Estimated reading time length – 15 minutes
So whats the real importance of a website anyway? Who needs one, and why. What do they really do and provide?
Turns out, well pretty much everyone & everything.
Over 4 BILLION people are using the internet, and over 5 billion internet searches made per day on Google alone.
It’s a popular place these days. Below we take a look at what an online site does for a business and the reasons why that’s important to you.
No one enjoys getting left behind, do they?
We know it’s nearly 2020 and not 1920, the business world and even society have moved into the digital age. With the internet and websites becoming increasingly important, a useful requirement for modern life, but you already know that, right? As you wouldn’t be here otherwise.
After all, you did use the internet to visit this website to find information about… well websites.
And they are important because:
Why do you need a website?
Every business is different, and each business will gain from having a website in different ways. If you’re asking yourself, why do you need a website, we must understand the various reasons for different businesses.
Some businesses will get more from the additional marketing opportunities such as ultra-low-cost online ads.
A different company can benefit more from having information accessible online.
Even simple things like an address with directions and a map to your business can make a world of difference.
The benefits for having a website and the importance of one is all about the benefits it provides CUSTOMERS and YOU as a business.
Primary reasons for having a website are:
- Important for marketing
- Increasing sales from online customers
- Builds the customer trust factor
- Accessible 24>7
- Makes the correct first impression
- It’s cost-effective with positive ROI
- Convenient for customers & accessible from anywhere
- Looks and is professional
- Greater audience reach
- Builds connections with customers
- Provides a resource and information data center
- Enables self-service customer support
- Low-cost advertising opportunities
- Increases company visibility
- Engages users with content
- Puts the customers first (shows you think about their needs)
- Gets important feedback from customers
- Opportunity to beat competition via SEO and better/more content
We will take a closer look at these and what a site provides you with the reasons why having one is essential.
Do i need a website for my business though
It’s pretty safe to say that yes, you probably do, even one that you hardly use. Because it’s not just about what it does for you, it’s about what it does for your customers.
If customers are searching for you online (and they will be), then you will want them to find your site, while having your own social media page is helpful. It’s also unprofessional without there being an official site to back it up.
We have seen many instances where a companies social media page has been taken down for no apparent reason.
You have to remember these pages belong to another company and not you, such as facebook, twitter. Social media companies do reserve the right to delete pages they host, and this is mentioned in their t&c.
Why your business needs a website in todays market
Take a closer look at the reasons and why your business needs it’s own site and how they will help not only your business but your customers.
Remember, each business is different. Some companies will gain more from a specific benefit that suits that type of industry. Getting a website can cost less than $299 (we will get to costs later)
Your job is to identify which benefit would most help your business and maximize that.
The benefits of a website for small business
Importance for marketing
Your website is your online home, the place that serves as the base of operations for all online marketing.
There are many different ways to implement online digital marketing, you have free options like putting out content onto social media directing back to your pages or paid such as PPC (Pay per click) ad campaigns (dont be scared of paid advertising on the internet it can be remarkably cheap, and you set the budget from the start)
You can use your site to gather customers and visitor’s email addresses and send out newsletters or upcoming deals. A customer contact email is a great way to get customers coming back and getting new customers to make that purchase.
Nothing is worse than a marketing email from a public address such as Gmail, it looks unprofessional and untrustworthy.
Be sure to send it from your website’s email address. Whenever you have your own website, you should be sure to get access to a professional email address associated with that website address.
A site will help build your brand along with the services you offer and the products you have available.
A big mistake we see a lot is small businesses that have some form of social media such as facebook or twitter, maybe LinkedIn and Instagram, but no website.
While this does provide some access to the online world, it comes across as small-time and even unprofessional whenever a potential customer is searching for you via a search engine.
The options dont end there, and a digital marketing article could fill an entire site, getting the basics down will put you ahead and ready to go.
Utilize all the avenues available to your budget, but the website should be the foundation to build those on.
Importance for sales and revenue driver
A business without a website is losing business.
Nearly 2 billion people made an online purchase in 2019.
Getting sales is the lifeblood for a company!
Not only helping any small company to survive but also to thrive.
Having a website can add a massive sales boost; people enjoy the comfort of their own homes to shop online.
The convenience that they get being in their sofa, on their mobile, in their pajamas and not having to spend hours walking to find a shop or even having to get up.
Like it or not, customers are searching online for you. When they find your site, they are more likely to make a purchase. Either directly online or after seeing your site and the extra information that comes with it then deciding, Yes, it is worth it to pay you a visit.
For building credibility / builds a trust factor
As so many companies do have their own website. That is great but:
Not having a website stands out like a neon sign in the dark saying we’re CLOSED and we suck.
Customers start to think maybe you have something to hide, do you?
Imagine for a moment a salesman coming up to you in the street with no credentials or ID, it’s not the best first impression.
Having a website is a professional move in the eyes of the consumer, just as a business not having one is an unprofessional move.
Your site allows customers to find out more about you, your product, and gather any information they need.
Even if it’s just the peace of mind that you have an online presence, this lets a potential customer start to take you seriously.
You are building greater trust with the more information you’re providing. Things like how long you’ve been in business, credentials, or even testimonials from past customers and a map to your physical company address.
A website is the first step in helping build a company-customer relationship.
Window shopping isn’t what it use to be.
Your online presence never sleeps, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Even when working hours might be over, your website stays on without any additional work or effort from yourself or your team.
Super convenient for customers
You never really know when a customer might be looking for some information about your company. They have the luxury of being able to do this from the comfort of their bed; it might be 3 am on Saturday for all we know.
What if you’re in a new area and need to buy some flowers, the local shopping area is a little out of your way what are you going to prefer?
Travel a few miles there to possible find something, or have a quick look online and see if there is definately an option there for you?
If you see there is a suitable store, then you are going to make the journey.
Great! That’s a New Customer!
It’s the outlook for the majority of people looking to purchase something they haven’t purchased before. Maybe they don’t even know their local area has the services. They will check online first rather than spend an hour physically searching for it when that search can be done digitally in less than 1 minute.
A website gives your customers that ease of access whenever they want it.
Maybe they want to double-check your address and product, or perhaps they want a detailed look at something.
The time this saves them doesn’t go unnoticed or under-appreciated.
You may need sleep and some rest, but your website doesn’t.
Cost-Effective with positive ROI
It can be low costs to get one up and running and low costs to keep running.
An asset that can keep bringing in new sales all year round, and it’s yours forever, long term value.
Compared to a TV ad that is limited and once its shown and its run is the course, that’s it.
You can even save money, instead of printing out extensive catalogs for products you can have them listed online. Any price changes or updates will now be easy and instant, saving you a pretty penny along the way.
There are over 5 Billion searches made online each day. Local people are searching online for something you provide.
The opportunity to beat your competitors and appear at the top of Google is great.
Increased efforts in SEO you can also get the chance to outrank larger companies for specific keywords and get in those first positions within search engines such as Google.
You jump from a small pond of customers into a giant ocean of potential ones.
Self Service Customer Support
Customers can find the answer themselves whenever they want it online.
You are helping your customer service be more efficient, faster, and cost-effective, freeing up valuable time to focus on other areas.
Depending on the type of business, you could even have an interactive forum for users to post and answer questions.
Customers love convenience, and online answers give it to them. It’s a win-win situation.
For making the correct first impression
First impressions count, and they count big, what’s yours like?
A business with a physical store relying on people coming in from the street still has people searching for it and that type of product online before they even leave the house.
When customers search online and don’t find you, that’s their first impression. If they see a competitor instead of you, then say goodbye to that customer.
Not having a website creates the impression:
- A) You dont care that much about your customers, they are searching for you and you can’t be bothered even to help them find your official site, why should they then bother with your business?
- B) Or equally as bad they think maybe this company cannot afford a website. In which case, they will then think that the company might be about to go broke. Are they going to trust this product? If they can’t afford a website, can they afford to make a quality product? They think to themselves.
People generally know how it’s possible to get very affordable websites these days, so this doesn’t sit too well with them.
Here are a few guidelines you will want to follow for a customer to have a great first experience with your site and a positive first impression.
Your site will want to include the following aspects.
- Mobile and responsive – Works perfectly regardless of the size of screen or type of device accessing it
- Easy to find their way around – Navigation should be smooth and information they want easily accessible
- A clean and good looking design – Something that looks smooth and professional.
- Works well – It should work, no bugs or errors
- Useful information and good content – You dont need to write a page every day. The person viewing your site should be able to get a baseline level of information. Provide them with all the basic needs that your customers will have; this can and should be improved on over time.
Builds connections with customers
People will view your site, and this is an excellent chance for you to reach out, let them get to know your business better.
After all, this is why they will visit your website they want to know more about what it is you offer.
A website is a fantastic chance to build a connection, maybe by getting a new email subscriber to your monthly newsletter or perhaps it’s just them finding out interesting insider facts about your business (like family-run information)
Building a healthy customer and company relationship goes a long way in establishing a long term customer. Online is an excellent platform for this, why not include a video showing how to get the most out of your product.
A website not only provides a professional touch but a personal one.
Provides a resource of information
Your pages can act as an information bank, not just for your customers but for employees also.
If you have multiple products, these can be displayed online with detailed information. Customers can refer to this pre and post-sales, just as employees can see this to gather information.
Acting as an online library giving quick, easy access. Websites also provide unlimited scope for information means you can do away with expensive, bulky paper catalogs and that you can update within moments.
You’re able to display products in rich formats such as multiple images, interactive images, videos.
You can show any information, such as testimonials from customers, or even use part of your site as a full portfolio of your work.
Many large companies have a separate part of their site for employees to refer to, like an in house library online.
Many smaller companies use their website as a resource for customers. A restaurant may display a menu online, for instance.
Advertising can be done in many ways on the web. There is free advertising, affordable ways, or more luxury options.
Online advertising can be remarkably cheap, depending on the type of places or words you’re targeting. It is well worth taking a quick look into some of the prices for this. An ideal first place to look is PPC campaigns such as Google AdWords and Bing ads.
You might be surprised at the costs to reach 1,000 different viewers. You can set the budget, but without a website, these opportunities will be inaccessible to your business.
Ads can be taken on search engines, on social media such as Facebook, or directly on another specific sites ad banner, and bring in targeted traffic.
The broad reach of the internet allows your ads to get in front of so many more eyes than a shop front would, removing all limitations of 1 location and opening up the world wide web of potential customers.
Help the user engage with your content
If you put out any form of ongoing content such as an article or even an update, it will need a place to live, such as your site.
By creating unique, helpful, and interesting content, you will give your customer base a chance to like you even more.
You can keep clients informed or even tell them a story about what your company has been getting upto recently.
This helps a customer get emotionally invested in you, and that builds a relationship. It might sound silly, but when people spend time online that is part of their lives, not just a screen anymore, it gives information that affects their real-world choices.
The more engaging and helpful your content is to them, the more a customer can feel part of the journey along with you.
Or an email newsletter that keeps users updated with any current goings-on or points of interest. You could have a blog on your website, which acts as a platform to put out as much or as little content you would like.
Engaging with customers through your unique content show you are going above and beyond, not just selling to them but helping them.
Get important feedback from customers
The majority of people won’t tell a business or service any real issues they have with them face to face. They will just not use that product/service or company again.
Think of a restaurant serving lousy food, and customers are likely to pay the bill, not say much, and never return.
A lot of business owners won’t be any wiser about why they are not getting more customers.
Customers like to talk with their feet, and they will not purchase from you if they don’t like your goods.
People don’t want the hassle to explain it in person, and they don’t know how you will react, so just won’t come back. Sure some will speak up and they can be very vocal but they are the minority.
It gives a business a great chance to improve based on what customer feedback they are getting, both good and bad.
What are you doing that customers love? Find out by sending your customers a quick survey or provide that option on your site.
Likewise, find out what problems they are having and what they really think, improve on it, and your company will grow from strength to strength.
Websites provide a real opportunity to get authentic feedback for free! The critiques, criticisms, and compliments that you would struggle to find out about otherwise.
You’re thinking of the customer and putting them first
We left the best for last, and it’s often overlooked, undervalued, and misunderstood.
Too many businesses focus internally on themselves only. Sure they have a bit of customer focus but only the bare minimum they can get away with, and often they pretend its more than it is.
When a customer searches for you onlinw, you are meeting them halfway by actually having one, and this helps you and the customer connect.
When a company thinks about getting a website, they are looking at the benefits they will get.
When really they should be thinking first about the benefits a customer will get.
Think about that.
Most of the above points lead to one place, and that is thinking about the customer. The more you help the customer with things like convenience, the more the customer will help you with things like buying your products.
How to get a website
There are a few different ways to get a website, and it’s possible to create one by yourself if you have the time and energy and willing to learn the ropes.
A DIY job can be more suitable for something nonbusiness such as a personal site or someone who has the time to trial and error it a lot beforehand.
However, it’s not recommended for a business unless you will be creating many different websites.
Anyone who has designed sites before, knows the first few sites you create (always personal sites for yourself) end up pretty embarrassing when you’re looking back at them a few months later.
The majority of people opt to have someone design and create their website professionally, and we offer just that.
A simple, easy, and affordable, straight forward way to get you up and running online with minimal fuss and zero stress from experienced professionals.
Importance of a website to an organization
With all the benefits having a site brings to a business, the importance of having a website should be clear to see.
We could sum it up and say well everyone has a website these days, but that doesn’t tell half the story.
If you want to be taken seriously as a business, then you need to be serious about taking business.
Nothing says professional business more than your own professional site. Nothing connects more with your customers online. Add that to all the great benefits a website brings to your business on a functional level, a sales level. It should be one of the first things a business of any size does, its mission-critical if you want to move forward, or just want to make sure you don’t end up moving backward.