An estimated 54% of the world’s population have access to the internet and within the UK, it is estimated to be 94% of all people. The number of users relying on the internet to find local businesses and services is continuing to grow, making it essential for your business to have a website and to be found online. We take a look at why you need a website and seven, direct and indirect, benefits of having one.
1. Strengthen Your Brand
The more exposure the better. In this competitive age, you can’t put all of your eggs in one basket. A healthy balance of print and online advertising is key and having a website is a great start to getting your brand seen online. With a growing number of people using online as their way of finding local businesses, the importance of having a website is becoming stronger and stronger. Ultimately the more channels available to access your brand the better. Don’t get left behind in the new digital age!
2. Easy for Customers to Contact You
Your website provides customers with another channel from which they can make contact with you. All of your business’s contact details should be easily accessible and visible for users who visit your site. By providing them with a contact form too, they’ll be able to get in touch at the click of a button. Click to call phone numbers, featured on each page, allow you to optimise your site for mobile and tablet users (from which 57% of all searches are made). Without a website, it makes it difficult for people to find you and your contact details online. Directory books, such as the Yellow Pages, are fading to existence. Web is the new way of finding things.
3. Showcase Your Products or Service
Reinforce the strength of your service by showcasing your products and services on your website. A case study or portfolio section is a great way to do so and creates a visual reinforcement of your brand identity. If your website is built with a content management system (CMS) system, such as WordPress, you can easily and regularly add to your portfolio. Trust in your brand’s ethos and quality of work are easier to back up, as real life examples, in the form of case studies, are provided to users. Find out what makes a good case study here.
4. Customer Feedback
Your views are biased, after all, who doesn’t think their business is great? The use of reviews and collection of them on your site, helps to build faith in your brand. It is useful to have a section on your site where people can submit reviews for you to approve or add to the site yourself. These customer reviews acts as (hopefully) a positive reinforcement of your business’s USPs. They can be the difference between an undecided potential customer choosing your products or services over a competitors.
Don’t lose out on traffic (the number of people who view your site). You website is your digital location and without one people won’t be able to “visit” you. Competitors, who do have a website, will be more accessible to your potential customers. Having a web presence is better than not having one, but it’s important that you utilise it by optimising your site to appear as high as possible in the search results.
6. Readership & Returning Traffic
Inform and engage your customers about industry news, your latest offers and topics that are likely to interest them using your blog. A content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, makes it easy to add blog posts onto your website. This can be a great way to trigger discussions in a comments section or to encourage users to share interesting reads across social media.
As time goes on and the marketplace evolves, it is important to stay up to date with the latest trends and industry standards. Using a flexible CMS (WordPress) you can update your site as your brand evolves. It allows returning traffic to see the developments in your business, and the industry, showcasing your position as experts in your field.
A website offers a base point from which a business can expand from. Social media channels are an extension of your businesses online location. They’re a great way of reaching people in the online spaces they like to “hang out”. You can use paid social media marketing to reach new audiences too.
Across search engines, primarily Google, your website want to be prominent for search terms related to your business. If competition is high (i.e. there are a lot of websites competing for specific search terms) you may want to get ahead of them through a combination of PPC and SEO.
These are just a few of the reasons why you need a website and what a website can do can for you. There are certain standards that will need to be upheld during the build process, that will help contribute to success online, but by just having a website you’re taking your first step to competing online.