12 reasons why you must have a website
Websites dominate the internet. They are vital to the running of many businesses, and post-covid, are often the primary way businesses sell to their customers. Online there is a lot of potential to build your customer base and expand to new markets. Often a website is the center of all of this.
So, if you are a business owner who runs a primarily brick and mortar store, and doesn’t have a website, it can be a daunting task to get started. You may even feel like you don’t need a website, after all, there are a lot of locals who come by to shop with you. However, even for these businesses having a website is vital, even if it is just a small one.
Here are 12 reasons you need a website.
1. 93% of business purchases start with a Google search
Yes. That number is no lie. 93% of all purchases made started with a Google search. Google is prolific in our lives, dominating the way we look for and receive information. Generally, if we are thinking about purchasing something, or have a problem we need fixed, we go to Google for the answer. When we search for the answer, Google often doesn’t just answer it themselves, they present a bunch of websites, most of them are businesses, who can answer it for them.
These businesses then have a head start at receiving business from those searching Google for answers. They are interacting with those searchers and providing them answers to their queries, which may be their products. If you aren’t here providing answers and getting clicks then you are missing out on a lot of potential customers, that being 93% of potential customers.
2. Showcases professionalism
Often when businesses are looking for a supplier, or customers are looking for a business to provide a service for them, a lack of a website will look unprofessional. Most will even scratch that business’ name off their list as an option. While there are some who will still consider your business, a large portion will go for a competitor.
3. Ease of access to your business
Having a website makes it easier for your customers to get access to you. They will be able to find you, read up about you, discover what you do, and answer questions about your business. To start with, they will be able to find your business through search engines like Google, giving them direct access to information about your business. Then, they can go to your website and find information about your services, products, opening hours, and much more. Of course, they could find you through yellow pages, which could have a listing show up in Google search, and then give you a call, but the likelihood of this happening is low. This is especially true if your competitors are showing up in Google with their own websites.
4. Provides a positive return on investment
While websites have a higher upfront cost, often over $10,000 for a customised website. However, over time the value your website provides increases. After the upfront cost has paid for itself through impressions and leads gained, any further leads continue to push down the overall cost per impression. This means that the average cost per impression for 1000 visits per month on a $10,000 website is over $40 before the investment is paid off. Once it has been paid off, however, the cost per impression goes below $2, this is because all you are paying for is hosting and your domain. Ultimately, this makes it cheaper per impression than most other forms of marketing.
5. Provides lasting value
A website is one of the few forms of marketing that, once you buy it, you have it forever. This makes it an incredibly powerful tool for you to use for a long time. Not only that, but you can use the time to continue optimising it, improving the sales you make from it. You can tweak copy, change images, edit the layout, add new pages, and more, all to get the best possible conversion rate.
While you can tweak Google and Facebook Ads over time, every experiment you make you are paying for, whereas, with your website, the costs over time is relatively low, making it easier to swallow.
6. Expand your opportunities overseas
As a hyper-local brick and mortar store, your chances of getting overseas or interstate buyers is generally low. If you do want to expand your reach, a website is a must-have. With a website, anyone in the world can find your business and purchase from you. This dramatically increases your potential customer base. You can then back this up by making your website even more international with international domains, translations, and more. The choice is yours, that is the flexibility and power of a website.
7. Creates an easy to access data centre
Your website can collect, and store all kinds of data. If you sell products you can set up a system where customers can log in, access their past orders, view saved wishlists, and see personalised recommendations, all on your website. This is a powerful tool that you can use to keep your customers coming back for more. You can utilise the data to send personalised product recommendations via email, or upsell to customers when they are buying from you again.
With this, you can create a strong eCommerce platform for customers to purchase your products online. But it can also help your brick and mortar customers. Your website can integrate with a range of software to upload purchases and connect them to your customers’ accounts. Now, you can offer loyalty programs, and market to all your customers using data from one central location, your website.
8. Self service customer support
Frequently asked questions pages on websites are a powerful way to offer customer service without having to manage it regularly yourself. You can provide answers to the most common customer support questions you receive to help those with the common problems, find a solution faster.
Another option is troubleshooting forums. Here your customers can ask questions, and other users can answer them for you. Of course, this will take some managing initially, but after a little while newer customers can have their questions answered by previous users who had a similar problem.
9. Adds value
A website creates an online space with the potential to provide additional value to your customers. You can provide tips, advice, how to guides, blogs, FAQs, and more. These can be used to build trust and connection with your clients, reminding them why you are the best in your industry, encourage them to purchase from you. It is also a great way to reintroduce yourself to existing customers, providing them a free value add to bring them back, then sell to them again.
10. Acts as a hub for online marketing
What do SEO, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Content marketing, and Organic social media marketing, all have in common? They all rely on your website. Your website acts as a hub for all your online marketing, bringing people in from across the web to buy your products or services. Without a website, many of these marketing methods would not be possible, and all of them would be less effective.
11. Integration with other systems
Along with integrating a range of marketing systems, your website is able to integrate with a range of applications you may use day to day in your business. With such a wide library of plugin options, WordPress allows you to seamlessly integrate most systems into your website easily. This means your website can show live stock counts, show when an item is out of stock, integrate with your customer rewards systems and so much more. You can have a connected and seamless experience for all your customers, whether they buy online or in-store.
12. You can get links
Links are a powerful tool for bringing new customers in. They bring over new visitors from another website to yours. This is because a trusted blog or website places a link on their website, or into a blog article, linking to your website. Often this is with a call to action to encourage visitors to click the link. As the website linking to yours is trusted by their visitors, they are more likely to trust their opinion and click over to your website.
A website is vital for all businesses in the digital age. As we all do more and more things online, having a functional website is no longer a nice to have. With a website, you can utilise so many potentially powerful tools and integrations that make your marketing, sales, and the running of your business easier.
The first step to getting a website is securing a good domain. If you are struggling to find the perfect domain reach out to us, we can help you out.
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