10 reasons to have a website… contributed by Hot Lizard Designs
Over the past 30 years, the element of time has influenced consumer behaviour. With the change of working patterns and lifestyles, people now expect information to be instantly available, and shops to be open all hours, in order to fit around their schedules.
The ever increasing use of smartphones to access the internet has created a new consumer who will search, share, and even give instant feedback online. Research shows that approximately 50% of small businesses do not have a website (Telstra, 2018). If that is you, maybe you should read the following 10 reasons to have a website.
A website is a relatively inexpensive way to showcase your products and services to a wide audience, letting customers know who you are, what you can offer them, and how to get in touch.
As with any brochure, your website must have up to date information (including contact details), high quality images, and brand consistency (colours, fonts, icons, etc.) throughout.
In today’s world a company without a website, is a company without a face. Customers will want to see your website, to check to see if you are a ‘real’ company. A (well-designed) website builds credibility and trust with customers. Research suggests that a whopping 62% of customers will not consider using a small business if they cannot find it online, and 42% would not buy from a company without a website.
Just having a website isn’t enough through. Does your website create the right impression? Is it mobile-responsive? All small businesses should have a great looking website that is easy to navigate and meets the company objectives, e.g. sales, enquiries, sign-ups, local online presence.
Continuous developments in technology mean that you can now have a website designed at a fraction of the cost you would have paid a few years ago. With various website platforms such as Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and even WordPress, you can build your own site, or have a designer do it for you.
A small business doesn’t need a bespoke website built from scratch that costs thousands of dollars. A high-end look and feel can be achieved within a customised template design that gives you the flexibility to change and update the content at a later date. Naturally, as a website designer, I would advise hiring a professional to save you time and money in the long run.
From flowers to flights, customers are more likely to go online and search there and then for the information they need. Think about it, how many times have you looked something up on your phone, or browsed online during your break?
To improve your Google search ranking there are a few additional things you need to do (SEO tips to come), and Google will also feature your business in the ‘near me’ map as they push local businesses for relevancy.
Unlike your employees, your website doesn’t clock off at 5pm. Even when you sleep, your website is still promoting your company and the products and services you offer.
Got a contact form on your site that connects to your email? Great! Visitors can fill in the information when they visit your site after hours, and you can respond first thing in the morning.
Have an online store? Brilliant! Customers can make a purchase at any time of the day or night, and that order is processed, ready for you (or your fulfillment software) to send out the next day.
Having a blog on your website allows you to update customers on new offers, upcoming events, recent achievements, community projects, and anything else your business is involved in. It can also be a great way to educate your customers about the different products / services you offer.
Online customer interaction is a growing trend, with online chat bots and software now available on most company websites. Giving customers a variety of ways to get in touch with you increases your customer engagement. Some visitors may not want to send through an email, but are happy to have a 5 minute chat online before deciding to make a purchase.
And for those accessing your site via mobile devices? Dynamic email address and phone numbers mean they just need to tap and call / email to get in touch – making it even easier to contact you.
A well designed, visually appealing website projects a certain image. If you offer a product or service that is competitively priced, useful, and in demand, there is no reason why you cannot use your website as a marketing tool to compete against larger companies.
You can set up e-commerce, online chat, display videos, and even make a reservation – all without spending thousands of dollars. Some features are already included in Squarespace hosting plans, and others may mean an upgrade to be able to access that integration. The aim is to create a seamless process for your online visitors so they feel confident choosing you.
You may have plenty of followers on social media, but what if the platform stops working, or, as in the case of Vibe, shut down completely? How will you keep in contact with them, and update them on new products or a sale? A website allows you to build your own database(s) of customers by encouraging them to subscribe to your mailing list. Direct emails may seem old school, but they are still one of the most effective sales methods if done well.
Creating a blog allows you to establish your credentials. Having a popular blog with useful, topical, funny articles will increase brand awareness and help drive more customers to your business. It also gives your business a bit of personality.
Not sure what to write? Start off with an introduction, and what you hope to cover in your blog. If you encounter writer’s block staring at a blank page, use your phone to record yourself and imaging you are speaking to a new customer. You do not need to publish every day, or even every week, but you do need to post on a regular basis (Google search engines love new content!).
Your website and social media channels should be working together to promote your company. For example, your blog posts should feature on your Facebook Page or Twitter account. Your website should act as a both a destination and distributor of your social media accounts.
Squarespace websites allow you to schedule and publish your blog on your website, and then automatically pushes that blog post to your Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn profile simultaneously – saving you time.
Remember – if you are using other means to direct visitors to your website, use a specific landing page (the home page may not always be the best option) to increase engagement with your audience.
Thanks for reading 10 reasons to have a website by Hot Lizard Designs – https://hotlizarddesigns.com/
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