In today’s digital age, it’s interesting that some business owners still pose questions such as “Why do I need a business website” and “Do I need a website”. These questions explicate why many are still on the fence about creating a website for their business.
According to Clutch, 38% of small businesses choose not to invest in a professional website. The B2B research firm surveyed small business owners and found that cost, irrelevance to industry, and social media are the key reasons behind their decision.
In contrast, 64% of them built a website with the primary purpose of establishing brand identity and growing a wide customer base online.
These varying research findings show that not everyone realizes the pivotal role that websites play for business success and are missing out on the opportunities that a business website offers them.
How about you? Which category of business owner do you fall under? If you’re not convinced for the need of a website, read on to learn the 6 rewards that you can reap from a well-designed website.
1. Your Website Helps Build Credibility
Most customers look for information online to be informed about their purchasing decisions. They usually research a company on the web before deciding to buy a product or acquire services.
In fact, a Verisign 2015 research reported that 84% of consumers find a business with a website more credible than those with only a social media page. That means people are more likely to make purchasing decisions through a company’s website, not social media.
However, a professional website can only increase your chances of building credibility if you make use of that digital space wisely. That’s why your website, while focused on content such as your certifications and award-winning products or services to build trust, should also be modern, aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly.
People are visually wired; they focus on elements such as colours, fonts and images. If your website uses visuals effectively, it would be easier to establish trust with visitors.
Also, your business website needs to be user-friendly. There are several factors of a user-friendly website—mobile compatibility, ease of navigation, loading time, information architecture and so on.
For example, visitors should be able to navigate your website via their mobile phones and PCs and have a similar, if not the same, user experience. This intuitive and comfortable overall experience will make your website more appealing for potential customers, thus boosting your online credibility.
2. Your Website Saves You Time and Money
Many business owners tend to take the “penny wise, pound foolish” approach when it comes to setting up a website. While a business website builder can be an option, it’s better to hire the services of web design and development company.
This lets you focus on your business growth while leaving your website creation to professionals. Of course, your content and branding direction will ensure that your ideal customers are still able to find the right information about your business, products, and services and resonate with your brand. Your investment will pay for itself as you start generating new leads or sales through your website.
Once your professional website is up and running, it will promote your business 24/7, with the potential to reach a global audience. You can also edit information on your website immediately. Contrast this with traditional flyers and brochures, which you mostly distribute locally and where a product update means re-printing material to contain the latest information. Over time, a business website leads to monetary savings.
Additionally, your business website can also save you time by answering repeated questions via an FAQ (‘Frequently Asked Questions’) section on your website. By directing customers and visitors to your FAQ to find answers, you free yourself to tasks that help your business grow.
Finally, your website can also facilitate instant customer feedback. A contact form or chatbox allows your prospects or customers to engage you—whether it’s a complaint, compliment or just general feedback – allowing you a quick avenue to correct issues, thereby saving you lost revenue and time.
3. Your Website is an Incredible Marketing Tool
TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and billboards are expensive traditional marketing options to promote your business. Today’s digital age provides new channels to spread the word about your brand at a fraction of the cost!
Your website should be central to your digital marketing efforts. Whether you engage in social media advertising, search ads, email marketing or generating organic search traffic, your audience should eventually end up on your website to look at your product information or to leave you their details or to make a purchase.
For example, if your website content is optimized for SEO, your business can become more visible on search engines, allowing potential customers looking for products or services you offer to find you.
4. Your Website Exposes You to a Global Audience
Retail businesses do quirky things to drive foot traffic to their physical store. Brick-and-mortar store owners put out unique window displays, decorate window walls, and use prominent or vibrant decors to increase walk-ins and attract in-store sales.
With the booming trend for online shopping, these strategies no longer guarantee retail stores results. Customers shop online for various reasons including convenience, competitive prices and more variety, amongst others.
According to a 2018 Statista research, there’s an estimate of 1.8 billion people worldwide who purchased goods online. This highlights that consumers have experienced a dramatic shift from visiting stores physically to visiting them digitally.
The smartphone has enabled people to research products online, send product inquiries, and make purchases without getting off their couch.
Nearly 90% of shoppers begin their hunt in digital channels and 57% of online shoppers have made a purchase from an overseas retailer. These statistics suggest that if your business has an online presence, especially a website, you will have higher chances of getting new customers from across the globe, only limited by your ability to deliver to them.
Put simply, a professional website opens up the entire world to your business. It helps you to reach users and be found by anyone looking for products or services that you offer through a simple search.
6. A Website Lets You Measure Results
Your marketing doesn’t end once your campaign is launched. Analytics installed on your business website can give you micro insights into how your campaign is performing, and what sort of results it is driving.
We’re not just talking about online results either. There are ways to measure results from traditional marketing channels such as flyer distribution by tracking visitors who scan a QR code from your flyer to visit your website.
Of course, if you use digital marketing channels, you can see the performance of these via your analytics and tweak your campaigns accordingly. Proper analytics set up on your website lets you measure your return on investment (ROI). You can start out with Google Analytics, a free tool that is the most widely adopted analytics tool around the world.
You can measure and get insights into social and visitor behavior data, amongst others, through analytics.
Visitor behavior insights
6. A Website is Your Extended Business Card
A business website is an excellent networking tool that helps broaden your client base regardless of the time of day.
These days, an immediate reaction when sifting through business cards you collect is to look up the person and company online to see if there is a potential synergy to work together.
A business card fits only basic details (i.e. phone number, email, website address etc.) on it. Your website then becomes the source of the additional information – product data, customer stories, testimonials – that is needed to bring a conversation further.
A satisfied customer may share your website when recommending your services to family, friend or colleague.
If the reasons shared have you convinced, then carry on reading, otherwise let us know your doubts in the comments section.
How to Create a Professional Website
As discussed, having a business website offers several advantages. However, you can’t expect to achieve all of them if you fail at making your website work for your brand.
Here’s a quick guide to creating a professional website:
- Determine your goals. You can’t start with web creation without a fundamental goal. Be sure to set goals that are SMART— specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Devise a branding strategy. Identify your target market (the individuals whom you want to reach and turn into paying customers). Then, research your competitors to get a feel for what the competition is doing. You also need to define your brand identity, which includes a logo, brand colours, style and writing tone.
- Plan web design and pages. Use your branding elements consistently on your site. Decide on how you want your website to look and how many pages will your website have.
- Prioritize user experience. Your website should provide a positive user experience. Ensure visitors to keep browsing by looking into these factors: navigation flow, website layout, content readability, and mobile-friendly design.
- Optimize for search engines. Build your website with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. Perform keyword research, write every content piece following SEO practices, and pay attention to other elements such as meta tags, and alt text.
- Test website before launch. Test your website on all major browsers before it goes live. Run compatibility testing to ensure plugins work well, double-check if all the URLs are correct, proofread the content, and check for any tiny errors.
All of the above are areas that a good web development agency would help you with, so if you’re looking for one, reach out to us. Visit our web and development page to learn more about our services and development process.
The increasingly digital business landscape means you cannot ignore establishing a solid online presence for your brand. You must give your business every chance to be successful and your digital presence begins with building a professional website.