It’s easy for us to say that every business (and some people who don’t run businesses such as bloggers, for example) needs a website. However, with costs needing to be cut seemingly at every turn and prices rising at every minute, it can be something that gets left out of the startup process. Business owners may put off getting their website completed because it feels like an unnecessary expense, but a website is absolutely vital to the success of any business in the 21st century. Here are our reasons why.
It’s Your Marketing Anchor
If there’s one thing that all businesses need as much as a website, it’s good marketing. Combining the two will cut down on your expenses because, helpfully, you can do a lot of your marketing through your website; it’s a great place to start! You can filter all of your advertising efforts through your website, and offer your potential customers a consistent brand that does what it says it will do. Once your website is designed as you want it to be, you can create the rest of your marketing material such as brochures, business cards, and more. If they all match the initial website design, then it will look great and in keeping with your brand recognition.
Your website is a storefront, and as such you need to use it to make additional sales (or the majority of your sales if you are solely based online). Your website is a kind of digital catalog or brochure which means you can lay out everything you sell in detail and give people the chance to buy it there and then. No one wants to see something they like and then have to wait until the office opens at 9 am to buy it. If they want it, they want it now, and they will go elsewhere if they can’t get it from you when they want it. This additional revenue stream allows for you to make money even when you are sleeping or on vacation, so it truly is crucial.
Find New Customers
If you have a website, it will be much easier to find and connect with new customers. That’s because those who are unfamiliar with what it is you do and sell will (assuming your website is set up correctly with the right information on it) be able to learn as much about you and your products as possible through the site. It gives them the confidence to buy from you even if they’ve never used your services before. If you work on SEO and boost your website to the top of Google, then you will find even more customers, and you can improve your bottom line substantially.
Your website is your chance to include added extras for your customers to ensure that they come to you and not the competition. You might want to have an escape the room game on your site, or tutorial videos, or downloadable eBooks, for example. If these things are free, easy to navigate, they can keep people either on your website for longer. Not only is it great for SEO, but it will make them realize what a great company you are (which will entice them to buy more from you and will make them want to tell their friends and family about you!). Either way, if your website is readymade for adding extra games and bonus features, you should utilize that fact.
Online Shopping Is The Norm
Over 70 percent of households in the US use the internet to do most of their shopping. That’s everything from groceries to clothing. Why would you want to potentially miss out on this large and lucrative chunk of the market? Having an easy to use, attractive, and interesting website is a first step towards cornering some of this market. As an added benefit, Google can also rank businesses in terms of location. That means that if someone near to you searches for your particular product or service, your website is much more likely to be within the results (and ideally as close to the top as possible).
Having a good reputation is another hugely important aspect of running a business, and especially an online one. As there are so many new online businesses, it can be hard for customers to get a good idea of who they should truly trust with their money. After all, it’s easy to set up a business, but it’s not so easy to keep it running. What if the place they have ordered their all-important item from goes under overnight? Therefore, it’s important to have that sense of longevity and credibility when it comes to gaining more customers which in turn will allow you to be more successful. If your website can be seen in search engine results this gives people a much better feeling about using you; if you don’t show up in the first few pages, then it can put people off.
You Have Control
Some businesses rely solely on platforms such as Facebook for their online presence. Although this is a free tool, there are, however, additional costs that you can choose to pay when it comes to reaching and advertising, for example. It means that you have very little (if any) control over what your online presence looks like, and if you rely on a third party platform, you really are at the mercy of their designers and policies. Things can change at any moment, and algorithms might mean that your ‘site’ just doesn’t show up to those you are trying to target. When you run your own website, you are entirely in control of the content and the reach. You can choose who sees the site (using tools such as Google AdWords) and what they see when they get there. You have ultimate power on what the site looks like and how it works. In other words, if you want to run your own business in your own way, you absolutely need your own website to do it!