With social media being such a large part of the lives of millions of people all over the world, it is easy to think that your business doesn’t need a website.
Here are 10 reasons why your business still needs a well-designed website.
A 2015 study performed by Verisign reported that 84% consumers think that small businesses with websites are more credible than ones without. In addition to this, the study also stated that 65% of consumers consider a company email to be more credible than a generic email account such as Gmail, Outlook.com, AOL, or Yahoo mail.
More people use the internet to search for companies offering the products or services than ever before, by having a website for your business you instantly gain a degree of trust; without a website many users will go to your competitors who do have one.
If you already have a website but it is a ‘DIY’ website having it redesigned professionally will portray a much more professional image of your business which in turn will inspire more confidence in your potential customers.
2. Organic Ranking
All business growth is based on generating new leads. Loyal customers will only take you so far, new customers are necessary for any business to grow and keep up with competition.
One of the best ways to generate new leads is for your company to be found in search results using SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). SEO is the optimisation of the content on your website to maximise your presence in SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).
Search engines are being used more and more by people looking for products or services online making it imperative that your business appears high in the Search Engine Rankings for your chosen keywords.
If you have just started a building company for example, you would naturally want users searching for builders in your local area to be directed to your business; an optimised website will achieve this.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ will give you a rank but without a website for your business this is not likely to be on the 1st (most important) page of results.
3. Improved Customer Service
An FAQ page on your website can answer many questions your customers may have, taking away the need for them to write an email or send a message then await a reply. You can keep customers up to date by adding new articles or newsletters to your website.
4.Showcase Your Company
Every business can benefit from showcasing their work in some way. A website is the ideal place to achieve this by using image galleries or testimonials pages. Having dedicated pages to provide this information will mean the information is easily accessible should a potential client wish to revisit the information at a later date.
5. It Will Always Be There
While social media sites seem like they can now replace a website especially with their business pages and widespread reach, what if your chosen social media platform chooses to change their focus or simply just get replaced by something new (think Myspace). A simple way to look at it is “Don’t build your house on land you don’t own” any of the top social media sites could be gone tomorrow, with your own website you can ensure that your business doesn’t vanish with them.
6. A Website Saves You Money
Sounds silly right? But think about it, once a website is up and running a website for a small business generally costs under £50 a month and if something changes, like your address or phone number it is much easier and cheaper to update than the 5000 flyers, leaflets and business cards you have sat in the cupboard. Considering the reach a website has compared to something like a newspaper advert it is an extremely cheap marketing tool.
7. Always Available
Websites operate 24/7 365 days a year making information about your business easily available all the time even when you are not. People mostly browse the internet in the evening when your business may be closed, having information available at these times is vital to not missing out on that potential new lead.
Although we touched on business growth previously there is more to it than mentioned in the Organic Rankings section.
Maybe you have done well serving your local area. Maybe your brick & mortar store would like to reach a larger market. The ability to expand your market is one of the biggest benefits of having a website.
Making your products or services available to people in a more wide spread area or even different countries can have a massive effect on your business and in turn your profits.
Where are they from? And How did they find you? Are just 2 questions many small business owners would like to know about their customers. This information is vital to help business owners understand the origin of their customers and which marketing campaigns are working. A website is able to provide real time data on both these questions and a host of others such as:
- How users find your site
- How many visitors your site have each day/week/month/year
- Which pages are visited the most
- How much time is spent per visit
- How many pages are visited per visit
- How many people who visit your website return to look again
- The location of your website visitors
10. It Will Keep Your Customers Up To Date
Think of a website like an online version of your catalogue/brochure only much easier to keep up to date. If your opening hours change, you have a new product or are running a promotion your website will almost instantly be able to show this but the printed leaflet in the kitchen drawer will now be old and out of date meaning potential customers will be ill informed about your products or services.
The days of the massive yellow pages being pulled out of the cupboard are gone. A website has now become a “must have” and not just a “nice to have” element of running a successful business. Not having a website puts your business at a competitive disadvantage.
These 10 points are just some of the many reasons businesses like yours should have their own website. However, the site should be done well. Businesses are judged on the professional image they portray, relevance and quality of information. Ongoing maintenance is also imperative to maintaining the professionalism of your business as an outdated site will lose credibility if it is displaying outdated information.