You may be on the fence about getting a website, or you may have several excuses why you don’t need one, “It’s too expensive”, “I have a Facebook Page”, “I have enough business”. It’s a matter of fact, you need one. A professional website is the only way to tie together all your online efforts and make you a bunch more money in the process. And not just that, A website will also increase your productivity freeing up precious time to improve other aspects of your business or take a much-needed break. Still need more convincing? Here are 9 reasons why you need a website.
1. People Are Looking For Your Product Or Service Online.
A growing number of people are turning to the internet to find products and services. Whatever you have to offer, it is likely that you are highly sought online and you might be doing your market a disservice by not having an online presence.
A friend of mine had a newborn son and recounted how she was not producing enough breast milk and struggled to find a specific baby formula recommended by her doctor. She had searched all the local online stores, classifieds listings, and social media but could not find it anywhere. She and her husband spent half the day driving up and down and making calls to find the formula. They ended up making a trade akin to a drug deal in a downtown alley.
Newborn parents are one of the most captive markets in the world. They’ll go to any lengths to provide for their child out of love, and to relieve the stress of sleepless nights. It’s not that there was a shortage of baby formula, it’s that the people who had it did a bad job of making it known. It later turned out that there were a number of places with the formula, my friend just didn’t know where to look at the time!
Whatever you have to offer alleviates a pain point for someone out there. Anything you do to make yourself more discoverable online goes a long way, and a website is a key component of that.
2 A Website Is Cheaper Than Most Marketing
Whether it is printing flyers, merchandise, or buying ad spots in newspapers, radio, TV or billboards, a website is way cheaper than all of them. The cost of just keeping a site live can be as little as a few dollars a month. Furthermore if you plan to set up an online store a website is a fraction of the cost of a physical store.
A website is also a form of targeted marketing. That means that people who come to your website have already been looking for your product and are likelier to buy. As opposed to say, a TV ad which is broadcast to everyone and their grandma, whether they like it or not. When done right, targeted marketing through a website provides a major saving over other forms of marketing.
3. A Website Has Wider Reach
Whether you are running a brick and mortar store or running a business from home, your market is limited to the physical interactions you have. Your business comes mainly from people who have been referred, seen a local ad, or just walked in. Having a website breaks the geographical barriers and opens you up to a global market.
There’s a local delivery company that started out as a vegetable farm. One year they had a bigger harvest than expected and decided to offer deliveries to homes with the surplus. They made a call out on social media and they got such a big response that they had to source produce from other farmers. Unable to keep up with the phone orders, they quickly created a website that allowed online orders and something interesting happened. The majority of their orders came from outside the country, mainly diaspora workers buying for their parents and families back home. This is a market that had previously been untapped!
There is probably someone out there in the world looking for what you have to provide!
4. Improved Productivity
A website allows you to spend less time on tasks that would otherwise be chores. You can automate taking orders online instead of phone orders, provide detailed information and an FAQ section that customers can refer to instead of visiting your store for help. A website is also available 24 hours a day so you can finally stop getting 2 am calls from customers asking the status of an order and wake up refreshed to better serve your market.
5. Customer Convenience
Whether it’s the insomniac from the previous point or someone on the other side of the globe a website provides a lot of convenience. If you do deliveries, that adds another layer of convenience to customers who can’t collect. The year 2020 saw a surge in demand for online delivery services due to the unprecedented coronavirus lock down which left many people stuck at home. Now more than ever businesses need to be online to serve the growing demand for convenient solutions.
6. A Website Gives You Credibility
Customers often check online for information about a business before contracting their services and a good website gives you that extra bit of credibility. A professional website instills confidence in your business.
7. Competitive opportunity
Chances are that your competitors have websites and are using them to their advantage. If not, then a website will give you a competitive edge from the outset. Furthermore, the internet levels the playing field and allows you to go head to head with big brands in your industry. Take a look at your competitors’ websites and see how you can improve on them. Or observe underserved niches and double down on them.
8. You Own Your Website
A common excuse for not having a website is having a social media account. Unlike social media, listing pages, and most other “free” online platforms, you own your website. This means you have full control over how it is structured, what content you can post, and what people can view. If you rely solely on a social platform you are at the mercy of the platform’s rules. Your own website insurance from the uncertainty of other platforms future.
9. Know Your Customers
A website allows for regular two way communication with your clients. Having a contact form, easily accessible contact information, or a chat client gives you an opportunity to improve your relationship with your market. Answer questions, better understand their needs, and build trust through your interactions.
Furthermore, you get access to tools that measure your website metrics such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Give you data on things like what terms people enter on search Engines to find your site demographic data like age group, location, gender, and estimated income. This insightful data can be used to better understand your market and serve their needs and pivot on new opportunities that may arise.
That’s 9 reasons why you should get a website! Now in the vein of the last point, I’d like to get to know what’s on your mind, dear reader. Did I miss any points, or do you have questions? Please post them in the comments section below. I’d be happy to answer!