As an established business owner or entrepreneur, we’d be willing to bet that we probably don’t need to tell you the many reasons why getting a website is brilliant for your business.
But, since you’re nailing the business side of things and we’re pretty good at this website malarkey, we still think it’s worth asking you to take 5 and think about what the real perks of having a website are, and whether this is what you need to catapult your company to the next level. There’s a whole load of reasons why websites are essential for business growth, but here’s our favourites:
1. Everyone will assume you have one
Yes, “to assume is to make an ass of u and me”, BUT it’s 2020 and the assumption is that businesses have websites. And if you don’t have a website and your competitor does, you immediately place yourself at a disadvantage. Part of the consumer buying cycle are the stages of awareness and consideration. If a customer is already aware of you, they will often use your website to gauge whether or not they like you before they enter the stage of considering to buy from you. Well guess what happens if you don’t have a website? Yep; they get stuck the awareness stage.
2. It gives you a fighting chance at competing with the big wigs
Every market or industry has a company that thinks it’s untouchable – and that might have been the case 10 years ago, but things have changed. In society as it is today – digital and all that – everyone stands a chance at winning. The rise of practices like content marketing (writing blogs, basically) means that you can improve the traffic to your website through publishing content which is of interest to your potential customers. If your name appears a lot when questions are asked about a certain subject, then you’re going to start to become someone that people trust. And trust translates to sales.
3. Since we’re on the subject of trust, websites increase your credibility.
If what you’ve got on your website makes sense and resonates with people, then you’re going to gain credibility amongst that customer base. If you know what you’re talking about and you communicate it often enough, you will start to be noticed. It’s all well and good pushing out great content on social media, but social media is fast paced and having a website gives your customers a ‘base camp’ or ‘meeting point’ to come back to. There’s no place like home and your website is your home.
4. Social media is important, but it’s not yours – it’s everyone’s
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, whatever, social media sites create platforms for conversation and it’s incredibly easy to get lost in that conversation. Have you ever not checked your family group chat for more than an hour and had to skim read to quickly catch up on what’s been happening? Or worse still, ever been in a group chat and written something that’s been completely ignored? Well this is what social media feeds are like. They’re good to get you noticed at the party, but you’re going to have to find a quiet corner to have a proper conversation. Your website is the quiet corner (as well as your home; we love an analogy).
5. You can be open 24/7
Ok, perhaps a bit extreme, but there is some truth in this. We’re not suggesting you’re sat at your computer 24 hours a day; we’re not aiming to push up the divorce rate. But what a website can enable you to do is be remotely or digitally available to your customers even when you’re physically not. Chatbots (artificial intelligence software that acts as a customer service assistant on your site) and FAQs pages are just two of the ways that having a website can have a positive impact on the efficiency of your customer’s buying journey. Being able to answer questions when you’re not available to answer questions doesn’t make you a superhero – it makes you a website owner.
6. You can show everyone everything you do, quickly.
Argos has catalogues, you have a website. A website is where your existing customers can view additional products or services, and potential new customers can gain a great insight as to exactly what it is you can offer them. And websites are way better than catalogues because they can’t be binned, shredded or covered in tea stains. Ask Argos – they’ve got a website, too.
7. Everything is online, even if you’re not
Remember when everyone used to use the Yellow Pages? Well yeah, they don’t now. Most customers won’t even consider buying from a company without a website, because a website makes your business seem professional and official. If you’ve ever ordered something online and then had a right royal ‘mare trying to get a refund, you’ll know that you almost certainly visited the website in the process of trying to get your money back. Imagine if you searched the company only to find they don’t have a website – you’d probably feel like they’d taken your money and then disappeared into thin air. Well your customers are likely to feel the same if they can’t find you on the big bad web.
8. SEO is cost-effective marketing
Having a website that is SEO optimised is an efficient and cost-effective way to increase your company’s reach. Flyers, magazine adverts and other physical marketing collateral has its place, but right now SEO and digital marketing is the way forward.
9. You can reach a new group of customers
Not everyone is online, no. But not everyone is reading the local paper either. The customers you will reach online won’t necessarily be the same customers you’ll reach in other forms of marketing – and we’re going to assume the more customers, the better for you.
10. Sex sells
Erm, sorry what?! It’s ok; we’ll explain. Having a sexy website – and by sexy we mean beautifully branded – will attract people who buy with their eyes. If you’ve ever made a purchase based on how the product its packaged, you might be one of those customers yourself. Clever branding and great design are sure-fire ways of attracting attention and making people fall in love. The final parts of a consumer journey are loyalty and advocacy. When people know and recognise your brand and get a good service to boot, they are bound to be your biggest cheerleaders out there in the wider world.