In today’s era, having a website is very important for any business. Everyone wants everything on their fingertips today. Many people are running companies in today’s globe by selling their products online. In this situation, website design enables a lot. In selling your products online, it plays a crucial role. A website reflects the business in front of the customer. So websites are needed to promote and sell the products in today’s globe.
There are few things in life that are literally around you at all times. The Internet is one of those things. Whether it’s a cell phone, iPad or a computer, you can probably access the Internet at most times of the day. In the business world, this is precisely why having a website is important.
Most small businesses don’t have a website. A Yodle study from late 2013 found that just 52% of small businesses had a website. Chances are if your business doesn’t have a website, your competition does. The question isn’t “Are these businesses missing consumers?” but rather “How many consumers are they missing out on?”
According to the Small Business Association’s website, 97% of consumers search the Internet for products and services online. How many times have you found yourself looking for the nearest Restaurants, Shops, etc? On Google? It’s so simple! Simply search and it brings up all these different businesses for you to go to. It’s not that simple for the businesses, however; they have to have a web presence for you to find them.
Google found that 70% of mobile searchers use ‘click to call’ to dial a business. The number of web mobile users is rising. Statista has estimated that more than 4 billion people will be using smartphones worldwide in 2021. These are consumers that a small business will be missing out on if they’re not on the web.
Of course, a website offers more than just Google searches. Websites can be a 24/7 marketplace for consumers looking for similar products and services. They can also be a place for consumers to simply find info about your business.
A website is a window into your business. A well-designed site will advertise to viewers that your business is professional. Think of it as an interview for the consumer. If you were searching the web for a restaurant, would you choose a restaurant that has a nice presentation on their site? Or a restaurant that looked like its website was built in 1999? Perception is everything. A well-designed site is key to the success of a business.
“Whether you’re selling something or pushing your services, a website is a necessity for business owners.“
With most consumers looking to the web for guidance in purchasing a service or good, you don’t want your business to be the one they don’t see.
Reasons why you need a website for your business
A website makes you look professional
84% of today’s consumers think a website makes your business more credible than companies who only have social media profiles. Your website is also the perfect place to show off any professional certifications or awards your business has.
Beyond that, having your own website lets you create a branded email address (e.g. [email protected]) which adds a level of professionalism to all of your correspondence, especially if you’ve used a personal email address to conduct business up until now.
Your website can attract new customers through Google
You may be happy with the current size of your business, but every company experiences customer turnover. To encourage continued success, you need to attract new customers, and one of the best ways to do it is by making yourself visible on Google.
A well-optimized website can help your business rank well for a variety of search terms and attract a steady stream of new customers.
It provides a medium to showcase your work
No matter what type of business you’re in, a website is a great place to showcase your work or demonstrate your skills. By including a portfolio, image gallery, or videos, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your company or you unique. If you have a website, your portfolio can be viewed by everyone anywhere and you are in control of what people see, the quality and size of your photos, and how people interact with those photos.
A business website levels the playing field
Although the budgets and project scopes vary, there is no real difference between the website of a Fortune 500 company and that of a freelancer working from the couch in their living room. A clean and professional looking website completely levels the playing field as you can present yourself and your company any way that you like. If your company is able to help meet the needs of a customer, why do they need to know if your team is 3 people or 300?
Your website establishes your place in the industry
If your competitors aren’t online yet, they probably will be soon. Establish yourself as a leader in your field by building a high-quality website first.
If your competitors are online, you have a different kind of opportunity: you can build a website that’s completely different from your competitors’ sites, showing potential customers what makes your company stand apart.
It saves you money in the long term
As a small business owner, especially one that is just starting out, you’re probably thinking you can’t afford a professional website. But you really can’t afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies depending on your needs, once it’s up and running, a professional website is worth the initial investment, especially if built using WordPress, which enables you to add and change your own content regularly, saving you money in updates.
Compared with the cost of traditional means of advertising, such as newspaper ads, radio commercials, promotional materials and even networking events that often include the cost of a meal or trade tables, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost-effective way to promote your business in the long term.
Even if your skill levels are slim to none and you need to continually pay your website designer/developer to maintain and update your website for you, the upkeep costs are still lower than ongoing traditional marketing, and the investment is certainly worth the number of potential customers that will find your business online each year.
When it comes to comparing the cost of a professional website with a freebie D.I.Y. website, unless you are fairly skilled, your website will cost you in time and effort that could be better spent elsewhere in your business. Not only that, but if it’s not professional, or can’t be found in a Google search, you will lose customers and that will also cost you dearly.
Saving money is definitely a great reason why your business needs a professional website, but there are several more reasons.
Customers can be kept informed
In its most basic form, think of a website as being an online brochure or catalogue that can be updated at any time. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than it is in a print brochure or catalogue.
A website is an effective way of introducing your customers to new services, letting them know about new products, announcing upcoming events, and special promotions. You can also provide added value by posting tips, resources, and other information through a blog on your website. Unlike print ads, newspaper articles, and flyers, which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news. And if you discover a mistake after you publish a page or post, it is a quick fix.
A website can be so much more than just an online brochure or catalogue though. Now we have YouTube videos, Podcasts, Webinars, eBooks, and other online media to showcase our skills, expertise, and products, provide online classes, courses, and workshops. Not to mention social media integration which enables you to share information on your website across numerous other channels and reach an even wider audience.
A website is always accessible
Unlike your brick-and-mortar location, which is only open a few hours a day, a website is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can provide both regular and prospective customers the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed.
Not only that, with so many interactive features and add-ons available, but visitors to your website can also contact you, sign up for your courses, schedule appointments and even purchase directly through your website even when you’re away from your desk or after closing.
With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.
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 eCommerce 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, helps you reach new customers and generate repeat business.
A website enables you to target a wider audience
Websites are accessible from anywhere in the world provided there is an internet connection. Since more and more people have access to the internet, even in remote locations, you can target a much wider audience if your business has a website.
Whether you offer products or services, or you’re business or consumer based, your website provides you with an alternative location to sell. As a retailer, an eCommerce website is a great place to sell your products to a wider market. Think of all the people who can’t get to your bricks and mortar store that you could sell your products to.
Even service-based businesses can offer their services globally through a website. Now that we have so many affordable ways to communicate with people, we can do business with anyone, anywhere, any time. A website makes it so much easier to attract clients from a global market.
A website saves you time
I touched on this point in number 6. Time is money, so they are often linked together. Saving time is another great reason why your business needs a professional website.
Time is an important commodity in our ever-increasing fast-paced world even if you don’t attach a monetary value to it. Most people these days don’t have enough time for leisure, pleasure, family, or healthy activities. Having a professionally designed website saves you time both in the short and long term.
By providing information to your customers online, you can save a vast amount of valuable time that you would otherwise spend communicating to your prospects.
Talking to customers on the phone, in messenger or emails, face-to-face at meetings, networking events or trade shows, it all takes time. Creating flyers, brochures and other promotional material takes time – time to plan, research, communicate to your designer, printer and so on. Not to mention the time needed to distribute your marketing material.
With a website, you can save time by providing information about your products and services in various online formats—graphics, videos, ebooks, flip books— or as text right on the page—no distribution required. Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time having to communicate the same message over and over again to different people.
A website can improve customer service
A website is a great way to provide value-added service to your customers and clients and is a great way to keep them coming back to you when they need your products or services.
No matter what products you sell, you can share tips with your customers on how to use or care for the products they’ve purchased from you. If it’s compression garments, you can provide tips on how to wear their garments. If you sell beverages, such as tea or coffee, you can provide brewing times and temperatures.
If you offer a service, such as accounting, you can provide your clients with valuable advice to help them pay less tax at tax time or how to simplify their bookkeeping. Or if you’re in insurance, you could give advice on how to choose the right insurance policy for theirs or their family’s needs.
By including a FAQ page or a resources section, you can regularly add articles or upload newsletters to answer all your customers’ questions you can keep them better informed and up-to-date.
You own and control your website
Even if you have a big social media presence, another reason, and probably the most important reason why your business needs a professional website, is so that you actually own or at least pay rent for your online space.
There are lots of free or low-cost ways to gain a web presence or claim your online space, but in most cases, you don’t own your online home, office or store and, even worse, you have little to no control over all that’s contained in your online space. With a professional website, you do.
Social media is a great way to bring traffic to your website and it’s a great way to share content from your website. However, relying solely on social media to attract customers or clients is not only preventing several prospects from doing business with you, but you do not own your stuff and you cannot control what happens with it. The stuff you’ve uploaded to your favourite social media channel could disappear at any moment without prior warning when they pull the plug for whatever reason and you could lose it all forever.
The same is true for a freebie website. When you decide it’s time to move on, you can’t always take your website content with you (at least not easily) and you will most likely need to start from scratch.
With a professional website, one that is self-hosted, granted you are renting space for your web address, but you own everything contained within your online space. If ever you want or feel the need to move to a different web-host, you can take everything with you (provided you have backups and/or do so before your account expires).
I’ve always maintained the importance of having a web presence that you own, and this is definitely a valid point to consider when determining whether your business needs a professional website or not.
If you’re still not convinced why your business needs a professional website, check out this article on Forbes.com or get in touch with me. I’d be happy to help you with any concerns.
“If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business“
– Bill Gates