As an entrepreneurship consultant assisting hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses over the past decade, I cannot stress enough the immense value of having an online presence in today‘s digital world. With over 4 billion internet users globally, the internet has become an integral part of consumer behavior and purchasing decisions. A website serves as your business’ home in the vast digital marketplace.
Let’s expand on 5 key reasons why your business needs a website:
1. Reach and Connect With More Customers
A website enables you to market your business to customers well beyond just your local geographical area. With a good website and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, your online visibility can help you connect with potential customers globally. As per research by LinkedIn, nearly 81% of consumers conduct online research before making a final purchase. If your business lacks discoverability online, you are missing out on over 4/5th of prospective sales.
Having a local SEO strategy can also boost website traffic from nearby customers searching for your products or services. An optimized website with the right keywords drives relevant traffic and conversions over time. Your website serves as the digital storefront to attract and engage this large base of potential new customers 24/7 to grow your business.
2. Establish Credibility and Trust
Consumers nowadays expect and demand an online presence for businesses – lack of discoverability raises doubts over legitimacy and credibility. Studies show over 56% of customers hesitate to trust businesses without an established online presence through a professional website or social media handles.
Your website instills confidence in potential customers as it highlights genuine, up-to-date business offerings and contact information. Elements like customer testimonials, positive online reviews, an active blog reflecting industry expertise all build further trust and credibility for a business website. As your website showcases your brand story and messaging clearly and consistently, it lends your business a competitive edge to stand apart from peers.
3. Control and Shape Your Brand Image
Your business website serves as the optimal platform to shape your brand image. Through carefully crafted content, appealing visuals, seamless website design and user experience you can influence how customers perceive your brand online.
Branding elements like logo, color scheme, fonts, messaging should align uniformly across your website and other online properties like social media handles. This brand consistency across web properties minimizes confusion and enables clearer understanding of your offerings in customers’ minds. Managing and monitoring online reviews on your website also allows you to spotlight your strengths while improving on constructive feedback.
4. Enable 24/7 Communication with Customers
Websites open up multiple avenues of seamless communication for convenience-driven consumers today. Options like email signup forms, live chat platforms and prominently displayed contact details on websites make customer conversations more accessible. Queries posted on your website are addressed simultaneously through different channels – phone, email, live chats etc.
This 24/7 availability and instant responses build stronger customer relationships. Websites empower you to provide quick updates on new products, offers or events through real-time, fresh content. Compare this to printed marketing collateral which lacks flexibility – any updates mean reprinted fliers or brochures at added costs and effort. Websites guarantee you stay continually connected with your customer base through open channels of communication.
5. Affordable and Easy Digital Presence
A common yet inaccurate notion is that developing a fully functional website requires deep technical skills and exorbitant investment. Thanks to user-friendly website builders like Wix or Squarespace, anyone can create beautiful, professional websites with minimal effort and zero coding skills. With pre-made templates and drag-and-drop components, you can build a website matching your brand aesthetics within hours.
Shared hosting plans from renowned providers like Bluehost bundle domains, emails, hosting with SSL at nominal monthly costs ranging $2.75 – $5.45 per month. That’s less than the price of a coffee from Starbucks! Compared to the tremendous boost websites lend to lead generation and sales over time, the ROI outweighs low initial setup costs substantially.
Rather than get overwhelmedthinking about the website design or costs, start with picking an easy website builder platform aligned to your skill sets and business needs. The long-term payoff from increased online visibility and wider customer outreach makes the initial website setup a savvy investment.
In today‘s digital business landscape, an optimized website fuels visibility, credibility and sales simultaneously through multiple avenues. Be it global discoverability, brand control, or real-time communication – businesses unlock immense value and returns on investing in a website presence. The time for your brand to harness the digital marketplace is now! Reach out in case any questions setting up your web presence.