Why Is A Website Important?
There’s been a rapid adoption into shopping online and social media channels, especially with younger generations. As more people use online shopping and turn to search engines to answer all their questions, being online is a safe option to reach more customers, increase awareness, and ultimately revenue.
Another driving factor into online behaviour is convenience. What would normally take days to visit 5 or 6 bricks and mortar stores can now take hours and search through 10 – 15 companies with the potential of finding better deals.
Some studies have shown that up to 90% of potential customers will research companies before committing to a purchase. Most notably in these areas:
- Online Presence
- Delivery Times
If your company lacks online presence and a website, your potential clients cannot form enough of an opinion about your business to commit to any sort of purchase. Presence is only half the battle to gaining new customers and the real work begins in how you deliver the information.
Let’s say, for example, I need some new furniture for my home. The first thing I would do is type “New Sofas” into Google and in less than 10 seconds I would have 2 billion search results and multiple ads with some discounts.
I can then visit each of the companies websites to start my research into buying a new sofa. All of this online and with minimal disruption to my day.
What Are The Benefits To Having A Website?
Let’s explore the different benefits of a website and the impact on your business.
- Generate Leads
- Increase Revenue
- Customer Service
- Saving Time
- Organic Traffic
Building credibility online is essential and simply having a clean, informative website that helps people do their own research and build trust for your company. Research has found that people are less likely to make a purchase online if they feel the website isn’t well built.
Posting reviews, customer testimonials, and companies you have worked with will help build confidence in your website traffic.
Not only can you provide tons of information for your users, you can also convert them into leads through your website.
Some of the most popular ways people use a website to generate leads is through forms. You can ask a customer some of your general sales questions such as: budget, location, and stage of purchase – saving you so many hours chasing dead leads. Remember, ignoring people who don’t ‘fit the bill’ can lead to bad press.
Other ways to generate leads through a website is providing contact details for customers to contact you once interested.
Websites are accessible to anyone with access to the internet so there is a lot of traffic to serve. A well built website allows your business to process more conversions and answer more questions, opposed to having multiple staff in sales, customer service, and marketing.
Smoothing out the customer journey and reducing the amount of time needed to commit to sales helps your potential customers feel comfortable and confident online.
Your business will likely receive questions and enquiries which start eating into your time or causing distractions to your business, especially through growth stages.
Your website can be utilised to provide information to your customer base by making information easily accessible online and reduce your hours on the phone.
Providing information, such as: detailed product descriptions, information on delivery times, returns, and clear promotions should reduce the need to contact you directly or just abandon the site completely.
Websites have seen incredible growth and development over the years. One of the major developments in websites has been automation and integrations with all your favourite apps, CRM’s, and epos systems.
You can capture user information and immediately automate all the correspondence, data entries, and upsells through ultimately saving hundreds of working hours.
Imagine you had to manually process 1000 orders, send out emails, input the data into your database, update stock, and then finally, fulfil the order. How much resources and time do you think this would take?
Write down a list of tasks you would like to automate and see what options are available online, existing businesses can also benefit from this.
Simply put, Digital Marketing is extremely ineffective if you don’t have a website but why? Most online ads rely on having a destination or an action which is usually a website page or an alternative webspace, such as marketplace or social media.
Ads can only deliver so much information to a customer before they too become ineffective, which can lead to wasted spend. If you want to get the most out of your digital marketing, then a website is a great investment.
You need to catch the attention of users, bringing them on to your page as soon as possible to make a lasting impression or to convert them into customers.
Once your website is live, you will have the option to be indexed by search engines. The search engines will then scan your website to determine its place when someone searches for an answer through a search engine.
The goal of search engines is to deliver the most relevant answer to the user searching. If I ask a search engine “how do I ride a bike?” The search engine will show me the most relatable piece of information it thinks will help me based on what I’ve asked.
Search engines will only recommend your website if it is live, relevant, and secure. The search engines do not show businesses without an online presence.
Where do I Get Started With A Website?
It’s important to get a full understanding of what your website needs as it’s core functionality:
- Do you need to take payments?
- Do you need to create customer accounts?
- Do you need a login area and dashboard?
- Does your stock need to be updated?
Take your time to write down everything you may need when speaking with people about your project.
Be as open and transparent as you can.
Building A Website Yourself
There are a number of platforms which give you the ability to build a website without having any technical knowledge. Whilst these are a great way to understand the basics of web design, you’ll need to invest a lot of time and effort learning and developing your ideas.
Don’t get me wrong, building your own website is an amazing feeling! You feel connected to your business and it motivates you to talk more about your products and services. However, the feeling is short-lived if there are problems you cannot fix.
Some of the integrations may be a little too advanced should you build it yourself without this technical knowledge and you can find yourself wasting time.
A few important questions to ask yourself before you choose to build a website are:
- How much is your time worth?
- How much time can you afford to spend learning how to build them?
- Are you likely to need assistance with integrations and 3rd party software?
- Can I give the website the same attention as the orders grow?
- What is holding you back from getting someone else to build it?
Choosing An Agency
The main benefits to choosing an agency is that they’ll bring the latest knowledge and insights that you may have missed in your planning or self built project, such as:
- SEO Essentials
- Responsive Design
- Manage Integrations
- Quick Fixing of Bugs
- Support for Issues
- Making Your Website Accessible
- Website Security
- Backups of Your Website
A website is a great way to showcase your business but it also needs to be adaptable with the changing industry. Search engines change their preferences to index the site and updates happen to software, this can cause breakages to your pages.
Having a reliable agency who responds quickly to issues and has the experience to reduce the impact of bugs is just as important.
Having a website is just as important as having a business name. Although there are platforms and marketplaces to sell products and services, nothing compares to the freedom of your own website.
You can be in full control of how your company engages with its customers and build loyal customer relationships.
If you’d like some help building a website or still have some questions about which route to take, please get in touch with us on: 0113 831 3666 or on our website www.everything-digital.co.uk