This is one of the first questions we get asked by our clients after we suggest they need a website for their business. Some of the reasons business owners give for not wanting a website include: “I’m not very tech savvy”, “They are too expensive”, “I don’t have enough time” or “I have enough business so, I don’t need one”. The truth is you don’t need to be tech savvy or have a lot of spare time to have a website. Nor do they have to be overly expensive. As for having enough business already, considering 84% of shoppers are using online sources to support their purchases, not having a website means you are drastically reducing your reach to potential customers. Your business’s online presence, regardless of industry, has a massive impact on its success. The digital era has drastically changed buyer habits and most customers will visit a website before making a purchasing decision. If your business doesn’t have one, how will new customers find out about you? Here’s the reasons why we believe your business needs a website.
- Attract New Customers and Increase Revenue
As a business you may still be using traditional marketing methods like direct mail or print advertising. However, these can be very expensive and unreliable. Being online enables your business to reach a much wider audience, often at a more affordable rate. As we mentioned before, a staggering 84% of buyers are researching their purchases online before making a decision. So, if you don’t have a website, you have zero chance of capturing this share of the market. A website is also available 24/7/365. It acts as your “always-on” business advocate, available to provide customers with information, even outside of business hours. Unlike a telephone number or an email address, which requires a physical person to respond, buyers can now access the answers to their questions with a click of the mouse, thus speeding up the buying decision.
- Increases Credibility of your Business.
93% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This is proof that the way younger generations shop, is changing. If your business doesn’t have a website, how are you telling your target customers about how satisfied your existing customers are? Having a high-quality and current website adds instant credibility to any business. People will judge your business based on its online presence – and that does not mean you can hide behind not having one! If your business has a professionally designed, easy-to-use website it will convey to potential customers that you are a reputable organisation, one they should want to do business with.
- It’s More Cost Effective than you Might Think.
Getting a website for your business doesn’t have to cost an extortionate amount. Plus, websites offer a better return on investment than any other form of advertising. Before you start spending money on adverts in magazines or flyers to be mailed, your first priority should be a website. If you’re other concern is being “tech savvy” or “not having enough time”, then that’s where professional web developers come in. Many marketing agencies will have a simple sign-up process and will be able to manage the entire web build for you. They will also have packages available to cover website management, giving you complete peace of mind that everything is taken care of. A search engine optimised website will put you in front of thousands more potential customers than you are currently reaching. This is without any further investment than the initial website cost. It will also help you save time in the long run by providing answers to the most common enquiries you receive. This means you can spend your time doing more valuable things for your business.
- Control Your Brand Narrative
Your website is the ideal platform to project your key messages and brand narrative. It gives you complete control of shaping the online perception of your business. A well-thought-out website will enable you to position your business to attract the exact type of customers you are looking for. It also enables you to showcase a more polished version of your brand. This can be through displaying the best reviews and feedback you have received. As well as a selection of images that best present your desired vision of the business. By using compelling copy and engaging content you can connect with and captivate your audience, making them feel a part of something bigger than just a product or service.
- Stay Relevant, Stay Fresh.
As your website is live 24/7, it’s a great place to post regular updates and announcements. This will help keep your customers engaged and informed with everything that is going on with your business. It also shows your prospective customers that your business is relevant and on-trend. No matter your industry, you need to be informing your customers of the latest technologies and techniques you are using. Or if you are launching new products or services. By doing this you are staying ahead of your competition and proving that you are the company they should be choosing to spend their money with. A website is also the ideal online space to entice customers in with your product offering in a completely interactive way. One that can’t be achieved through a leaflet or advert. Websites can offer features like videos tutorials or downloadable PDF’s that will be both helpful and interesting.
- Social Media isn’t Enough.
While social media is a great marketing tool for small businesses, it can be challenging to get your business seen amongst the ‘noise’. Social media is also constantly evolving, with new platforms being created all the time, the lifespan of a platform risks being shortened. This means you could spend an awful lot of time and effort on creating a strategy for social media, only for buyers to move onto the next ‘craze’. Not only that but platforms such as Facebook are always changing their algorithms, so, if you are struggling for time already, this could add more to your workload than necessary. Posting content on social media should always be used as a part of a larger strategy, rather than being solely relied on. Having a comprehensive and professional website, full of information about your business, is the best way to establish trust among potential customers. Once you have an established website, social media can be used to compliment your web presence – as opposed to being a substitution for it!
- Benefit from Google Searches
Once you have a search engine optimised website, you make it easier for customers to find you online. This is because you are much more likely to show up in Google search results. By appearing in popular search results that are relevant to your business, people who are interested in your products or services will be more likely to discover your business. This drastically increases your reach and is likely to result in more enquiries, which means more sales! It also makes you more competitive within your industry. You can bet your competitors have a website, which means they are attracting your potential customers. Having a website puts you back in the race. There’s also the opportunity to invest in pay-per-click ads if you have a website. This has the potential to increase your reach further and get in front of your ideal customers.
- Reach Customers, wherever they are!
Mobile is now the preferred device for most online activities. 60% of Google searches are in fact conducted on a mobile device. Once your website is mobile optimised your business has the ability to reach customers anytime, anywhere! Another great feature of linking your website to Google my business is that when people are searching for your business type in the local area, your business will appear. For example, if they are looking for “local car garages”, google will pick up on your location and show it in the user’s searches. Your website will then help authenticate your business and open up the opportunity of new custom.
- Gain Useful Insights
Not only is a website a great way to reach new customers, it can also tell you a lot about the people visiting your website. You can do this by tracking key performance metrics. Some of these include:
- The number of visitors to your website
- The number of unique visitors (people only visiting once)
- How many times each page was viewed.
- The bounce rate (people who left a page instantly)
- How long people are spending on your website.
This information can help build a picture of what content your customers are interacting with and how you can improve the user experience, so they stay for longer. An example would be if lots of people are visiting your ‘Contact us’ page, but you haven’t experienced an increase in enquiries, perhaps the contact form is too long? Or you could consider an incentive for getting in tough, like 10% off your first order.
- Trust us, you do!
If all the above isn’t enough to convince you, then let the numbers speak for themselves.
- 91% of customers have visited a store because of an online experience
- Retailers who use their website as a tool to connect with customers online see an average growth of 15-15%
- 88% of consumers who search for a type of business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours
- 70% of consumers learn about a company through their blog rather than ads.
- 62% of companies increased their sales by designing responsive mobile platforms for their websites
There you have it, our answer to why you need a website. However, it is important to remember it’s not just about having a website, it’s about having a good website, no, a great website! For help and advice about getting started on your online presence, speak to our team at Dynamic.