Written by Brad McElroy
One of the first things consumers do to research businesses is hop on Google. It doesn’t matter what your business does, from a B2B wholesaler to a local dog café, an online presence is what today’s consumers expect. Your web presence is how customers learn about your brand, learn what you do, and see how you can help them. And with most consumers spending almost 24 hours a week on average surfing the web, a professional website basically shouts to the business world that you exist. If that’s not reason enough to make sure you get a website up and running, we’re going to share 10 more reasons why you need to create a website for your business.
And no, we’re not talking about handing out flyers on the corner, although that’s certainly a start. You need a place where customers can learn about what you do and engage with your content so they can find out if you’re a business that they want to do business with.
The hard truth is that 85% of people go online to search for businesses. That’s a lot of opportunity for any company. Consumers may be looking for a simple contact and address, or they may be doing extensive product comparison shopping. If you aren’t there, you might as well not exist to those who need your product or service. Better hope the 15% not searching online crosses your path when you’re handing out flyers.
Having a basic website puts you in the game with your competitors, which is a good start. Having a professional website makes you competitive by boosting your online presence, generating leads, increasing credibility, and making it easier for people to find and engage with your brand.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it all yourself (and you shouldn’t). Quality web designers and developers can help businesses look professional and keep you competitive. It’s a wise and necessary investment to grow your business.
Many businesses think that Facebook and Instagram can be replacements for a website. However, you need both a site and a social presence if you want to maximize your reach online.
You can be the most popular egg on the face of the planet (check Instagram’s most-liked photo ever), but that won’t help you crack the code on conversion if you don’t have a website where customers can order your product or contact you for service.
Keywords, terms, and phrases that web users search for are more keys to site success. Websites that implement strategic keywords in their web content tend to rank higher in Google’s PageRank algorithm, so make sure you take SEO into account when creating content and you’ll hit the top of the page in no time.
Data runs the world. With a website, you can discover crucial information about who is visiting, where they’re clicking on your site, what they’re engaging with, and where they may be leaving. You can see if they’re abandoning their carts at an obscene rate, which may alert you to lower your prices or make your checkout process smoother. You may think you’re targeting an audience of women between the ages of 25-34, only to discover that you somehow tapped into the motherload of older men between 60-75. Who knew they would love your knitted mug sweaters so much? All of this becomes visible when you create a website for your business.
Looking at top-level web analytics metrics such as traffic is only one piece of the puzzle. Website data can help you identify the effectiveness of your entire marketing strategy. Digital marketing analytics can help you understand how your website, email, and social media efforts stack up against each other so you can make adjustments to your marketing. Yes, data runs the world.
Whether you are an e-commerce company with an online website full of merch or a brick and mortar with an address that needs to be found, consumers see you as a business that’s doing business online, and every online business needs a place to sell itself. A website becomes that home to showcase your products or services to generate business from those who want to know more about you (or your products) first.
After paying for domain hosting fees, the cost of building your site professionally, maintenance, and some basic website costs, your site investment becomes a source for some free advertising going forward. If you think this is bad news for professional sign spinners, you are correct.
There’s simply a lot of marketing information that sites can provide you for free. You can track your site’s analytics to get data on how your visitors behave, or you can even set up polls to find out what they are interested in. The thing is, having a website where customers can engage with your brand or your service is one of the best ways to put yourself out there.
Yep, online reviews at places like Yelp and Angie’s List are solid ways for consumers to learn about your business, whether it’s a restaurant, an online business or a niche service company. But with a website, you can control exactly how you and your best customers speak about your business and positively influence how visitors view your business. Not to mention, if someone is on the fence about buying your product, seeing a testimonial or two speaking to how great it is may just have them click that “Confirm Order” button quickly.
Trustpilot claims that over 80% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 90% claim that online reviews influence their buying decisions. That ties back into point number 3. If people are leaving reviews of your services, it’s going to help people make decisions about using your business. And with search engines, building credibility is important to make you a trusted authority in your field. Besides, who wants to be on Google’s second page?
We don’t mean you’re literally open 24/7, but customers may be searching for your products at all times. Without having to man a storefront, you don’t need to worry about a “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign on your website.
Remember how we said 85% of people search for a business online? That’s a lot of people expecting your business to live where they’re spending a lot of their time. Just make sure your consumer’s time on your site is time well spent. Even businesses that have websites can still leave bad impressions on consumers — especially when it comes to mobile sites. According to a Google study, 48% of users say they feel frustrated when they visit websites that are poorly optimized for mobile.
Business website design is an investment you can’t afford to cut corners on, so make sure you use a web development company with some success stories to share.
Whether you’re a local business or have aspirations of becoming the next multibillion-dollar company (who doesn’t?), you need to have a quality website to stay competitive.