It’s almost incomprehensible that a business today wouldn’t have its own website, but with increasing demands on business owners’ time, it’s something that can slip down the list of priorities. Having a website is important to any business, but just having one doesn’t mean you can take short cuts in terms of design and functionality. A strong business website is a professional representation of your business, and it needs to engage your customers and give them the right impression of your brand. With this in mind, consider these eight benefits of having an effective business website…
1. It’s a cost-effective form of advertising
Most forms of print or audio-visual advertising cost a fair amount of money, and are only temporary until the ad run you’ve paid for is finished, but your business website is out there for all to see until you decide to change it. The only costs involved will be the set-up costs and monthly running fees, which compared to something like a TV, radio, or print ad will hardly make a dent in your bank balance!
2. It gives you a 24/7 presence
Having a professional website means you’re open for business 24/7. That means potential customers aren’t limited to business hours if they want to find out more about your business, browse your products or services, or actually buy, if you have an ecommerce site. You want to be accessible to every possible customer, be that the night owl who decides at 3am they’re looking for a business just like yours, or someone in a different time zone in the market for what you’re selling. Not having a web presence means you’ll miss out on so many leads and sales.
3. It boosts your credibility
Consumers are so used to having enjoyable experiences on impressive websites, that if yours isn’t up to scratch, your credibility is likely to be put into question. And if you don’t have a website at all? Put it this way, if you were looking to use a business and found out they didn’t have a website, what would you think? Not only does having an effective, well-designed, and easy to use website give you that credibility, you can use it as a platform to boost your authority even more. Testimonials and case studies are fantastic ways to prove your credibility to potential customers, and your website is the perfect method of showcasing them.
4. It’s an easy form of marketing
When designed and used correctly, your business website is one of the most powerful sales tools in your arsenal. The more visitors you get to your website, the higher the number of potential sales you can get from it. Using your website to give visitors high-quality information and nurture them through your sales funnel or process means sales can be converted at a much greater scale than most other sales and marketing techniques.
5. It extends your reach
As we discussed in point number 2, having a business website makes you accessible to potential customers at all hours of the day and night, which includes people from all over the world. It’s not just different time zones you can reach, though, different postcode areas can find your business too. Gone are the days when a local business had to stay local, with a fully functioning website you can attract customers from just round the corner…or 100 miles away! Of course, this doesn’t work if your services are hyper-local, but for most small businesses, the greater the reach, the better the sales.
6. It communicates information to your customers
If a potential customer is considering using your business but has a query or a concern, how can they find the answer? Yes, they could call you (if they can find your phone number, that is), but what if it’s out of business hours and there’s nobody to answer? Or you’re so busy that they can’t get through? A lot of people in that situation would probably move onto one of your competitors, but having a website helps them get the information they need. Whether it’s through specific feature pages on your site, a FAQ section, or a contact form where they can send their question/message and wait for your response, being able to access information more readily makes them much more likely to become a customer.
7. It gives you greater insights into your customers
Consumer insight is a valuable expertise for any business, and using analytic tools via your website lets you characterise your typical customer, as well as finding out how they got to your website, and what their behaviour is once they get there. All valuable insights that will help you shape your business and your future marketing tactics to maximise sales and business success.
8. You can control your visibility
Once you’ve created your business website you need to make sure that it stays visible in search engine results, and making sure it’s search engine optimised is a case of getting the set-up right at the beginning and continuing to manage and monitor it as your business grows. Using SEO (search engine optimisation) in the right way will increase the traffic to your site, continue to boost your credibility, and accelerates your business to where you want it to be.
Of course, just having a website isn’t enough, and if you’re interested in finding out what some of the most common website mistakes are (and how you can avoid them on your website!), just follow this link.