As a small business owner, if you’re still on the fence about investing in the development of a high-quality business website, then you’ll soon jump over the fence after you’re done reading this post.
Because there are quite a few reasons why any business, no matter the size or industry, needs an appealing and functioning website. To begin with, all your customers are online looking for information that will help them make smarter purchasing decisions.
In fact, there are (at least) 3.5 billion Google searches being made every single day. What’s more, according to a consumer review by BrightLocal, 90% of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business, so even if your business is local, rest assured that investing in a modern, high-quality website would be well worth it.
Emphasis on “high-quality”, because having an unattractive slab of text announcing the business’s existence, interspersed with stock images on a single web page, simply won’t cut it today. Your website must be in accordance with the highest modern design standards – showcasing your products and services with crisp visuals and a unique brand voice while providing useful content to educate potential customers.
Ultimately, your website would be a tool for converting strangers into customers championing your brand. But if you’re still not convinced, here are five solid reasons (amongst a myriad of others) why you must invest in a high-quality website right away.
1. To Establish Strong Credibility for Your Business
Put simply, the modern customer expects every business to have a website, and businesses without a website are seen as less credible. Six out of ten consumers hope for businesses to provide online content about their offerings on an owned digital property, and more than half head straight to the brand’s website for information about products/services.
Today, potential customers are using their smart devices to decide where to go and what to buy. Thus, if you don’t have a business website, the modern digital-savvy (and rather impatient) customers will simply go elsewhere to do business, without thinking twice.
Furthermore, the same consumer review suggests that 76% of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends. So, including customer reviews and testimonials on your website is a great way to motivate potential buyers who are unable to make up their minds. That is, a website is crucial to provide concrete social proof about the value of your products or services.
2. To Take Advantage of a Powerful Marketing Channel
While traditional marketing techniques like TV, billboards, and radio are still used by big brands such as Nike, Apple, and Toyota, they are simply not within the range for small and medium-sized businesses. Running such marketing campaigns is way too expensive.
And besides being unaffordable, there are other limitations of traditional marketing methods:
- Poor engagement rate: Traditional marketing is one-directional. You can’t engage in a two-way conversation with potential customers.
- Little-to-no customization options: You can’t personalize your marketing material to tailor different demographics, nor can you segment your audience as per industry or age group. A billboard or TV ad would be the same for all who view it.
- Disruptive: People don’t watch TV or listen to the radio for advertisements. Ads are almost always considered annoying and ignored.
- Limited performance measurement: Analyzing the results of your marketing efforts is important for long-term success. You don’t want to invest money and efforts in the wrong direction. Measuring the performance of traditional marketing campaigns is difficult and often inaccurate.
On the other hand, online marketing turns these drawbacks into plus points:
- Extremely cost-effective
- Non-intrusive and engaging
- Ability to segment audiences and personalize content
- Analytics for accurately measuring performance in real-time
- Potential for amazing ROI
At the crux of any digital marketing strategy is a well-designed, fast, and functioning website. Think of your website as the digital headquarters of your business where you can direct your audience when they want to make a purchase or learn more about a particular product or service,” explains Devesh Sharma of WPKube.
Sure, social media is just as important for marketing your business. But regardless of how active you are on your social media, it can’t be a substitute for having a business website.
3. To Remain Competitive and Look Professional
If you take a look, you’ll realize that most of your competitors already have a decent-looking website up and running along with an active presence on relevant social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), and a local business listing on Google My Business.
From the customer’s perspective, not having a good-looking business website raises questions. Questions like why are you not keeping up with modern standards? Do you not care enough to build one? Or are you so strapped for cash that you can’t even afford a website? All such questions you don’t want people to wonder about your business.
Plus, it is worth mentioning again that with numerous choices available nowadays, your average customer is super impatient. If they don’t find information that you can only provide on your website, and if your website doesn’t load fast enough or has poor navigation, you’ll lose that customer to a competitor.
4. To Start Expanding Your Operations
People are increasingly turning to Google search for researching a product or service before actually heading out to shop, so your business website is an ideal platform to showcase your products or outline your services in full detail, complete with beautiful images and compelling copy.
If you create short video tutorials or downloadable PDF guides/ebooks for your website, you have much better odds of converting potential customers who are indecisive.
But that’s not it. E-commerce spending is going up year after year. In the U.S alone, consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. In 2018, retail e-commerce sales including digital services amounted to nearly $526 billion and are projected to grow to $893.4 billion in 2022.
Clearly, consumers are favoring online shopping more and more. Thus, you should seriously consider expanding your operations online by building an online store to not just showcase your products but also start selling them online.
5. To Offer Better Customer Service and Experience
Finally, with a website, you can provide 24/7 support to customers. You can answer common customer queries with a Frequently asked questions (FAQ) section, provide real-time customer support with live chat and a chatbot, exclusive content in the form of newsletter subscriptions, tutorials, and even nifty tools like price calculators.
In fact, a website makes it easy to collect feedback for improvement, something that can be tricky in an offline scenario. Getting visitors to provide their email address or answer a quick survey in exchange for a free, useful resource such as an exclusive e-book, newsletter, or whitepaper is a highly effective way to obtain boost customer loyalty and earn feedback.
To conclude, a professional website can bring a ton of value to your business by creating a trustworthy image. Overlooking the importance of a high-quality site will inevitably result in losing business to competitors.