We live in a world where people search on Google before they shop, visit yelp for reviews before they visit anywhere, and check in to places on Facebook once they’re there. Its a new world. One that is constantly changing and making business have to change with it. We can all understand that the business world is changing and yet there are so many outdated, non-functioning or just plain bad websites out there. Whatever the reasons are that make a website bad or unfit for the modern internet, we need to try and understand exactly why a website is so important in the first place. Your website can be your most important tool in not only keeping up with the changing world of business but also thriving in it.
A well designed and developed website creates credibility for your business. It shows a glimpse of what you’re business is all about and can create an amazing first impression. It also puts you in the same ring as the big boys. On the Internet you can be the same size and command the same amount of attention as the big companies if your website is designed and developed well. This is incredibly important for a small business because while you may not be able to build a giant skyscraper like they have, your website helps destroy the perceived difference between you and them.
Accessible around the clock.
Your website is working for you even when you’re sleeping. People browse the Internet at their own time and pace, which can mean midnight browsing for a lot of people. Your website is always available to give your potential customers the information they need no matter what time of day it is. Its also a great resource for when you are too busy doing other business things to be able to answer the phone or answer that email to give people information.
Not having a website means losing out on customers and business
People spend so much time online now that if you do not have a Web presence you are losing out big timetime. 78% of Internet users conduct product research online (http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/11414/12-Mind-Blowing-Statistics-Every-Marketer-Should-Know.aspx#sm.00001aa6xaigegd36ut07bztdlfi3), which means that there is a good chance your business website is one of the first ways in which potential customers will interact with your business. If your business doesn’t exist online then there is no way for these potential customers to find you.
Marketing and Sales
As we said above, the internet has changed so much in the business world. One of those ways is how websites have opened up a whole new array of potential ways to market. Content marketing, SEO optimization, social media marketing, and display marketing such as ads are only a few newer ways to attract more leads and customers. We all know that more leads means more sales and more ways to attract customers should always be welcome. Aside from just attracting new customers, you can directly sell products and services right on your website now. An E-commerce platform will allow you to sell items right on your site and not have to rely on a third party website like amazon. That in and of itself is another way to market.
Cost effective and risk free*
Websites are cheaper and more flexible than most print advertisement. There is relatively no risk as you can always alter the message on your website. Where as once those flyers or posters are printed you won’t be able to change what it says. Nowadays, websites can sometimes completely replace some kinds of print materials. Why print up a bunch of material telling people what your business does when they can simply access it on their phones in a couple of seconds? You will be able to generate more sales leads for less than typical print advertisements.
Instant Communication and Customer Service
A website can provide instant communication between you and your customers. They may be able to fill out a contact us form or a live chat where they can ask a question, notify you about a problem with your goods or services or even provide general feedback. Your website can also serves as a hub for all of your web presences. A place where all of your social media profiles and links are listed in one place and your customer can get to each one. This helps not only with communication but grows the reach of your business online.