The digital population is continuing to grow as most people have access to the internet whenever they want through the use of smart phones, tablets and personal computers. It’s critical every business should have a website to tap into the digital population and establish brand awareness to promote your products and services.
While word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful sources of business marketing to attract new customers, more often than not people will research businesses online to obtain further information about products and services to support the word-of-mouth recommendation.
97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.Source: SEO Tribunal
In this article we cover six key topics why it’s important for a business to have a website.
A website is often the first impression your business has on a potential customer.
We all do it; head straight to google, search for a topic and navigate straight to the most appealing website. While ranking on google is a separate topic we’ll cover later, it’s critical that your website is easy to navigate and well-structured as it only takes a matter of seconds for a user to form an opinion about your business.
When designing a website, you must find the right balance of information about your products and services while keeping the user interested. It’s critical that you invest in the design of your website such as the layout, photos and colours, just as much as the content.
If you don’t get the basics right you can lose a customer in the matter of seconds, and they may never return to your business.
Brand Recognition and Awareness
Websites have a fundamental role in establishing and maintaining brand recognition and awareness for your business.
Brand recognition is where customers identify your business based on visual cues such as logos, photos and colours. It’s important that your websites branding is consistent with work cars, signage and corporate merchandise to ensure customers can make a connection with your business at a glance.
Most people would recognise this logo. This is an example of brand recognition Facebook has established.
Brand awareness builds on brand recognition, this is where customers not only identify your business based on visual cues but also recall the products and services you provide. If customers recognise your brand, the more chance they will continue to use your products and services over your competitors regardless of price.
Websites are an affordable way to market both brand recognition and brand awareness in one central location.
It’s important that your business is trusted by new and returning customers.
A website helps you establish credibility by showcasing your work, providing testimonials from customers and being transparent about the price of your products and services.
Websites allow you to demonstrate there are real people behind your business. The content on your website should allow customers to connect with your business on a personal level. Some good ways to connect with your customers are:
- Write personalised ‘about us’ and ‘our story’ sections.
- Clearly outline your businesses mission statement.
- Use photos of the people who work in your business.
- Include a blog.
A website provides another valuable way to advertise sales and limited time offers with minimal to no additional costs.
Businesses must invest in multiple marketing channels to attract new and returning customers, however you should use your website to its full advantage by dedicating a reusable and easy to maintain page or section to advertise sales and limited time offers to boost revenue.
Another advertising method is an online store which makes it easy to advertise fixed price products and services, and receive online payments and bookings. There will be additional costs associated with initial set-up and accepting payments for an online store, however once it’s established all you need to do it maintain your inventory and prices. Advertising on your website encourages customers to frequently check your website to ensure they keep up to date with the products and services you provide, along with sales and your offers
Let’s face it, we all are a little time poor these days. You should always be looking to find efficiencies in your business where you can, and invest this time in other aspects of your business or with family.
A website can save you hours of time when it comes to phone calls alone. When developing website content for the products and services you provide, you should focus on providing enough information to your customers so they can ‘self-serve’ and prevent them from calling – This is known as call deflection.
Popular and effective call deflection strategies are:
- Outline prices, terms and conditions for all products and services you provide.
- Post a comprehensive frequently asked questions (FAQs) section.
- Contact forms allow you to respond to questions in your own time.
- Booking systems allow customers to self-serve and book appointments.
- Online stores
One of the biggest business challenges to attract customers and drive revenue is competitors. As most (if not all) competitors will have websites, it important that your business has a website otherwise customers will be drawn to your competitors.
When planning a website, you should research you competitor’s websites to understand how they are tailoring their content to attract customers. Your content should cover similar topics as your competitors but put extra focus on making your business more attractive.
Careful research and planning could provide you with an edge over your competitor and attract new customers.
It’s quite clear that every business no matter the size must have a website. Websites provide many benefits such as attracting new customers, cost savings and increased efficiencies.
Websites don’t have to be costly, even a simple website can be a valuable asset to your business.