Like a friendly customer service agent or a beautiful storefront, a good website attracts customers and helps you keep them. A nice website can be the difference of a an outstanding first impression or a poor experience from the beginning. Standing out from your competitors, clearly communicating your vision and services, building contacts, widening your sphere of influence and quick customer service options are all benefits of getting a killer site. Need I say more about the benefits of a website? A website can help you open doors–creating a plethora of options for advertising, persuading potential investors and reaching new clients. On top of that, developing and maintaining a website enables you to get creative, stay on top of new ideas, and find new markets. Having plenty of information is a great start as people can feel comfortable finding information before they even meet you, come to your shop or contact you for business. Here is a quick list I put together of fifteen ways a website will help your business.
In the present climate, a solid online presence can make or break your business. A website that speaks to the services you offer, allows customers to buy online or join a conversation, and showcases your personality can do wonders for increased profits and brand recognition. Your website can be likened to a beautiful window display–it’s the first thing customers will see when they search for what you’re offering. A professional, well-maintained website increases your visibility online and helps to create a cohesive brand across the internet.
Building a website shows that you take your business and your clients seriously. When a customer sees that you’re dedicated to your product or service, they’re more likely to trust your business acumen. A professional page can set someone’s mind at ease as they’re navigating the increasingly complex world of consumer choices. Simply put, a website shows you care.
One cool aspect of a business website is the ease with which you can share news with your clients. Customers can sign up for a newsletter, you can collect emails of anyone interested in updates, or highlight new releases or more information in a blog post. Having a blog keeps your audience updated and its what you are reading right now : )
A professional website can put you on the map! Having a website increases the likelihood that your business name will pop up when someone enters your service in a web search. More than that, you can place directions, maps, hours, contact info and more right on the home page, helping people literally find you in your town or city.
If you run a virtual business, a website increases traffic to your services, and also helps you create an ambiance–as you would in a physical shop location. Color schemes, music, photographs, blog posts, and bios all help a customer feel that same sense of relaxation and fun they might feel entering their favorite coffee shop or boutique.
Your website will make customer service a breeze. The days of painstakingly tracking every appointment, complaint, inquiry, or purchase are over. A FAQ page can help direct customers to their own solutions, scheduling can be done online, and prompt email or messaging communications can streamline your responses to consumers. People can leave suggestions or reviews and you can more directly address concerns as they arise. Rather than leaving a voicemail and waiting days for a response, websites give you the ability for near instant feedback and problem solving. Even better, enhancing online customer service can save you a bundle on personnel who might otherwise field customer concerns.
A website is the present day version of the yellow pages. Click to your website homepage and potential clients can find a phone number, business address, map locator or zip code finder, hours, email and any other way of contacting you that you might decide. Without a website, it can be hard to locate correct contact information online, particularly with regards to email. Having a phone number and email address in a place of prominence on your website is highly recommended and makes it possible for customers to connect and interact with you and your business–to find you in their neighborhood, call or email with a question, or network with you if they share an interest.
A website can vastly reduce what you spend on advertising. Linking your page to a search engine can promote you faster and more permanently than any print—and is a fraction of the cost. Ad campaigns can be simply put together with images and text and reach a much wider audience. You’ll save on the cost of printing and mailing brochures as well. I have met some business owners where their sole marketing efforts are a simple website. Usually these are the “old fashioned” folks who put a website up years ago and they still rank very high for a few search results.
Despite the popularity and effectiveness of building an online presence, many businesses have yet to take the plunge. Only 71% of small businesses nationwide have invested in digital promotion–meaning that you have a solid chance of setting yourself apart from the pack by developing a website, especially on a local level.
A website gives you a lot of control over the content you present to the consumer. Describing what you do in your own words can be a powerful marketing tool as well as deliver much greater clarity to the consumer. We’ve all had the experience where two similar businesses (auto mechanics anyone?) have vastly different approaches to the same service. A website helps guides your ideal clientele toward you which ultimately aids your ability to satisfy them.
If you’ve ever been to a farmer’s market or a car dealership, you know that a sparkling personality can impact your numbers! The more of yourself you can put out there–whether it’s through blogging, bios, images, descriptions of your services or business history–the more likely you are to connect with a potential customer. Websites can be a great way to introduce yourself to many more people at a time than ever before. As you write content for your website. choose colors or images, or develop online services, you’ll see that a lot of your personality goes into the final website design. Embrace the opportunity to sell yourself AND your business!
A website enables you to design your content for your specific audience. You can control how your page appears if customers access it on a small screen like a phone or tablet. So many folks use their phones as directories and guides that having visible, clear, useable pages meant for the small screen can really improve your digital presence. After all, if you can’t read it you can’t use it!
Social media is one of the best ways that you can introduce yourself as business, build a following, advertise your services, and reach a wider audience. Websites make social media much more streamlined—rather than click through disparate search results your client can find links to your twitter and instagram handles or facebook page all in the same place. In addition, traffic to your website can increase traffic on your social media pages and vice versa.
In a competitive market, any edge can be useful in persuading a bank to lend you money. A professional website can be immensely helpful in convincing someone to invest in you and your passions. It shows that you understand the current business atmosphere, that you have some gumption and clarity about what you offer, and that you are dedicated to allowing your business to thrive. Having a website is like walking into the bank in a suit rather than cutoffs.
The best websites will have a steady stream of new content. Whether through updates to your services offered, interesting or informative blog posts about your field, or news updates for your followers, you can expect that a website will demand you stay on top of your creative output and determination. Sparking interest in your potential clients means constantly renewing your own desire for success and one of the the best reasons to develop your online presence is this built-in impetus to keep thinking up new ideas.