7 Ways a website will help your business succeed!
In a world where more than 2.4 billion people use the internet every day and a survey by Nielsen identifies that 85 percent of consumers use the internet to find a local businesses, any company without a website of it’s own risks significant falls in sales and customer perception. Despite this ever increasing online activity, many small and medium sized business are not taking advantage of the benefits that a good website will bring and according to a recent research report, “a massive 60% of small businesses in the UK still have no online presence at all.”
Even if you are a small local business relying on recommendations and word of mouth a website can still bring huge benefits to your business, as search engines such as Google become more sophisticated and focus on providing local results to browsers. Read on for the seven main ways a GOOD website will help your business succeed.
1. First impressions count
In last weeks blog we identified the importance of first impressions. A great way to effectively manage the first impression a large number of potential clients will formulate about your business is through a well designed and comprehensive website. The minute a potential client becomes aware of your company, they are likely to search for you online and they will instantly be making decisions and passing judgement about whether or not they will even visit your store, restaurant or office. Whether they continue to engage or dismiss you entirely, will be largely influenced by the experience they have when interacting with you and your business. Can they find you? Do they trust what you are saying? Are you providing the sort of experience they expect?
A website provides the perfect opportunity to prove your credibility. It allows you to tell your customers why you deserve their trust and eventually their business. Without a website, even if it just functions as an online business card, you are effectively dismissing a significant element of your target market and the perceived value of your business will be lower in everyone’s eyes – especially your customers.
2. Information sharing and online brochure
With the internet becoming such a major influence on daily life, more and more people rely on the web for information on all aspects of their lives. The Business Directory identifies “data as raw facts and statistics, whereas information is data that is accurate and timely; specific and organised for a purpose; presented within a context that gives it meaning and relevance; and can lead to an increase in understanding and decrease in uncertainty.”
Your website is your online business card or brochure.
Make sure your website is up to date, accurate and relevant to your customers and they will stick around, explore and start to interact with you and your business. Websites today can be so much more than just an online brochure though – adding a blog, offering freebies and integrating the site with your social media platforms is the first steps to creating a loyal customer base and building a community of brand advocates that not only come back but spread the word about the great products and services you offer.
3. Influence, educate and add value
With potentially thousands of people having access to your website you have a great opportunity to influence people’s decisions and educate them. Your website provides the perfect platform for you to voice your opinion, share your knowledge and give guidance. This all adds value to your potential customers and makes it more likely that they will continue to engage and choose to spend their hard earned cash with you.
Having a website gives you an instant global presence which has the potential to greatly increase your customer base. If you are able to offer you products and services to that global audience, a website that reflects this fact is a must to attract new customers from around the world.
Even if you can only provide your services to a local market, your website runs 24/7 without any supervision meaning your business is constantly accessible to customers. It gives you the ability to communicate with your customers, advertising upcoming sales and new products instantly.
The key to making the most of the internet and seeing the greatest return for your investment is making your business as accessible as possible. With more and more people accessing the internet 24/7 they expect to be able to interact with you in a way that suits them, whenever they want to.
5. Attract new customers and keep existing one happy
As potential customer browse the internet they are introduced to wide range of new products, service and information. A well designed website tailored to your ideal client’s search criteria will ensure it attracts new visitors. Effective content management and tailored added value will grab your ideal customers attention and keep them coming back for more. This in turn should ensure your website visitors are converted into clients not just customers.
What is the difference between client and a customer? A customer is someone who walks in and buys something and that’s it. A client is your regular customer. They believe in you and your business and are buying your products or services on a regular basis. A well designed website gives you a chance to gain more clients which will help your business grow and succeed.
6. Cost and time savings
Once your website is set up, it requires very little maintenance on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, compared to traditional marketing methods utilised before the internet came along it is a cheap and effective form of advertising. This in turn frees up time and money which can be spent more effectively elsewhere within your business.
By integrating your website with your other social media platforms you can also achieve synergy and communicate a consistent marketing message to a wider audience.
7. Information gathering
Install Google Analytics (completely FREE) to your website and you gain the ability to track who is viewing your site and who is making purchases. This data can provide valuable information which will allow you to better target your current and potential clients.
Reviewing this data and any comments left by visitors to your website allows you to ensure you are still offering a service needed by your target client. Data collected can be used to inform future business decisions and provide an opportunity to review areas of your business that you haven’t in years. This may of course lead you to reassess your business goals, but should ensure you continue to meet the demands of your target client and therefore bring continued business success.
It should now be clear that if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on opportunities for clients to find you, interact with you and ultimately buy from you. However, a bad website can do more harm than good, so take time to ensure your website meets your ideal clients requirements and expectations or all your hard work will be in vain.
To sum up, a relevant, consistent and accessible online presence is essential in today’s business world. Ensure your website is designed with your ideal customer in mind and you’ll be well on the way to succeeding in using the web to create a slick, professional window into your offline business.
Made the decision you need a website or your existing site need a refresh? Why not get in touch and and see how i can help you create a site completely tailored to your ideal client.
P.s find out more about my other graphic design services or read all about the creation of Imagineville’s new website below.