You’ve probably asked yourself a few times, then put it on the to-do pile. There are many reasons to have a website, but let’s look at the top 10 reasons.
#1 – People want and need information
We are in the information age. Potential customers readily seek information, and these days, the first port of call will likely be online. Customers will want to compare companies, to see what you have to offer, before making that phone-call, before jumping in the car to drive to your location or before purchasing online.
With many competitors out there, do you want to limit your audience by not having an online presence?
#2 – Your website is your online brochure
Once your site is up and running, your customers have a brochure at their finger-tips.
Yes you can, and probably have, spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on designing and printing pamphlets and sales brochures, and perhaps the same again in getting these delivered. And whilst this is still a valid marketing technique, how far does your dollar stretch? What is your ROI on marketing pamphlets? Who is your target customer?
Why not advertise your new website on your pamphlet, driving interested customers towards your site, which includes further details and example of your products/services.
#3 – Reach more customers
Broaden you customer base by ensuring you have a presence on the web. Do people know about your business? Are they aware that you exist? By limiting yourself to localised marketing and phone book advertising, are you limiting your visibility to customers who no longer use a phone directory? And even if your potential customer has found your ad, or phonebook entry, then what? How do they find out more about your business?
#4 – Show-off your products and services
Are you proud of your product or service? Of course you are! So tell the world about it! Come on, don’t be shy! Surely your competitors wouldn’t keep quiet about their awesome products and services?
What better way of getting your business out there, than providing examples of your business at work. Maybe a gallery of products? A picture tells a thousand words. Perhaps you have customer feedback you can display? Remember, potential customers love to validate that your product or service rates highly with others.
#5 – Provide 24/7 access to your business details
We know you work hard and long hours on your business. But everyone needs time off. You can’t work 24/7, but your website can.
Every moment you aren’t present, your website is. And guess what? Customers these days want to be able to access information 24/7 because most of the time they work during ‘normal’ work hours. They are likely to be searching in their downtime, which is probably when you’ve already shut-up-shop for the day.
Don’t miss out on a customer. Your website can pick up the slack. Provide details on your site to provide the out-of-hours customer with the information they need. Add a contact form so that they can contact you with any questions they might have.
#6 – Provide credibility to your business
Are you a real business? Do you provide high-quality product or service? Are others happy with your business?
Think about it from a customer’s eyes. How do they know?
A website provides validation that your business is legitimate. Ensuring your website contains examples of your products and services, including photos and customer feedback, further validates this.
Without a website, your business will automatically be perceived as less professional in the customers eyes.
#7 – Influence your customers’ decisions
Provide your customers with the information they need to make the right decision. Educate your customer. You have the ability to provide the right detail to your customers quickly and cheaply through your website.
#8 – Highlight your business goals
Where better than in black and white on your website? Don’t store them away in a desk drawer! Shout your goals to the world. Your customers want to know why you are different to the rest, so why not tell them?
#9 – Communicate with your customers
Provide a reason for customers to contact you. Provide an incentive for them to re-visit your website. Promote your sales and specials! It’s so much easier (not to mention cheaper!!) to get your news out to your existing and potential new customers via your website than any other means. Do you have a new promotion? Add it to social media and drive your customers back to your website for more information.
What about an event coming up? Looking for feedback, ideas and suggestions? Interact with your customers online!
#10 – Provide support to your customers
Provide on-going support through your website, whether that is a contact form so that you can be easily reached with questions or a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
If your customer can reach you or the required information easily, you’ll have a happy customer. Without an easy way of contacting you, or an ability to find the information they need, a customer can easily become frustrated. Next time, they will go elsewhere or worse still, if they feel the need, they’ll complain about the lack of service or support they have received with your business.
#11 – Compete with the big names
Yes, we know we said 10 tips, but we had to squeeze this one in….
Seriously though…. From a marketing perspective, what do the big names have over and above your business? Branding + Trust = Reputation.
A website provides you with a platform to get your branding out there, letting your customers know who you are. Why they should buy from you. What your unique selling point is.
Build trust with your potential customers by outlining your service offerings, return policies, guarantees etc. Make sure your customer is as comfortable buying from you, as one of the big names.