We’ll kick off this article by saying straight out that if you don’t have a good website these days, your company might as well not exist as far as most people are concerned.
Let’s look at some statistics:
81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases.2 in 5 (40%) online shoppers say they couldn’t live without online shopping.
What that means is that people really do make buying decisions from the information found on company websites, and they actively enjoy buying online.
This is important for you as a business, because it means that people will look at your website and, if it has the right information to help them make a buying decision and is beautifully built to lead them through your sales funnel, you’ve potentially got, at the very least, someone who will sign up to your newsletter that you can continue to market to over time.
Those points in themselves are already pretty good signs that you do need a good website, but read on for more:
1. Got competition?
There are very few companies who don’t have competition of some kind, and you can bet that, whoever your competition are, they have a good website. If you don’t, you are losing sales to your competition, and missing out on chances to connect with your customers, and ways to reach potential customers who likely don’t even know you exist.
Just by simply having a website, you open yourself to a whole new avenue of business and new potential customers. In order to keep up with your competitors, you need a good website.
2. Build your brand
Businesses benefit hugely from solid, creative branding that makes them stand out and attracts their ideal customers. Your website should be fully branded, too – an online presence is an excellent way to raise awareness of your company and your brand, and reach people you couldn’t reach any other way.
A website is the new business card. It is a critical part of the branding process and should always be included in any kind of branding package. A website is a great way to build your brand, as well as draw in additional traffic.
3. 24/7 availability
Entrepreneurs work hard and often put in ridiculous hours to build their business, but no-one can be available 24 hours a day, every day to answer questions and market their business.
With a good website, built by web designers who know what they’re doing, full of content to answer your customers burning questions, you don’t have to be available all the time. If you’re running yourself ragged trying to do everything yourself, get a good website. Your website will do the work for you at 2am, when someone decides that they really need answers about that widget you make, right now!
If you run a brick and mortar store, you can give your customers an avenue to purchase from when the shop is shut. This means you are never losing business, which helps increase awareness and drive sales. Not only that, a fully functional website can give your customers information, which saves your staff from having to answer frequently asked questions.
4. Build a community
Would you like crowds of raving fans, who engage with your company, offer suggestions about what they’d like to buy from you, and spend time telling other people what a great company you are? Of course, you would.
The way to get that is to have a digital marketing plan and provide excellent content on your site that engages your target audience, gets people talking and responding to you, and sharing both your company and your content.
Screwfix is a good example of a company who have built their own community. Screwfix have their own forums, in which many tradesmen discuss work, exchange tips and ask for advice. All at the same time, the community includes moderators who promote products and also try their best to answer questions. The Screwfix brand has largely benefited from having this online community.
5. Boost your reputation
Following on from the community idea, imagine how much having all those raving fans who love your content can do for your reputation, both personally and as a business.
A good website with excellent web design and branding reflects well on your company, and engagement from your target market will help spread the word of your professionalism and reliability across the web.
Going back to Screwfix, the fact that the forum is actively used means that their brand name is pushed to the forefront of peoples minds. When forum users need workwear or tools, they know exactly who to go to. A website can help to boost the reputation of any business.
6. Joint ventures
While you can grow your business by yourself, businesses come on in leaps and bounds when they collaborate with other complementary companies and share audiences.
If you have no reputation and no presence on the internet, who is going to want a joint venture with you? On the other hand, if you have growing traffic, a site that benefits from excellent search optimisation that’s rising in the rankings, and an engaged community, you’ll find it far easier to find good partners to work with.
Maybe you sell a popular product? The web makes it easier for your product to gain traction, which could lead to a mass request of stockists asking if they can stock your product. The fact a website can be easy to find, means that the overall business gains deeper exposure.
7. Passive income
Once you have a good site, you can add affiliated links, banner ads, and cross-promote other products and services from partners. Set up correctly, your site can even add a second income stream that means it pays for itself.
If you sell physical products, you will be able to generate extra income from having a website. Not only that, you can use your website to upsell products and also reengage with previous customers to help build a strong business relationship with your clients.
Your website allows you to share your content on social media, and redirect the traffic you reach back to your site, perhaps into your sales funnel, or even just to sign up to your newsletter.
If your site is optimised correctly and has good quality content, you’ll also find that inbound marketing starts to work for you, where customers find you!
A website is a great place to market your business as analytics are more measurable. Website analytics also help you grasp a deeper understanding of your target audience and can help you reengage with existing customers.
9. Customer feedback
While you will get engagement from visitors on your blog, you can deliberately set out to ask for customer feedback by setting up surveys, or allowing customers to rate your products and services.
You can find ways to improve your processes, and your customer service, and even discover new products and services to create.
There are many third party integrations, such as Trustpilot that can help get your reviews out there. Not only that, positive reviews can actually increase conversion rates of a website.
10. Your home on the web
Your website is your store front on the internet. It’s the base from which you can reach out and talk to customers via social media, advertise to reach new audiences, and communicate better with the customers you already have. It allows you to build a deeper connection with your customer base, as well as attract new potential customers. In short, there are so many benefits of having a website, that you would be crazy to be a business that is going without.
It’s an easy way for customers to find out information, to talk to you, and to buy.
Whether you have your site built on WordPress, SquareSpace or hand-coded by your web designers, the important things is that it’s not just any old website, but a strategically targeted, highly optimised, attractive good website, that reflects your brand and appeals directly to your ideal audience.
For web development and design that can boost your business to the next level, call Bird Digital on 01277 28 65 65.