Do you remember the Yellow Pages? Not the online one; the actual publication that you could pull a muscle trying to lift?
Most of us have not opened the Yellow Pages in years, if not decades. Millennials probably don’t even know what they are. But people used to look through the—rather bulky—Yellow Pages whenever they wanted to look for a business before the Internet. These were several thousand pages long and had business listings according to locality.
If the memory brought a nostalgic smile to your face, it’s because we go to the Internet nowadays to look for a hairdresser near our home or an Italian ice-cream parlor. In today’s digital age, we all carry our mobiles everywhere we go, so we are even more dependent on the Internet to find anything we are looking for.
Can a business survive in this digital era without a website? Perhaps, but it would be an uphill struggle. Here are the top-9 reasons why any business needs a website, no matter how small it is.
1. A website is your digital business card
Just as a business card is necessary for you to run your business, so is a website. A website gives credibility and makes you look professional. It shows that you have invested time, effort, and money in your business.
Imagine seeing a business for the first time. What is the first thing you look for? That’s right, their website.
This goes beyond simple branding. A website that is consistent with your visual identity shows you are professional and qualified. It is the minimum investment a business has to make to present itself. If you don’t make that investment, or if your website is poorly designed, people will consider you an amateur lacking aspiration.
First impressions matter. The moment a potential customer sees you don’t even have a website, they will simply leave for a competitor who does.
2. A website answers basic questions and saves you time
Instead of having people calling you to ask for basic questions about your business, your website delivers all this information on a 24-hour basis.
Not only does this constant availability make for an improved user experience, it also saves you time and money. Imagine the cost of having staff at hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, just to answer some frequently asked questions when a simple FAQ page on your website does that for free.
Your website will show potential customers what you do and give details about your products or services. A website answers any question customers may have. It can also display your products, offer details about your services, make user manuals and other downloadable material available, present any research on new products you are conducting, and so much more.
A website will also show your opening hours and physical address. These can be presented through Google maps, so that people can find you instantly and even get directions to your premises. People can see where you are and whether your business is within their locality. Many customers like shopping from businesses in their neighborhood, not just because it’s easier and faster but also because it reinforces their sense of community.
Finally, a website will present all your contact information and email addresses. It can display contact information according to each department. Instead of a secretary having to forward emails and calls to each department, your clients can choose to directly address your sales, accounting, or delivery. This will save both you and your customers time.
3. A website saves you money from printing leaflets and other promotional material
Before the Internet, businesses had to print leaflets, newsletters, and other promotional and advertising material. They then had to send this through the post, adding to the cost. Apart from the ecological cost of printing, there is a real financial cost to printing on a regular basis your promotional information.
Today, businesses can present on their website all the new projects, products, and services they are offering. Unlike print material, this information can be updated on the fly and never be outdated.
Companies no longer print heavy catalogues. Invitations for openings or events are sent digitally. Finished projects with photos and videos are uploaded onto the website for customers and clients to view. Even better, they can incorporate video and multimedia.
An architectural bureau can show all its buildings and constructions, alongside blueprints, 3D animations, and other information. A social media company can present all the packages it offers to its clients, according to their needs.
A website offers endless possibilities to attract customers by decreasing the cost of printing material and sending out promotional information. By showcasing your work, products and services online you show how active and dynamic your business is.
4. A website can be updated daily, if not hourly
A website can be updated daily, if not hourly. The latest technology and software in web building offer great flexibility. Even inexperienced staff can upload offers and promotions at a fraction of the cost of printing material.
Larger updates can be handled by the web company that built your website in the first place. Tech-savvy business owners, however, often update their site internally, which gives them even more flexibility. With WordPress and similar platforms, even inexperienced staff can update your content within minutes.
This lets you upload time-sensitive offers on your website and then take them off when the promotion ends. This is a great way of attracting customers and urging them to take advantage of a specific offer.
You can also upload timely information: for instance, a garden center can give information according to the season or even the latest weather in the area. A restaurant can have special menus for special days like Independence Day or Christmas. After the date has passed, the information can be taken down within minutes.
5. A website attracts customers through search engines
Most people go to Google, Bing, or other search engines to look for something. They search according to keywords that seem relevant to what they are looking for and then check the results the search engine is providing.
Having a website means you will be listed among the results a search engine displays. While you also need a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy to make sure you stand apart from the crowd, people searching for a business in your line of work can’t be shown your website if you don’t have one! If your website is well-built, displays fresh information, and is well-designed, they will check it out.
We live in the era of instant gratification. When people are looking for something, they want to find it right now.
Because the Internet is so immediate, people are used to finding anything they are looking for within sheer seconds. How many times have we reached for your mobile to find an answer to a question, no matter how silly it is? Just think of all the times you have looked for how a word is written, the age of an actor, or the name of a movie. And do you remember how we had to call the local cinema to find out their screening hours?
Without a website, people will not find your business because you will be invisible to them. Sifting through magazines, newspapers, or directories is something that very few people do today.
6. A website displays reviews and testimonials
You can put anything you want on your website. Photos, videos, text, images, gifs, music… the choices are endless.
However, something that many business owners include in their website is reviews. By highlighting reviews and testimonials from people who were pleased by the quality of service or the products you are selling, you take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing.
Nowadays, word-of-mouth has become viral. Potential customers value the recommendations and opinions of people who have dealt with your business.
A website can display reviews and testimonials in a prominent place, so that prospective customers and clients can notice them. Reviews and testimonials validate your business. They are an effective tool in convincing other people to buy from you. And they show that your business is serious and professional.
7. A website presents your business and what it stands for
Some businesses opt for a social media page to present their information. But a website offers more creative freedom, space, and opportunity to present what your business really stands for.
In a website you can describe what your business is really about. If it’s a family business started by your great-grandfather, it’s a great occasion to talk about the business history and the values it cherishes. Include photos and any other relevant material from when the business started. This gives more authority and credentials to your business. You can then present your products or services for people’s consideration. Customers will feel safer to order in the knowledge that they are dealing with a long-running, solid business.
If you are running a charity, you may talk on your website about the human and humane values that led you to start it. A website gives you ample space to unwind your philosophy and what stands behind your endeavor.
With a carefully crafted website and by using a relevant and well-designed layout, you can highlight interesting information. The Internet allows for various media: photos and videos are highly valued by people. You can film a few minutes of a behind-the-scenes take to let people understand what your business is. You can include pictures, drawings, and any other material that gives depth to your business.
A website is a blank canvas waiting for you to fill it.
8. A website targets a wider audience, beyond your locality
Your business might be local but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.
Without a website, your company will stay within the confines of your locality. But a website expands your audience to include the whole world.
A website can be viewed by millions of people from every corner of the world. If you are looking to expand, a website is the stepping stone to establishing yourself as a national—or even international—company.
Even if worldwide growth is not in your immediate sights, attracting more customers from places beyond your region can be profitable. After all, all industries are looking for ways to attract more customers and increase revenue.
With a professional website and the right keywords to ensure good SEO practices, interested people will be able to discover your business and become aware of your products or services, no matter where they live.
9. A website can make you money
Once you have established your website, you can then invest in its further expansion. If you are selling products and goods, you can set up an ecommerce website for people to buy from you. This will bring you revenue from people who would not normally be able to visit your physical shop.
If you are selling services, you can advertise any offers, coupons, and promotions that people can use at your business. This will increase your sales and your clientele. Perhaps you are selling services that can be sold over long distance, like software or consulting services. Setting up a website with an e-shop will increase your sales.
Finally, a website can be a springboard for your online marketing. By including a specific landing page for each of your advertising campaigns, they become a crucial part of your marketing funnel.
Ask people to leave their email through your website. This gives you an initial pool of hot leads—people actually interested in your work and ready to buy from you. You can then email them about new offers and products or about you opening up a new premise.
You can also use services like Google Analytics and Facebook pixel to add crucial metrics to your marketing. Who are your clients? What are they mostly interested in? Who is more likely to shop from you?
The constant interaction and communication with people that a website allows is the basis for making them loyal customers and clients. This is the basis for your business to make money. This is the way a website pays off.
Contact KCV Strategic or call us on (913) 717-6222 and let your website skyrocket your sales!