Published August 26th, 2016
Websites have evolved so much over the past 25 years. They were originally built to display information in a very basic way. This allowed people to connect through a network and gather information at will. Now, businesses throughout the world use websites to sell products, communicate, engage users, and build trust. User traffic and interaction can even be tracked using tools like Google Analytics.
As a business owner, you need to know what your consumers want, where they are, and the best way to provide information to them. A website accomplishes all of these goals. I’m going to tell you the top 5 reasons businesses need a website.
1. Cost Accessibility
Users want to know about products, and they want to know about the companies that create them. Instead of handing out thousands of physical marketing pamphlets, brochures, and ads to a limited number of people, you can create a website. A website accomplishes everything you just spent hundreds or thousands of dollars doing. It can do it faster, better, and with greater consistency.
A much larger audience can be reached using the most basic of websites because your audience is using the internet versus reading pamphlets. Actually, some of our clients have informed us that when they get a brochure they may glance at it only to find that company’s website. It’s 2016. You can stop allocating chunks of your marketing budget for direct mailers, brochures, and paper print ads.
2. Website Availability
A website is always available - 24/7/365. It can manage your contact form submissions, eCommerce products, and even make sales for services on your behalf. Typically, the first thing users do when they see products they like is visit a website to get more information about them.
If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront and it’s 2 in the morning, users can still get all the information they need to make an informed decision about your products and services without ever calling or writing. A website is always available to showcase you and your product line.
As of February 2016, Clutch, a business research firm located in Washington, D.C., surveyed 350 small businesses and found that 46% of them did not have a website.
Of that 46% surveyed, the reasons for not having this fundamental marketing tool were noted as being:
- Irrelevant to the business / industry (32%)
- Cost was too high (30%)
- Using Social Media in place of a website (12%)
- Ongoing maintenance (11%)
- Lack of technical knowledge (10%)
- Don’t know (3% - This is never a good answer)
- Other (2%)
The top two reasons being business irrelevance and cost are, for lack of better terminology, costly. It’s genuinely costly for a business to not have a professional website. For one, a website is cost effective in every market and every industry. Two, while I can understand finances are huge a factor at the forefront of possibilities, having a website overcomes those negative factors and can later produce positive results and extra revenue.
4. Being Found Online
Being found online is integral to 21st century business. People want to know about your company. But, if they can’t find information about you, they’re 90% less likely to purchase products from you. A website is the first thing people see when they’re searching for products and services, and it’s usually the last thing they see before they make purchases. Having a website and being found by potential consumers is pivotal for every business because that’s where most business happens today.
5. Enhanced Credibility
A website will give you more stability and credibility in the online age. While we as tiny humans haven’t figured out how to let consumers hold a tangible product just by visiting a website, we can give them the best capacity to do so with video, customer reviews, and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.
A website not only enhances your brand’s credibility, it also enhances product influence and visibility because of that.
How can businesses afford not to have a website today?