Regardless of whether you have an online store, a brick-and-mortar store, or a cafe, you need a website. Having a website enables potential customers to find you online, see what you offer, and boost your credibility. A website also offers insights into your customers’ wants and needs while offering a customer support tool for answering questions and sharing expertise.
With over 4.66 billion people using the internet, you may wonder why you don’t have a website yet since the sheer numbers make a strong case for building one. If you don’t believe me, here are some staggering statistics to get you motivated.
- 36% of small businesses don’t have a website [source]
- In 2020, 51% of small businesses increased their customer interactions with a website [source]
- 70% of new customers earned about a business from their blog
- Among small businesses with a website, most of the sites lack elements necessary for success, such as landing pages, responsive design, or speed.
Why do you need a website?
Here are 5 reasons that, if you haven’t already, encourage you to invest in, or improve, your website as a driver of brand success.
#1 24/7 online presence
If you have a website, your business information is available all the time so you can reach folks shopping in their pajamas at 3 am or customers clear across the world. This is convenient for many customers, as they enjoy shopping at their convenience. I had a friend once who used the time spent breastfeeding in the middle of the night to shop as a way to relax. Or, you offer the visitor help whenever they need it with helpful videos and FAQs. Customers can even access customer support during weekends and holidays using Chatbots. The faster you address a problem or question the less negative impact caused.
Mobile devices change the entire calculus on why you need a site. Prospective customers want information about your business while they’re on the go, especially customers looking for your business location or phone number. Consider the family choosing a restaurant after a day spent in other activities. They check their mobile for nearby locations to help make a decision. In addition to location, they likely want to check the menu or get reviews of your restaurant. Local SEO really helps you get business from these mobile users.
#2 Customer insights
Google Analytics is just one of the many tools you can use with your website. Google Analytics enables you to track the traffic your website receives, where it has come from, and the behavior of those visiting your website. These insights allow you to vastly improve the performance of your pages and campaigns by identifying what works and what doesn’t. Analytics also provide insights into your customers and visitors, such as which group spends the most money per visit, which groups represent the largest percentage of visitors (the smallest percentage), and which groups are leaving products in their shopping carts without converting.
#3 Expand your market
A website is available all over the world, giving your business the potential for hundreds of thousands of eyeballs from all over the globe; customers you’d never be able to access without a website. When your site functions well, is technically sound, and is well-optimized for search, you have limitless potential to reach new and existing customers and build your brand to new levels.
Of course, you can’t expect to just put up a few pages, or a single page and see massive growth in your brand. Instead, creating a website is simply the first step in expanding your market. You must create valuable content on a consistent basis along with other SEO (search engine marketing) tactics designed to help your links show up in appropriate searches.
#4 Help and support
Websites are a great place to add a hub of helpful information for your customers, such as guides, tutorials, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Not only does this help your SEO and build brand credibility, but it could also win you new customers by building trust, and reduce the resources required for more involves customer support, such as phone lines, and related costs for operating your usual customer service.
Again, people have questions all the time, not just during business hours. If you offer videos showing the proper installation and use of your products, I’ll be a lot happier with the outcome (and my purchase). While I might not share my satisfaction with others, I’m sure to share dissatisfaction if I feel you failed to meet my needs on my own terms.
#5 Credibility and trust
It is likely that, if a customer cannot find you on the internet, they may trust you less than an online competitor. In fact, a recent study found that 26% of consumers won’t trust a company that doesn’t have a website. Below, you can see the impact of that online trust on behaviors including conversion and recommendations that seriously impact your bottom line.
When you do have a website, you can showcase your brand to potential customers, share insights and important business information with them, and even go above and beyond with helpful content. All these aspects help you build credibility with potential customers.
A good website, made by a reputable company such as My Business Venture, significantly improves the first impression you make on your customers. Of course, newer technologies such as CMS (content management systems), plugins, and image creation sites like Canva mean you can build a website on your own. However, crafting a website with a great visual design and one that provides a superior customer experience takes some skill and experience, so you might consider budgeting for someone to build at least the shell of your website for you.
The majority of your customers will likely check the internet for your business before shopping with you. It has been reported that it takes consumers approximately 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website, which will impact whether they will shop with you or not. A website can’t just be any old thing. The benefits of having a website for your business only work if it has a good design that catches the eye of your customers and can make a good first impression.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.