Consumer behavior has changed over time to adapt to the evolving technologies in the digital era. For instance, the thick yellow pages, which were popular not so long ago, have been replaced with online directories with the advent of the World Wide Web.
Today, the number of people who use the internet to find businesses has increased manifold and yellow pages have nearly been reduced to dust. According to Adaptive Marketing, in 2017, 97% of people searched online to find a local business near them. Therefore, if you want to grow your business by being in front of the right audience, you need to be found online – implying you must have a website. This blog talks about the top 10 reasons why your business needs a website in 2020 regardless of the industry you are in.
Reason #1: Your Customers Expect It
Taking upon the previous point, your tech-savvy customers expect you to have a website to find more information about your business. As for you, your website can help you generate business, increase brand recall value, promote goodwill in front of customers and target audience, as well as deliver strong marketing messages. Think of it this way, your website delivers your marketing message 24 hours, 365 days in a year! Apart from e-commerce websites, most professional websites are information-oriented and try to solve visitors’ pain points.
Reason #2: Offers Social Proof
Customer behavior is driven mostly by what others have to say about your business. No matter, if your brand is rated 5-star on review sites like FourSquare or Yelp, people expect to see your website to get more information about the brand. Since prospective buyers are already looking for you online, including customer testimonials on your site is a great way to impress potential buyers and provide social proof.
Reason #3. Control the Narrative
While it is difficult to control what people say about you, you can influence your brand perception by writing your own story on the website. A website is a far more efficient way than print ads or snail mail brochures when it comes to helping brands spread their message, vision, and mission. According to SEOTribunal, there are 5.6 billion searches on Google per day, and 63,000 searches per second on any given day. Imagine, with that kind of search volume, there might be someone online right now looking for your exact service. If you don’t have a website, guess who will get the business? Definitely, not you! But that competitor next door, who has a great-looking search-optimized website.
Reason #4: Maximize ROI
In the digital transformation era, creating a website on free tools such as WordPress.com doesn’t cost a lot of money, but provides more bang for your buck. A search engine optimized website lets you be in front of thousands of more potential consumers without spending much. It can help you reach a wider target audience for promoting your services or products. The content on the website also influences buying decisions and commercial transactions, no matter which industry you are in.
Reason #5: Website Adds To Company’s Credibility
If you want to show the world that you take your business seriously, then it is time to invest in a professional website. In an age when more than 50% of smartphone users discover a new company or product while searching on their smartphones, not having a website can damage your credibility. According to a study, 75% of online users accepted to judge a company’s credibility based on its website’s design. In the end, people are likely to engage with a company they can trust, and the website is the stepping stone towards building that relationship.
Reason #6: Have More Constructive Conversations
The website is your platform to answer all basic questions your potential customers may have about your business and brand. This is especially true for B2B companies. When people visit your website, they seek answers to basic questions like what you do, your products/solutions, your location, contact details, etc. Once they are satisfied with all that, they decide to either follow up or not. Just remember, when you provide such information, keep it simple and short since consumers these days expect immediate gratification.
Reason #7: Compete With Other Industry Goliaths
Did you know that having a website gives you a fair chance to compete with the giants of your industry? When an optimized website is created, it can rank higher and be at the right place at the right time. Bidding for the right keywords can increase your website traffic and influence your consumer’s journey, which typically begins with research, recommendations, and reviews. Having a prominent position in the search results page is one of the many ways to challenge your industry Goliaths. Therefore, if you don’t dominate the Internet, you are giving your customers a reason to buy from the competition.
Reason #8: Fading Social Media Reach
If you think having a page on social media is enough to attract new customers, think again. It is not enough to have a Facebook page, because every other business has it. Facebook claims that people in 2018 spent 50 million fewer hours on Facebook than they did the year before. Therefore, many companies are now switching to building websites instead of relying on social media networks only. While social media networks have the potential to increase business, banking just on them can be a huge mistake that can cost in the years to come.
Reason #9: Expand Your Working Hours
Having a website means that your content is available to users anytime during the day, as per their convenience. So whether someone visits your website in the dead of the night or during the day, in some way you’re always interacting with them, and can say goodbye to that ‘closed for business’ sign. Being accessible at all times supports marketing and increases sales dramatically, and this is especially true for e-commerce companies. It also is a step towards effective customer service and relationship building, especially if you have AI-powered chatbots enabled on your website that can solve basic problems of your customers when they need it the most.
Reason #10. Showcase Your Offers
It cannot be stressed enough that a website is the first interaction of your target audience with your brand. How you position your business is totally in your control. Add to it, you can not only display your offerings with features but also provide short video tutorials or downloadable PDF instructions. You can also highlight your awards, testimonials and all the features that can alleviate your visitors’ pain points. This increases the average time your customers spend on the website and perhaps influence their decision to contact you.
Tips to Get Started
Now that you’ve understood why have a website, let’s look at some ways to get started. First things first, choose a web hosting service. There are several companies that provide both domain and hosting services.
Choose a Domain Name
Ideally, your domain name should be that of your company name. In case, it is not available, you can choose a domain name that reflects your business line. Make the domain name catchy and distinctive. The domain name is a powerful marketing tool that you should fully utilize.
Web Hosting Service
Opt for a web hosting service that is credible with a strong reputation. Choose a service provider that can accommodate changes quickly and economically. This will come handy especially when your business expands, downsizes, or has other important updates.
Website designing has to be a product of several brainstorming sessions as building it is not as simple as you may think. Make sure your website template is easy to navigate and doesn’t resemble your competitors. After all, you don’t want your business to look similar to your competition.
The Price of Being Left behind Is A Lot More Than Having a Website
Having a professionally designed, brand-differentiating website is critical to increasing sales, boosting the bottom line, and growing your business. It gives you a chance to be in front of the right target audience with your brand’s story. Moreover, having a basic website costs some pennies and can provide huge returns over the long run.
So instead of asking why your business needs a website, ask why not!
Blog by Mukesh K. Singhmar