As surprising as it might sound in the modern age of broadband and fibre internet, added to the ease to which businesses can communicate and engage with customers on websites and social media – some companies still haven’t invested a little bit of time and money in giving themselves a proper presence on the World Wide Web.
For those companies who have been operating without the aid of a website so far, it’s probably understandable as to why they don’t believe they would in fact need one, but given the last few years everyone has had following the Coronavirus outbreak and the effects of lockdown, in many ways there’s never been a more important time to set one up as having that more direct connection to customers will have fortunately saved many businesses from going bust in more recent times.
With the availability of low cost options from the bigger domain and hosting companies, who in many cases will provide you with a small, but free, website template and the required widgets to create a presence, down to simple social media itself, there’s really no excuse for not further promoting your products and services. For those with a modicum of technical savvy, you can effectively build your own more bespoke website with a little bit of thought, and again it doesn’t have to cost the earth given the plethora of free services available, whether that be the likes of WordPress or even selling via a site like Ebay. Most certainly wouldn’t need a website as technically minded as a site like BetStation sports betting sites.
Whilst social media is undoubtedly the easiest option for a small business owner, back in 2015 Verisign conducted a US based survey which found that 64% of respondents preferred to buy from businesses that could be contacted online, and just as importantly, 92% favoured getting service and product information direct from a business website and not their social media pages.
So the first of five good reasons to have a website, is obviously that extra professional touch that is clearly favoured by consumers, which can also demonstrate professional qualifications, potential awards, a business history and even a section of reviews from existing customers. Operating your own website also brings the option of having a branded email address, for that extra professional touch.
Whilst social media sites can be found by Google and other search engines, there are far more tools and marketing strategies offered by Google Analytics for websites in their own right – there are also excellent Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plugins available for the aforementioned WordPress which have been designed for use by absolute beginners with little to no coding knowledge.
A third advantage of even a smaller website when compared to social media offerings, is product promotion. Yes, social media allows you to post featured images to showcase a business’ offerings, but the indexing allowed on a website is far easier to navigate for new customers, as opposed to endlessly scrolling on social media hoping to find what you are looking for.
Fourthly, with the ease and speed of email for simple questions, that functionality encourages potential customers to more easily contact your business – which in turn could easily create additional sales – without what can be more lengthy and time consuming telephone calls.
Finally, following the earlier advent of Google Maps, they can be easily integrated into a customised ‘contact us’ page, so for those businesses with a forward facing counter shop, that in itself can drive additional customer footfall your way as well. For event based companies, the advantage is equally similar.
All in all, with a 2021 survey showing that 81% of all customers now research online prior to completing a purchase, there are far more reasons indicating the benefits of having your own website these days, than the simple five listed above.