Every business selling products or services needs a business website. It only makes sense since you want to reach as many potential customers as possible.
Why Are You In Business?
This is possibly the most asked question of us here at Benchmark Web Design. And, for every answer we give, we usually get back a counter reason why a a business website is not really needed.
The point of this article is not to convince the reader as such, but rather explain in some sort of order why it is actually extremely important that you do have a business website.
It is reasonable to say, the only reason someone goes into business it to make money. Pure and simple. For the most part, it is also reasonable to say that to make money, you need customers.
So given a business owner needs customers to make money, how do they go about acquiring said customers?
- Word of mouth
- Television advertising
- Radio advertising
- Newspaper advertising
- Industry publications
- The World Wide Web
This list is not exhaustive by any means but the first 5 are very traditional. They defiantly have their place too. Interestingly, the World Wide Web (or the internet) is listed last because even in today’s age, it is considered too difficult or too expensive.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is by far the best form of advertising possible because it is tested time and time again – and it’s free. Good word of mouth benefits a business no end but negative word of mouth is infinitely more damaging.
If a business receives negative word of mouth, how do you rectify the situation? The easiest and fastest way is through a blog on a business website. This way you can reach out to the public explaining the situation.
Positive, constructive conversation benefits everyone. As a bonus, Google sees that the post on this website is popular and will give it a boost in SERP rankings. Talk about great advertising!
Other Advertising Methods
Television, Radio, Newspaper Advertising and Industry publications have their place in the scheme of things but, they are expensive. Furthermore, these forms of advertising don’t have the ability to target the exact niche you are trying to reach.
Wendy Huang wrote about the costs involved in television ad campaigns within Australia. A 15 second ad in the Cheapest Prime time Slot on channel 7 will cost $7020 while A 30 second ad will cost you $11,700!
According to RadioResults.com.au, The cost for radio advertising is normally done on a per-spot basis. You will be charged every time your ad runs
So, if you want your ad to run 5 times per day for 7 days you will have a total of 35 ads. If you have a single price ad rate of $100 per ad you will be charged a total of $3500 for the 35 ads, plus GST.
The costs involved in industry publications are so wide ranging it is quite difficult to put a price on. One example is Taste Magazine (for all you foodie business owners) charges $25,386 per month!
Obviously there are cheaper (and more expensive) options out there. It clearly depends on the popularity of the industry publication, size of ad and length of campaign.
The examples given so far are not meant to discredit them in anyway, rather they are given to highlight the financial commitment required if advertising is an important part for you to obtaining customers.
Why You Need A Business Website
Here are 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website
1. Your customers expect it.
If this were the only reason on the list, it would be enough. Six out of ten consumers expect brands to provide online content about their business on some form of digital property, and more than half head straight to the brand’s website for product information. If you don’t have a business website, today’s digital-savvy (and impatient) customers may look elsewhere.
2. It provides social proof.
Ninety percent of consumers claim that online reviews influence their buying decisions.
You could rely on FourSquare, Yelp, and other review sites to host reviews for your brand, but you can kill two birds with one stone on your own website.
Since potential buyers are already looking for you online, including customer testimonials on your site is a great way to impress potential buyers.
3. You control the narrative.
It’s true that you cannot control what others say about you on social media channels, but you can influence public perception by creating your own story via a business website.
A company blog helps business owners get their message, mission, and personality in front of their target audience faster than print ads or snail mail brochures.
Plus, social icons linking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other networking platforms make sharing your content easier for your visitors who like what they see.
4. More bang for your buck.
When you use a free website-building tool, like WordPress.com, you position your company to reach thousands more potential customers for less than you would spend mailing ten brochures by traditional mail.
5. You don’t need extensive coding or technical skills.
Because WordPress — and a number of other website-building platforms — offer online tutorials and community-based support, almost anyone can get a basic website up and running in about thirty minutes.
6. Your competitors all have company websites.
Consumers typically start their buying journey with research and recommendations from peers and social network connections.
Studies show that once a consumer has an idea of what they need or want, they start researching, and 72 percent of them go online to find educational material, reviews, and testimonials, according to a recent report.
So if you’re not staying competitive with your competition, you’re giving shoppers a reason to buy from another brand.
7. Never put up the ‘closed for business’ sign again.
Nobody wants to work at 3 a.m., but some people like to shop then. Having a business website or ecommerce store means that you can sell products all the time — not simply between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
An online store can mean a dramatic boost in sales, especially when you factor in additional customers who are not restricted by geography. Your online presence also supports marketing campaigns, customer service, client relationship building, brand recognition, and almost every other element of the revenue stream.
8. You’ll show up in Google search results.
Consider this: 81 percent of consumers perform online research before making a purchase. That means they go to Google and type in one or more keywords, like “best leather shoes” or, if they know what they want, “handcrafted Italian leather women’s shoes in Los Angeles.”
If you don’t have a website for your business, the chances of showing up on the search engine results page (SERP) are zero. But if you have a site, you can optimize it for search engines, thereby increasing your chances of appearing at the top of Google’s results and getting more visibility with potential customers.
Long-tail keywords, meta descriptions, and titles are just some of the things you can customize on your site to improve your search engine optimization (SEO).
9. Create a resource center for your staff.
In addition to helping customers, your business website can also benefit your own employees.
Create an orphan page (one that is not visible anywhere on the site so it can’t be found unless someone is given the direct link) with self-service videos, instructional materials, or even internal forms to help your team learn everything they need to know on their own schedules.
10. Showcase your products and services.
Not only can you display your products or outline your services in detail with beautiful images, but you can provide short video tutorials or downloadable PDF instructions to give hesitant customers no reason to go elsewhere to purchase.