me directly on 07771870061 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org