10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A New Website
If you’re a business owner or thinking about starting a business, you may think you don’t need a website. Maybe you’re old school and don’t visit business websites yourself and assume others don’t either. Or perhaps you have an established business that generates most of its work through word of mouth.
Even if you appreciate the need for a website for your business, you may not consider yourself tech savvy and don’t want the hassle of trying to set one up. You may think a Facebook page for your business will be good enough. Or you saw an online ad and think you can manage a basic website with an online platform like WIX instead.
No matter how long you’ve been in business and no matter your customer base, without a dedicated website, you are losing out on potential business. And while free tools like WIX and Facebook pages are technically better than nothing, if you’re not professionally managing your web presence, you are needlessly impeding your own growth.
Here are 10 reasons why a professional website can help you grow your business
YOUR BUSINESS WILL GAIN CREDIBILITY
People search online for just about everything these days – a solution to their problem, to shop for discounts, or just to find information about a place or business before they buy from them. If you don’t have a website, people will opt for competitors who do – especially if you are a service area or home-based business without a physical location.
Having a website will help people find the information they are looking for and establish your business’ credibility. It allows you to control your business’ first impression, rather than the latest Facebook post or Yelp review. It allows you to explain why your business is better than the competition quickly and convincingly. And it allows you to effectively illustrate your product or service, rather than rely on the amateur photography or writing skills of your customers.
IT SAVES YOU MONEY IN THE LONG TERM
As a business owner, especially if you are just starting out, you might think you can’t afford a professional website. In reality, you can’t afford NOT to have one. The initial investment to set up a professional website is quickly offset by the increased traffic and business it generates. While there are services to maintain your website and help you market digitally, a professionally created website can easily be updated and managed by you or anyone in your organization after a simple how-to from your friendly neighborhood web designer. Hiring a professional to build your website saves you time in the short term, allowing you to get up a running in days or weeks instead of months, and money in the long term through increased traffic. When you consider how many people you can reach online, a well designed website is a very cost effective method of promoting your business compared to promotional events and traditional advertising.
Regular website maintenance usually only requires the occasional small flat fee for software updates and minor optimizations, not continuous payments. The upkeep cost of your website are still lower than most forms of ongoing “old school” marketing, and the investment pales in comparison to the benefits of enabling thousands of potential new customers that will find your business online each year.
Lastly, if you are thinking about building your website yourself, consider the opportunity cost in terms of the time and effort you would need to spend to figure out how to build your own website. Is building your own website the best use of your time? Wouldn’t your expertise be better spent elsewhere on your business? Unless you are very skilled, you will likely run into problems building your site, requiring further investments of your time and attention. And if you build your site poorly and bring in a designer later to fix it, they very likely will recommend starting from scratch rather than trying to salvage an unstable site. We’ve had to break the bad news to many a client that their self-made site won’t function and would take more time than building a new one from scratch. Even beautifully designed self-made sites rarely help businesses if they’re not properly optimized to rank highly in a Google search. Save yourself the hassle and frustration and pay an expert designer to build a professional site quickly and efficiently. With a well designed, well functioning website, you’ll recoup your initial investment in no time.
YOU CAN KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS INFORMED
Your website is like an online brochure or bulletin that can be updated in real time. It is much faster and easier to keep customers informed about your products and services via your website than print marketing materials
With a website, you can make announcements about new services and products, upcoming events, and special promotions. You can also post tips, resources, and other useful information to your blog to raise your site’s online visibility. Your website is the best place to provide customers with up to date information and news – and if you accidentally make a mistake while publishing it’s an easy fix.
In addition to current events, your website provides you with a channel to engage your audience in a variety of ways. An online store can be added to your site allowing you to accept card payments from customers. Social media accounts can be linked to your website, increasing all your visibility to online search engines. And your site can provide you with a hub from which you can engage your customers while social distancing, allowing you to post videos, publish eBooks, host virtual sessions, or publish online classes.
A WEBSITE IS ACCESSIBLE 24/7
Unlike a brick and mortar location, which is open only during normal business hours, your website is always accessible 24 hours a day, year-round. Customers can visit from the comfort of their home at their convenience. They can reach out, sign up for your class, schedule an appointment, even place orders overnight – it’s like hiring a full time salesperson! Waking up to new online orders is the best way to start any day … that and coffee.
YOU CAN REACH A WIDER AUDIENCE
Your website is accessible from anywhere in the world, enabling you to target a much wider audience. An eCommerce store allows you to unlock a vast market beyond the capabilities of any physical storefront. And operating 24 hours a day allows you to engage customers in vastly different time zones or on wildly different schedules. Language barriers are transcended through simple online translators, relieving you of the burden of translating your content yourself. Even if you are a service-based business, a website enables you to get found by people searching for your services in your area.
IT ENABLES YOU TO SHOWCASE YOUR WORK
A website is the best place to showcase your work and demonstrate your expertise no matter what line of work you’re in. You can include a portfolio, gallery, videos, and testimonials from satisfied clients and highlight all the things that set you apart from your competition.
Maybe you’re already using your social media channels to showcase your work. But is your entire target audience already connected with you on social media? Social media platforms like Facebook control who sees your posts and how people interact with them. With your own website, your work can be viewed by anyone and you are in control of your brand, what you choose to share, and how people can engage with your content.
PROFESSIONAL WEBSITES DRIVE TRAFFIC AND OFFER BETTER ROI
You’ve probably seen those WIX commercials about how you can build a free website yourself, so you may be thinking, “why should I pay someone to do it for me?” There are several reasons why these “freebie” D.I.Y. websites can be more of a hassle than they’re worth. If you are tech savvy and are interested in building your own website, we recommend WordPress over alternatives like WIX. WordPress has a powerful website builder and a robust content management system (CMS). And if you end up getting stuck, frustrated, and need the help of a professional, WordPress provides you with the largest developer base to salvage your site.
If you already have a D.I.Y. website, does it reflect your desired brand “image”? How does it look compared to your competitors ranking on page #1 on Google? If you want people to take you seriously and truly grow your business, it starts with a polished, professional image and online presence. Have you seen an increase in traffic to your self-made site over time? Professional websites drive traffic to your site through well executed back end design and optimized SEO. While your “free” site costs you nothing upfront, it costs you significant business over time. Professional websites offer the best ROI by optimizing your site for search engines and driving traffic to you and your business.
A WEBSITE SAVES YOU TIME
Professional web designers can build you a well-functioning website quickly, saving you time. Time is money. Unless your time is worth absolutely nothing, any time you spend troubleshooting your site’s functionality is money wasted. Spend time on the things that matter to you (i.e. friends, family, building your business) and not the things that don’t (i.e. does the plugin running my online store need updating?).
Professionally executed websites communicate information to your customers quickly and efficiently, saving you from spending time communicating the same things over and over again to different prospects that walk into your storefront. One client’s self-made site went from averaging 200-300 unique visitors per month to well over 5,000 after we re-built their site and started doing their SEO. Answering customer services emails became so time consuming and overwhelming, they struggled to keep up with the other aspects of day-to-day operations. We compiled a comprehensive FAQ page and strategically placed it before the contact link, so visitors could reference it before submitting their questions. Almost instantly, incoming emails asking the same repeated questions reduced by 75%. As a result, the client was able to focus on other things to grow their business and has since doubled their sales in the past year.
Communicating with clients takes time. Creating marketing materials (business cards, flyers, brochures) to promote your business takes time. Distributing marketing materials takes time. Websites cut down on all of this wasted time, allowing you to consolidate all your information into posts, pages, photos, and videos. Set up a website and save yourself from answering the same question over and over.
BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE
A website enables you to improve service to your customers and clients and keep them coming back. You can share tips and advice on how to get the most from your products or services and demonstrate how it solves their problems
If you offer a service, such as lawn care you can post valuable advice to help people maintain their garden, or how often to aerate your lawn. Or if you have a business that offers virtual personal training and consulting, you could give advice on how to workout from home without weights or different stretches to relieve back pain. By including a comprehensive frequently asked questions (FAQ) page, you can regularly add content to answer all your customers’ questions.
YOU OWN AND CONTROL YOUR WEBSITE
Even if you’re already posting your content on social media, a website allows you to actually own your online space on your own domain and gives you full control over what resides there. While social media is a great way to promote your business and share content from your website, the algorithms that run these platforms control who will see your content and how often. Endlessly long and complicated terms of service agreements give full control to social media platforms over any and all content added to them. They can delete your accounts without warning, costing you years of photos, marketing content, and customer reviews. Ceding control of your business to the whims of a social media algorithm is needlessly risky.
Similar risks underlie freebie websites. If you decide to take your business elsewhere, you can’t always take your website content with you and you might be stuck having to start all over from scratch. With your own self-hosted website,you own everything contained within your online space. If you ever had to move to a different hosting service provider, you can make a backup of your site and migrate over to the new host. It’s simple and safe. Self-hosted websites offer greater safety and control than so-called free websites and social media pages. Why risk the future of your business? Protect your future with your own site.
Do you need a professional website for your business?
If you understand the benefits of a professional website a little better now and would like a free quote, contact Web Design Pros™. We provide professional web design and development services for small businesses in Watkinsville, Athens, and all across the United States.
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