Chances are your business, however big and small, already has a website but what are the reasons why some businesses don’t have one? Some people believe they are extremely technical, costly, require a large amount of time invested in the maintenance and updating of the website and for reasons regarding security.
There are many platforms that can make getting a website affordable with little to no knowledge about web design. But that’s for another article.
Here we are focusing on the TOP 7 reasons you should have a website, whether or not you already have one, and hopefully this will lead you to investing some time and money into making that leap forward and finally getting your business online.
1. Greater Target Audience
Handing out fliers, paying for ads in the newspaper, sharing posts on social media may all be good in attracting a small amount of customers, but without a website you’re really only limiting yourself to one area which you are in. This might be something you are happy with, however, being online and making a name for yourself via your website will help you become more recognised even in smaller communities. People will recommend your website, possibly to those who do not use social media or do not buy the local paper, and more and more people will visit the site to see what services or products you offer. People from all over the world could see your website, which will be hugely beneficial if your product is digital or you provide such services as language tutoring, for example.
Having a website allows you to reach a larger audience especially through Google. Searching for something such as “plumbers near me” will bring people 9/10 to a directory website on Google (as seen below), where businesses have their details listed and a website visitors can see more information. If you’re one of the first listings people see, they will more than likely click on your link! I’ll write another post regarding the ‘AD’ section you’ll see on most searches you do and how paid ads can work for your business.
Of course your website needs to be properly optimized and set up correctly, but when this is done the people searching, for example, “dog grooming in my area” will more than likely see your website up at the top of ranks on Google, unless there are a multitude of dog groomers in a small area!
2. People just expect you to have one
It’s 2020 and people will just assume your business has a website. 80% of participants of a study, aged 18-54, said they were more likely to contact a business if they had a website. With everyone more or less being online these days, it’s a no-brainer to allow people to be able to search for business and see what you do, who you are, what makes you different from the competition, and ultimately how you can help the visitor to your website. Not having a website means you are missing a large quantity of potential clients who search for services through search engines and through other online means.
3.It’s a place to show off what you do and who you are!
Gone are the days where you need to print out a catalogue of the catering services you provide, the unique creations you’ve made and wish to sell, or your own line of t-shirt designs. A website can really show off everything you do in such a small space, without the need to design an effective brochure – although it wouldn’t do any harm having both, of course!
A website can show your current work and projects, people you’ve worked with before, projects you’ve completed and give your returning customers an insight to upcoming products they’ll enjoy.
If you are in the trade industry, if you’re a plumber, a sparky, welder, or whatever, a portfolio type of website will be hugely beneficial. You can show off your completed works, services you provide and also allow people to see your contact information and get in touch.
If you’re the owner of a restaurant or cafe, you could allow your visitors to download your menu or view it online, book a table and see seasonal/festive editions you may add throughout the year.
Check out how Leaf (https://www.thisisleaf.co.uk/), a extremely popular restaurant in Liverpool, have made a beautiful example of a landing page, showing customers inside the establishment, with clear links to what they provide.
The possibilities are endless for whatever type of business you’re in when it comes to customizing your website to suit your needs and it can really help you grow if you can show people what you really are about and what you can do for them.
4. It ensures long term success and establishes your place in the industry
Just always remember, your competitors are already online. If you’re thinking “it’s fine, the business you’ve been competing with a few streets down from your business isn’t online” Just remember they will be soon, and why not be the first to make that move!
Say you were one of the several local restaurants in a town that attracts tourists for example, and none of the other restaurants or cafes have a website, how do you think people know about where to go before actually going there?
They may visit TripAdvisor, for example, to see what other people say, but even TripAdvisor provide a link to the websites of the businesses being reviewed where the visitor may see menus, special events or offers, and book a table which is exceptionally useful in those extra busy times.
The above scenario may be a poor one, but it does emphasise the fact that having a website in a very competitive market is essential and even more so if your competitors are already online. Bill Gates said “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business” and this especially true for those competing with those who ARE on the internet and spreading the word about there business/website through various marketing strategies (also covered in another blog here on anddevuk).
Be sure to stay up to date with the latest trends and news and keep updating your website to have an advantage over your competitors. Use your website as a medium to try something new that other companies may not already be doing, promote products in a way to make them stand out from the others selling a similar product and service and you’ll be giving your business the boost it needs to help drive more visitors to your site and ultimately increase sales.
5.You’re always open for business
Someone doesn’t need to be manning the tills 24/7, answering phones to provide answers to customers queries, and you can get customers buying your product at any time of day.
Some people shop online at night after work, randomly at 3am and during your normal opening hours. Allowing people to buy from wherever they are and whenever they want will massively impact the number of sales you make in a positive way. Bookings and appointments can be made be made in seconds on a mobile device, laptop or otherwise without the need of ringing a number during opening hours. Being online and always open means anyone from anywhere can see what you do at any time of day. If it’s a digital product you are selling and it can be purchased and then downloaded online, it won’t matter what time of day someone does so!
6.Customer Support is a breeze
This might seem like a small benefit for some, but the impact can have is huge.
Some people do not feel comfortable talking about a product or service on a phone, and some don’t like asking questions, and if they cannot find the answers they need in a way that isn’t through visiting your store or ringing you up, then they might find another company who can give them the answers they need in the way they want.
A website can feature a FAQ section where you can have all the queries that are common and give your visitors the answers they need. Product and service pages will also have a description and other information about them to further aid the visitor in finding what they need to know.
If there’s a problem with something they’ve ordered or a question they need to ask that doesn’t come under the FAQ’s, they can communicate through a contact form or online chat interface where you can provide help and other resources to those who need help. Being open 24/7 online will attract all sorts of different customers!
7. You WILL save TIME & MONEY
As mentioned above, some people think it will take heaps of time and money, knowledge and maintenance to make a website and keep it running. A website can be set up for free, a website can be made through dragging and dropping elements and changing words of a template, a website can be even set up in 5 minutes!
The free option of a website obviously won’t be as effective as paying for one but it’s just an option. Your website won’t really be yours and won’t have your domain name such as “bigmanyoga.com” , it’ll be “bigmanyoga.wixsite.com”, for example. But getting that unique domain name and website that IS yours is now cheaper than ever. A website with a personal domain can cost as little as £50 a year. It’ll be basic in terms of features but it can get the job done if made right.
Luckily, there are a lot of What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) web builder sites out there such as Wix, Go daddy, Squarespace and many more that will allow you to put a site together in minutes using templates and an easy to use interface to set different aspect up (some at a cost of course).
Reiterating #6, you will save time if you can provide such things as answers to commonly asked questions, detailed descriptions of your product or services and allow a means to provide customer support through medium online. The website will be the first point of contact for your potential clients and answering the questions they have in this way will do them a big favor and help them decide sooner if your product or service is something they need.
The list of reasons why your business should have a website can be a lot longer, perhaps another blog will be posted telling you more of these. The above should be considered by all businesses new, old or being planned to ensure success when online and to get ahead of the competition.
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