For those of you who think that having your own website is out of your budget — or you feel out of your depth when it comes time to design one, there are reasons you need to stop procrastinating and get a professional website today. Here are 8 reasons why.
Today, more and more consumers use the internet to search for the products or services they need. Your small business will gain credibility by having a website. Without one, potential customers will go to your competitors that do. If you already have a website but it is “home-made”, having it professionally re-designed will provide your business with a professional image which will inspire even greater confidence. For home-based businesses, this is particularly beneficial since you do not have a store front to promote your products or services.
Companies spend millions creating brochures and distributing them. By having a website you can skip that entirely. Your potential customers can find out about you and any of your products online. If you get most of your business through networking and personal connections, then they will want to check out your website.
A website is available to both your regular and potential customers 24/7/365, providing them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed. With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision. A well-designed online platform gives can give your business a competitive advantage over businesses without websites. With over 3.5 billion Google searches occurring each day, your customer could be seconds away from locating and patronizing your small business. Business websites allow potential customers to access your business and learn about your products and services 24/7.
With a well-designed FAQ section or ticketing system on your website, you can greatly reduce the cost of interacting with your potential and existing customers. You can even have an online chat bot designed to streamline and “humanize” the experience even further, saving you time and money.
Relating to your Audience
The ability to relate to a defined audience and build relationships is a game changing benefit of creating and maintaining a small business website. Using your site to tell a story about you and your business begins the relationship. Understanding your audience and how your product or service could provide a benefit to their lives continues to strengthen the relationship. Using your website to earn and retain a customer is the ultimate goal and the result of successfully relating to and serving the customer. Consumers are more likely to visit your website to learn about your business than they are to pick up the phone and call. Replying to emails and social media comments is a great way to build trust and personalize your small business experience.
An Affordable Marketing Tool
Although a small business website serves many purposes, the main objectives are:
- To inform
- To engage
- To convert
The most effective ways to use a business website to this end is to provide high quality information, learn about who your audience is, what they want, and create a sales funnel that nurtures them through the sales process. Small business websites allow for automation of the sales process and for sales to be converted at a much higher rate than traditional sales methods.
Ninety percent of consumers claim that online reviews influence their buying decisions. You could rely on FourSquare, Yelp, and other review sites to host reviews for your brand, but you can kill two birds with one stone on your own website. Since potential buyers are already looking for you online, including customer testimonials on your site is a great way to impress potential buyers.
In addition to helping customers, your business website can also benefit your own employees. Create an orphan page (one that is not visible anywhere on the site so it can’t be found unless someone is given the direct link) with self-service videos, instructional materials, or even internal forms to help your team learn everything they need to know on their own schedules.