Why a website is essential to your business
A website provides a place for customers and potential customers to come and seek out information about your company and the product or service you offer.
To show you just how important a website is to your business, below are some examples of how having one will help you succeed.
Phonebooks are dead
No one uses phonebooks anymore!
We did a survey and when asked, 0% of 100 people said they would use the Yellow Pages to find a Plumber.
When people have a problem and need a solution, they whip out their smart phones or jump onto their computer and head straight to their favourite search engine.
With a website, your company can be that solution, found quickly and easily through online search, your contact details holding pride of place on their own webpage.
When you’ve got a website, you have the ability to offer the information your customers want. It also means they don’t have to spend their time visiting an actual shop or ringing a number to solve their problems. They have the ability to do things on their own terms, which increases the value you provide them.
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A decade ago, a business that didn’t have a landline telephone number was seen as less trustworthy. Not having a website is today’s equivalent to this.
In a digital world, people expect every business to have a website: especially the younger generations, but increasingly the older generations too.
With a website you automatically score credibility points and increase the level of trust between you and your customers without lifting a finger. On the flip side, the absence of a website decreases customer trust in your company.
Levelling the playing field
The internet as a whole has been a truly empowering invention for all aspects of society. Smaller businesses have not been left out.
Customers automatically think your business is larger and more successful than it is when you have a website. This gives them more trust and increases your credibility as a company.
It’s also possible your company can rank higher than large organisations in search engines, levelling the playing field when it comes to gaining new business.
Even if you rank within a couple of pages of larger organisations, this still benefits you: many people check a range of different websites before they make a choice and if yours is clean, clear, and professional it is entirely possible you’ll win their custom.
In short? A website sticks it to the big guys!
One of the biggest wonders of the internet is the ability to connect with other people around the world.
It seems the world is a lot smaller nowadays because of this. But this isn’t a bad thing for business!
Potentially anyone in the world can visit your website and buy your goods or services. Global trade, once something that only huge companies could think of, has become the norm for anyone with a website – including you!
24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
A website never shuts. It’s open all the time. Sales, information, and contact points are constant. Can you imagine the expense of keeping a physical place of business open all the time? It would be huge!
A website acts as a 24/7 store for your business, adding a level of value to your business that would otherwise be unobtainable.
100% of 100 people said that they would use Google and go online to search for a Plumber. So think about this: with a website you can make money while you sleep!
Bricks and mortar
Regardless of what business you’re in a website benefits you by promoting your physical location. Let’s look at two examples of how an online presence benefits two completely different businesses.
For a dentist, a bricks and mortar location is essential – you can’t digitally remove a tooth…yet.
Even though dentists can’t provide their services online, a website is still an essential part of being successful.
- It is an information point for existing customers (“what was the address again?”)
- It can be a tool to manage bookings, making life easier for both the dentist and his patients
- It can lead to more patients as people looking for local dentists through search engines will find the website
A freelance photographer
A freelance photographer may have no need for a physical location from which to actually work. Yet this doesn’t mean a website with a postal address doesn’t provide any benefit.
Unlike the dentist, who has a physical location that people can come to, a website acts as a digital shop for the photographer to sell their services. It means there is a place that people can find them.
How does this work? Search engines show results based on location. If an address is included, the photographer’s website will show up in searches done by local people. Hey presto, the photographer is getting local work! All because of a website.
A website doesn’t have to be fancy either, even the simplest of websites can lead to a boost for your real-world business.
Without a doubt, a website is one of the best ways to market yourself online. It costs very little, potentially nothing, to get yourself a website, making it extremely cost-effective. You have complete control over what goes on your website too, meaning you can easily manage your company’s image.
Many websites will also come with email addresses, or the option to include them, and this opens up the world of email interaction with your customers. You’ll also be able to link social media accounts directly to your website.
The tracking and analytics software used in websites will allow you to see how people find your website, what they are looking for, whether they find it, and where they spend most of their time. This is free market research and can be used to improve and grow your business in the real world!
People carry the internet around in their pocket
Smart devices (phones, tablets, etc.) are everywhere, especially in people’s pockets and hands. This means people have access to the internet wherever they are.
By extension, people have access to your website wherever they are. Marketers and business owners from days gone by would have thought you were crazy if you told them, “anyone, anywhere in the world can access your business at any time.”
By simply having a website you can potentially hold a position in your customer’s pocket (assuming you don’t already sell keys, wallets or phones)! This is a very special place to be.
A website is the gateway to an all-encompassing digital presence. It’s something that can be accessed from anywhere and that can make your business money from anywhere.
But making sure your website looks how it should on each different device is an important aspect of having an online presence, and it’s covered in our next blog: Responsive web design – a modern necessity.