When it comes to how Americans shop, the internet has shifted many of the aspects. They can search, shop, gain information, and biggest thing of all, compare pricing and products, all at the ease of their fingertips.
So, you would think that the first thing every business owner does would be to create a website, right? Believe it or not, it isn’t. With Americans spending almost $350 billion in online sales during 2015, you would think this is where a business owner would want to be.
We’re going to give you 10 of the most important reasons a business of any size should have a website:
1) Websites Tell Customers Who You Are and Where To Find you
Regardless what your business is, or how small it is, you need customers and they need know who you are and where to find you. Even if your business is focused on the local surrounding area, a website is important. Over 80% of consumers today use the internet to find a business, local and otherwise, according to a Nielsen study. That means if you don’t have a website, you’re going to be harder to find.
2) Websites Are An Online Brochure and Available 24/7/365
You could spend thousands of dollars having a brochure created and then distribute them, hoping they didn’t get tossed to the side and forgotten about. Or you can have a website built and be there 24/7/365 and found from anywhere in the world. Your customers and potential customers can find out what products and services you offer, what your business range is, possibly your pricing, and how to contact you. The consumers of today like shopping to be easy and fast and that isn’t getting in the car, driving from store to store. Easy and fast is sitting at home, at work, in the car, at a ball game, shopping online. A website offers them a convenient way to shop.
3) Websites Attract Bigger Audiences That Pull In More New Customers
A well-designed website will attract potential customers as they surf the internet, which gives them access to a lot of information and many different products and services. When a business doesn’t have a website, those internet surfers won’t know it exist much less what they offer. A well-designed website will offer something for those who are researching products and services, those who are comparing products or services, and most important, those who are ready to buy.
4) Websites Are A Business Value That Is Influential
Business loans are not easy to get these days. Banks and lenders are being much tighter on their requirements and they tend to lean toward a business that has influence. If you were to walk into your bank today and speak to the loan officer, one of the first things they’ll ask to see is your business’ website. And as we’ve discussed here already, a website shows you’re a legitimate business, not only to banks, but consumers and competitors too.
5) A Website Is A Place To Brag
As you gather information to put on your website, you’ll find some great accomplishments that nobody on the outside knows about. A website is a place to brag about the company reaching their all-time highest goal, or winning the largest contract ever in your industry. When you and your staff have worked hard to make things happen and they do happen, you should let the world know about it. And what better way to do that than on a website?
6) Customer Communication and Support
Customer service can become easier with a website when you have a FAQ section. When a customer can find the answer to their concerns, problems, or questions on your website, it frees up your customer support team to handle the issues that are more important and urgent, like lost shipments. A blog will give the image that you are an authority on your products and services, while a newsfeed keeps up with current events.
7) Leads Are Generated and Sales Are Boosted
You already know that when leads are generated, your sales will increase. Yes, having a website designed will put a big dent in your budget, but you must think about the ROI that you’ll see going forward. Today’s consumer likes more options in how they shop, so and online store would be a great asset, but not necessary. The benefits are plenty for a simple website and once you have that under your belt, you can update your website later.
8) Understanding Your Audience
There are various levels for a website with the first floor being a bare-bones that provides basic contact information. The next level is one that sells the products and services online. The next level up is one that provides market information and collects customer information by way of research. There are free ways to do this, like Google Analytics. If your budget has room, you can subscribe to a service that gets you the nitty-gritty information.
9) A Cheap, Easy, and Low Maintenance Business Feature
After the initial expense of having a website designed, the day-to-day maintenance is minimal, if any. It will give your business daily advertising without having to be manned by staff. And by setting up a content strategy, you won’t have to worry with it very often.
10) Business Owner Life Just Got Easier
With an informative website in place, business will run efficiently and grow with very little effort on your part. You will have an easier way to communicate with your customers, you can communicate with potential customers, and you can let your competitors know what you want them to know about your business growth.
Marketing Consultant. Minneapolis. I've worked in digital marketing for several years, mainly working with businesses on overall digital strategy, including building and ranking their websites on the first page in search engines. Businesses want to invest in a successful website that ranks well on Google and is easy to add features, content and can be scaled. The problem is that the average hourly rate for a digital marketing consultant is $150. Many businesses don't have a budget to hire a consultant but could do much of the work themselves or by one of their employees if they knew how. That's why I created the Business Website Blueprint course. An easy, step-by-step guide to empower businesses to build their own, successful website.