In this day and age of going digital, everything is online, with most businesses having a website that reaches worldwide. If you’re not online, you miss out on so much, including global reach, exposure, and of course, sales.
A website is integral to utilizing many different marketing strategies that help your business grow. If you’re a small business, it’s vital to have an online presence.
One survey reported around 60% of small businesses don’t have a website, and of those, only about 12% have a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter account. That leaves a lot of businesses that have to rely on other marketing strategies to get the word out. Here are six reasons why having a website is essential for your business.
A website allows visitors to see your presence online, which will enable them to know who you are, where you do business, your products, and any testimonials or reviews that show consumers why you can be trusted. Why should they buy from you?
When you can show the world your credibility as a business, their trust increases. If you can show you provide good service or product, positivity about your business will grow by word-of-mouth, either on or offline, thus delivering more repeat and new business.
Face it; people nowadays don’t want to spend time going from store-to-store trying to find the perfect gadget or gift for their friends or loved ones. When Amazon Prime announced two-day-shipping, their traffic jumped significantly. Pay $99 a year to get free, two-day shipping? Yes, please. Typical shipping costs anywhere from $4.99-$8.99 and up for each item; for express and priority shipping, it’s higher. If you like to shop on Amazon regularly, the annual fee more than pays for itself. And, if you do your Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping there, it increases its value.
Smart businesses know people want apparent answers to their questions or convenient ways to shop, so they display their products and services on their website; potential customers can then browse online for products or services they want to purchase, without needing to run everywhere.
When you create your website, you know just how much it’s going to cost you. With a brick and mortar store, you can incur additional costs, such as damage, theft, extra seasonal staff, or utility bills increasing due to small mistakes. Also, hosting sites are quite competitive now and include templates to make creating your website secure and fun while not having to pay exorbitant costs.
Your website never closes, as opposed to having a physical store. Someone can get on at 2:00 AM and purchase anything they want, and you don’t need to be there, nor your staff. Imagine if a customer required a last-minute product before heading off to a remote location, and you had that product on your website and could get it to them before they leave. Chances are, they’ll buy from you if you have a good quality product.
A business needs sales to survive, and not just some, but enough to cover their investment, as well as profit, so they can pay overhead expenses. A website enables you to increase your sales, thus your overall bottom line. Also, you can run specials, promotions, and the like that also increase your sales. If you’re a business that offers services, not products, you don’t even need to be at the company to ship anything out. Many companies run out of homes that have beautiful, user-friendly websites managed by webmasters.
These experts ensure smooth sailing for your customers, fix broken links, and identify any other problems. Companies such as WordPress let you do everything from their software, even publishing your website. Judge a book by its cover? Customers do the same thing with websites; if it looks good, is easy to navigate, has testimonials or reviews, they’re more likely to buy from you.
No one needs to tell you having a well-thought-out, and strategic marketing plan is key to increased leads and sales. Having a website where you can implement that marketing is crucial. Advertising your business online and marketing to the right audience takes skill and training. A website that uses keywords for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ensures ranking in Google, Bing, Safari, etc. When people search online, your website ranks right up there, if you play your cards right with marketing.
It doesn’t matter what type of company you have; all online marketing strategies work. For instance, according to CNN Money, an increase of nearly 17 percent in dollars accounted for Black Friday sales in 2016. Marketing online weeks before Black Friday and Cyber Monday with website ads, emails, or social media presence, gets people excited and drives more traffic to your website.
As shown, you need a website for your business to stay relevant in today’s digital market. Your home page should summarize who you are, what you do, and how potential customers can get what you’re offering. An About Us page lets people see more in-depth into your company, including its beginnings, mission, vision, and goals.
A product page(s) displays a visual of your products, information about them, and prices. This is where you can market to your audience that you have what they want. Then, you can include a contact us page, blog, in the news, or whatever else that will appeal to potential customers.
Once you are online and search engines have you ranked, it’s time to advertise your website through email, social media, and word-of-mouth. That’s it, you are now a digital entity and can focus on increasing traffic, leads, and sales.