Do I need a website for my business?

by | May 3, 2017 | Platform

Phone books are history. Your website is your virtual storefront now. It is your first opportunity to make a good impression. No matter what kind of business you have most of your customers or clients will make the decision to do business with you after visiting your website.
 
To understand the importance of having a website you have to put your consumer hat for a moment. Think like your customers.
 
Now ask your self “how do I get more information about this business?” If you are like over 90% of consumers you use the internet.
 
Since many consumers now search for information online prior to making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, your site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer.

6 powerful benefits of your business website:

 
  1. Size doesn’t matter. Unlike your physical store or office, your website can present your business exactly the way you want. If you can compete with your larger rivals on product and service then you can present yourself online as an equal contender. No one has to know you run your entire business from your kitchen table. In business the internet provides a level playing field for everyone to compete.
  2. Location doesn’t matter. Even if you are an offline service business there are numerous ways to profit from visitors who cannot visit your offline store or office. Your expertise in the industry opens up opportunities to leverage remote visitors to boost your business.
  3. Identity. Your website is your virtual identity. It is storefront, your address, your business card, and your identity all rolled into one. For my business all I have to do is tell someone I am David @ LucidWisdom.com. Now they have my name, my web address, my email address, and they can visit my sites “About” page to learn lots more about me. You can print up business cards with nothing more than a logo and a web address. If you made an impression in person you can bet they will visit your site. People may not remember your name or your business name, but if your web address is catchy they will remember your URL.
  4. Low cost marketing. Websites are very inexpensive to setup. With the power of services like WordPress anyone can build a site like a pro. From there the sky is the limit. You can add eCommerce, email address collections, send emails, provide tons of marketing information, free downloadable content, full engagement at a fraction of the cost of running your physical store or office.
  5. Permanence. Your website can live indefinite. Even if you move your physical location, expand to multiple locations, upsize or right size, your website remains the cornerstone of your business.
  6. Branding. When it comes to branding your products or services there is no better or more affordable way than with a great website. Logo artwork is cheap. Theme designs are cheap. Services like WordPress have thousands of free and low cost plugin services to add endless features to promote your brand.
Here’s the exception to my recommendation: It’s actually better to have no website at all than to have one that makes your business look bad. Your site speaks volumes about your business. It either says, “Hey, look, we are a serious business you can trust” or it screams, “Hey, look, my 10-year-old son designed my site. Good luck finding anything!”
 
If I have convinced you to add a website to your business then let us continue. Before you begin the process of planning and building your website you first need to answer these 3 critical questions;
 
  • Why should prospects and customers visit your site? Most businesses just throw up a website with basic information, a few pictures or graphics, and call it done. We have all visited these sites. Totally pointless unless all you wanted was a phone number or address. If you want to take full advantage of powerful benefits mentioned above you have to put more thought into your sites design. Starting with the question of why they should visit sets you up to design your site for your customers needs, not yours.
  • What value do you offer them when they visit? Your visitors want to know what is in it for them. If you start off your engagement with your visitors by giving them something of value you put yourself into a position influence and authority. Your visitors expect this. They want to know they are making the right choice in doing business with you and showing you are an expert by providing valuable information is a great way to start.
  • What do you want your visitors to do when they get to your site? This seems an obvious question but you would be surprised how many websites never consider this. Again, they put up a site and simply hope people will visit and do business with them. This kind of “hope” marketing will not grow your business. Plan your interactions in advance. If you want them to provide their email address then build this into the plan. If you want them to read your content, put it into the plan. If you want them to load up their shopping cart and check out, put it into the plan.
  • What do you want them to take away when leaving your site? I can’t think of any reason you would want your visitors to only stop by once. So if you want them to return you have to provide visitors a reason to return. You may do this with continuous updates to content, with email campaigns, or contests. Whatever you do make sure to plan for how you will get your visitors to return. Not only will return visits help with future sales it will keep your search rankings earning good ratings.

Conclusion:

In future posts I will go into more detail on how to plan in all of the above recommendations. For now I hope I got you thinking about how you can design, or redesign your website to get the most out of this super low cost marketing tool for your offline business.

Question: Think of a website you visit frequently. Why do you return? What do you do when you get their? What is your impression of their site?

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David Cook

David Cook is the creator of Lucid Wisdom Digital Strategies, a creative marketing firm on the leading edge of thought and technology. David has a passion for personal achievement in all aspects of life and loves to pass on what he learns through his blogs.
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