Whether you’re a small business owner or a tycoon for a giant company, the same thing applies: your business needs a website.
In the good old days, having a business website seems to be a daunting prospect. First, most people believe it is expensive. Second, they think you need to be technically-savvy to run and manage it.
However, the market landscape has changed over the years and having a website nowadays isn’t expensive and or as technical as it seems. The most important thing to remember is that you need to have one, or else you’ll fall behind the competition.
But why does your business need to have a website in the first place? Here are some vital statistics to look at:
- 8 out of 10 people are more confident transacting with businesses that have websites. Most of these people would opt to look up a business through its website than its phone number.
- Almost 80% of consumers will look up a business online before buying. Lack of online presence will put your business at a disadvantage.
- 30% of consumers say they tend to go back to the website they have bought from previously.
- 75% of consumers’ impression of a business is affected by its website design.
- 62% of people say they make their final purchasing decisions based on the contents found on a business’ website.
This data and several other statistics tell us that consumer behavior is profoundly affected by technological movements. When the Yellow Pages were very popular, businesses thought that getting an ad placement on them would be beneficial.
Then there was mainstream media – TV, radio, and print. So, businesses flocked to these platforms to get their commercials aired and printed.
However, the advent of the internet changed the game entirely. Marketing and advertising on the web have a far broader reach and a fraction of the cost than what TV commercials would charge. Even startups and small business owners can now get a website and market their businesses from their fingertips.
So, if the statistics above aren’t enough to convince you why your business needs a website today, here are more compelling reasons to consider:
1. You can keep selling, even when you’re asleep
With a business website, you wouldn’t have to put an “OPEN” and “CLOSED” sign at your store. It will always be open, no matter what time of day, week, month, or season. Unlike most brick-and-mortar businesses that are open between 9-5, your website provides your customers with a platform to continue doing business with you even with the store doors closed.
Even better, your website can have useful features wherein customers can contact you through email or chat, read blogs, book appointments, subscribe to your mailing list, and more. A website can be very interactive and it still works even when you’re away for a vacation or sleeping in for the weekend.
Customers are so busy nowadays that they want to get what they want right away, and having an efficient website will serve your customer’s needs at any time.
2. Improve your brand’s image and credibility
Consumers nowadays are information-savvy. They want to know as much as they can about your brand, product/service before they can trust you. Having a website adds to your credibility because it gives your customers a specific destination when they want to search, get information, or do business with you.
Of course, that’s aside from the fact that people will always expect that you have a website. After all, it is your web address on the internet. You wouldn’t give away business cards without your office or building address, right? A website creates the impression that you mean business, and customers appreciate businesses that are serious about what they do.
Now, you might believe that having social media accounts for your business would suffice, but that isn’t the case. You don’t own social media, and you will always be at the mercy of their changes and updates. You won’t be as flexible as you’d want to. But with a professional website, you gain more control over content, features, and updates and more, so you’ll always be on command when it comes to building and maintaining credibility.
3. It is cost-effective
Marketing on mainstream channels like TV, print, and radio is still huge for most prominent brands; but it is also undeniably costly. You are paying for appearance per each ad for a specific time frame, and the costs increase if you choose to advertise during prime time. You need to have a huge marketing budget for that.
But if you’re a startup or a small business, you need to be creative and practical, and marketing via a website fits that bill. Your website can be everything you wish it to be (as long as you design it that way), whether it’s a catalog or brochure of your products or services. You can update it any time you wish, and it will run every hour of the day.
You can also segment and customize your website so that it reaches different kinds of audiences. Do you have something for men and women, kids, and babies? Your visitors can click on the right category where they intend to shop or gather information. Your website can also bring back essential data on your customers’ behavior, so you can further fine-tune your strategy to capture them into your sales funnel – something that traditional media can’t do for you.
4. It is a fantastic platform to showcase your products/services/social proof
Regardless of your niche or industry, a website is an excellent platform to put out what you have to offer out there. Whether you’re in the home improvement industry, food business, commercial cleaning, or someone who offers marriage counseling, personal development, or health fitness mentoring, you can use the website to showcase your products and services.
You can get more creative in showcasing your products so that you can further catch the attention of your market. Instead of merely listing a menu of what you offer, you can create a portfolio and upload photos and videos of products and services.
Additionally, your website can showcase social proof to establish credibility and breed trust among your customers further. A section of testimonials, media mentions, and ratings and reviews will boost your brand’s profile significantly.
5. It builds a web presence for your business
Nowadays, you cannot just rely on the Yellow Pages or mere word-of-mouth marketing, especially if your company has some fierce competition to beat. Considering that more than 80% of consumers do their research before making a final purchase decision, showing up on Google during those searches profoundly impacts the odds of your business being found on the web. This is called web presence.
To cut to the chase, you need to have a website so that customers can find you. People go into Google for so many things, whether they’re looking for the “best leather boots for women,” or “vacation accommodations in Oregon.” Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches a day, and if your site isn’t showing up in searches, but your competitors do, then you’ll definitely miss out a lot.
However, having a website is just the beginning. You also need to optimize it so that it becomes search engine-friendly. You also want to update it with fresh and new content regularly as well as come up with a creative, updated design that speaks about your business.
6. Your competition has a website
Obviously, you’re not the only shoe place or florist around. You have a competition and you need to beat that competition. If your competitors already have websites, and you don’t, then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities.
Having a website gives you the competitive edge to put your business in front of your customers. It levels the field for you and competitors who already have websites and gives an advantage over competitors who don’t.
Consumers nowadays are impatient, and if your business isn’t giving them what they need right away, your customers are likely to take their business over to your competition.
A Business Website is Non-Negotiable
Putting up and running a website for your business isn’t as daunting or as costly as it seems, and given all these fantastic benefits a business website could bring there’s simply no excuse why your business can’t have one.
So, if you find yourself wondering why you aren’t attracting new customers or why existing ones have turned over to your competition, it’s probably because you don’t have a website. Don’t think of a website as an added expense to your business. Instead, look at it as an investment, and it will generate you with more business down the road.