There’s no doubt about that businesses are now being forced to conduct some of their business online if they want to keep surviving. Whether it’s by video conferencing, virtual meetings, electronic delivery of goods, and even curbside services. If your business did not have a website, or has one but it has been neglected or outdated, by now I’m sure you’ve felt the blow of not being able to continue business as usual.
There are many reasons supporting why website design services have been upgraded from a supportive marketing tool to an essential must-have.
Researchers at Deloitte.com found that small businesses that were digitally advanced experienced:
Digital advancement starts with a website and applies to all industries, even settled ones like industrial and manufacturing.
If these four reasons weren’t enough to convince you, here are eight more reasons why you need not just any ordinary website, but an optimized, reliable one.
Top 8 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website in 2020 & Beyond
The Future Is Going Digital
Even before COVID-19, the way consumers behave and interact with one another has significantly changed. The way we order food, they way we shop, the way we communicate – its all digital!
Think back for a sec in the phone book days. If you ask someone in their 20s what a phone book is they probably will think its their contact list on their phone and not that big, heavy yellow book that used to be inside a phone booth or in your kitchen. Moving forward with new policies and government regulations due to COVID means business as usual will have to go digital to some extent.
Today’s technology has trained instance-responses on how people get information in the fastest way possible. You may haven’t noticed before but the last time you tried to find say the nearest Starbucks was by taking out your phone and Googling it. Additionally, Google has made it clear they prefer businesses who have a mobile-friendly website and will punish those with outdated non-mobile friendly websites.
According to HubSpot, 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. That’s almost 100%!
With all this information being available instantly and at our fingertips, having a website is not a just commonsense anymore its mandatory.
If your business wants to even have a chance for future on-going growth and meeting compliance requirements, investing now in a reliable, mobile-friendly website is a smart idea.
Reason #1: Your Customers Expect You To Have One
We touched on this briefly already but there’s plenty more to be said. Your tech-savvy customers and those learning how to use a smartphone for the first time expect you to have a website to find more information about your business and offerings. In turn for you, a website helps build trust by confirming your brands identity.
Consumers now-days are researching more than ever before making a commitment. They want to see online reviews, they want to read your products specs, promises, and benefits. More importantly, a website acts as your 24/7/365 sales representative and works hard to deliver your marketing message by getting in front of your targeted audience. If your company does not have a website, that just spells disaster as you can bet your competitors have one and are doing what they can to stay ahead online.
Reason #2: Social Proof
Just like reviews, customers decisions are based off of what others have previously said and tried. No one likes to be ripped off or purchase a product or service without knowing for sure they are getting their value for their money. Social media has played a huge role for review generating and sharing past experiences. New features like Facebook recommendations have made it easier for others to recommend a place even easier and they can’t share your business info without a web address.
Since prospective buyers are already looking for you online, it makes sense to be everywhere they are so no opportunity is missed. Having social profiles linked to your website not only sends strong signals in the eyes of Google, but is also a great way to impress buyers by sharing testimonials directly on your website.
Reason #3: Maximize ROI
You want to be where your buyers are right, even when you sleep. That being said, just because a website costs cheaper does not mean it will perform the same or deliver a higher ROI. Websites are not created equal! There is going to be a difference between a cheaply put together site vs one designed by web design agency who took the time to research your audience, implemented professional features in favor of your company’s goals, and not to mention, having a dedicated web partner making sure your website is up and running as it should can make all the difference.
Millions of online searches are happening right now. A properly search engine optimized website lets you be in front of more of those searches related to your business and offerings without spending much. Many clients of ours have contacted us to re-design their websites because they either attempted to design it themselves or had a generic service provider like GoDaddy or Wix that delivered less-than-desired results.
The point here is you shouldn’t view the expense of a website as a cost, but rather an investment. Websites continue to provide valuable dividends for years in the form of leads, outreach and more sales. A well made website has no negative side effects, only encourages growth and success of your business.
Reason #4: More Constructive Conversations
Having a website makes it easy to answer basic and regularly asked questions you hear all the time. B2B companies can attest to this. A properly organized structure will allow your visitors to find the answers they seek on things such as what you do, your products/services, your location, contact details and much more. Once they are satisfied they decide to either follow up or leave.
A professional website feature we love using is a FAQs to structure questions and answers. This feature is interactive, easy to use and provides great SEO benefits too.
Reason #5: Compete with Industry Leaders
Did you know having a professional website give you the chance to compete with the giants of your industry? We say professional because generic website builders neglect SEO and phycological aspects of marketing into the design, and then wonder why their site is not working.
A properly optimized website can rank higher in searches, placing the odds in your favor of getting that lead. Ranking higher in searches is one of the many ways to compete with those bigger companies than yours. Numerous studies have shown people tend to click more on the top 3 in search results, and if you’re not one of them, you are potentially giving your customers to your competitor. Add in proven behavioral actions on how people interact online, strategically placed calls-to-actions (CTAs), and analytics monitoring for statistics and you have a powerful tool working for you on becoming an industry leader.
Reason #6: Expanded Working Hours
Imagine driving 2 hours away to shop at a specialty store only to arrive at a “We’re Closed” sign. How frustrating and upsetting would that be? Having a website can alleviate that same feeling to your customers since your content will be available anytime during the day at their leisure. Being accessible at al times supports increases in sales, conversion rates, and profits. Just because normal business hours have passed does not mean new customers are left in the dark.
Enabling professional web features such as chatbots on your website help answer basic questions or at least provide feedback until you’re open for business again. This helps strengthen your relationship-building, trust and customer service reputation customers will love and remember.
Reason #7: Boost Credibility
If you want to show everyone that you take business seriously, then it’s time to invest in a website. More and more smartphone users discover a new companies, products, services, and latest trends while searching online on their phones. Not having a website means lost credibility if you can’t establish that first impression. The look and feel of your website also contributes to your credibility because online users judge a companies “worthiness” based on its design.
An outdated look gives off old or no-longer-in-business vibes, as well as, an unorganized cluttered look makes visitors instinctively hit the back button. Time has proven people are more likely to contact a company they can trust, and your website provides that initial link towards building that relationship.
Reason #8: Commercial Transactions are going Digital
Companies have told us that they don’t need a website because their industry isn’t online. These are mostly business owners in B2B, industrial and manufacturing industries. That seems like a false excuse because 75% of B2B buyers say digital website content significantly impacts their buying decision.
Think about that for a sec.
If one third of B2B customers are searching online for products and services, they are already further down the buying funnel. What if you had an interactive website with helpful content such as product info, dimensions, equipment capabilities – would you think they will be more inclined to contact you? I bet they would since Google says 67% of purchases are influenced by digital content alone.
How to Make a Website for Your Business
Now that you’ve seen how important it is to be readily available online, its time to start thinking about how to get a website of your own – or update your current one if its more than 2 years old.
You really want to make sure you take the time and marry as many strong elements of your brand and company as you can. You want to make sure that everyone can see what you have to offer, but more importantly, that it’s presented in an easy and inviting way.
Step 1: Registering A Domain Name
If you haven’t done so yet, you need to register and secure your ideal web address name before someone else snatches it from under you. You can quickly search to see if your ideal web address is available at a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy and Namecheap. If not, we can help you choose next best alternatives.
Step 2: Put a Plan in Place
Blindly building a website without taking the time to research your industries keywords, audience, and even behaviors will cost you more money in the long run. Why? Because not having a sitemap for example will lead to a cluttered or confusing sections within your website and visitors will have a hard time getting to where they need to go. Then you will need to re-structure your website all over again or pay someone to fix it.
So first things first, have a plan. Map out how many web pages you think will be necessary, what content will each include, write down your company specific needs and wants – every page should have a focus keyword(s) and purpose.
Step 3: Get Reliable Web Hosting
This is an area where many businesses get frustrated. They often see extremely low pricing on web hosting and soon realize, their website they paid good dollars for is running on cheap servers with mediocre performance – thus ruining your ROI, customer satisfaction and brand. Reliable web hosting does not have to be expensive, just affordable and reliable.
At iSeed Digital we have 99% uptime web hosting reliability and great security features to go along with the websites we build for example free SSL, built-in server smart firewall, backups, and 27/7 uptime monitoring.
Step 4: Begin Website Design
Nows the time to begin your web development. Use proven web development programs such as WordPress, Magento, or WooCommerce depending on your needs. These programs offer a much better variety in customization and scalability to grow along with your company, however, they are best handled by someone who’s familiar with them since they tend to be a bit more complex for the average person. At iSeed Digital, we are experienced and capable of building your website with these pro web programs.
If this sounds too complicated: Hire a professional web designer.
A competent web designer takes all your content, company needs and wants, target audience research, company goals and creates a visual, engaging representation of all these elements into a functional website. DIY designs truly differs from that of a web designers because the designers have a deeper understanding on how people interact with: web pages, phone screens, psychological thinking & cues, and even certain colors.
Building an effective, conversion-machine website involves doing the proper prep work before doing any design work – Hence why we suggested to have a plan beforehand (Step 2).
If you’re going to make an impact in the competitive online space, you need a web design that’s strategically made to keep your visitors on page and convince them to buy and choose you.
Using product and/or service specific info, amazing photos, the right color pallet, all of these things will help you design the best website and customer-generating machine.
Here’s a tip: Try to avoid using stock photos. People love to see original, raw photos of your location, employees, products, customer interactions and so forth. Using your very own photos eliminates the potential cause of copyright infringements and your customers will appreciate them more.
Step 5: Monitor and Track Performance
Installing special code for lead conversions, Google search analytics, and possible combining it with your other marketing efforts (such as Facebook or email blasts) can really help narrow down which marketing strategies give you the best return on your marketing budget. Always install some sort of performance tracking on your website, after all its the center hub for your overall marketing and you should know whats worth pursuing and where to best allocate your marketing dollars.
Every website we build comes with performance tracking and easy to understand monthly reports so you know exactly how it’s performing.
Today’s highly-competitive business environment means companies are getting smarter and they’re looking for innovative and improved ways of doing business to outsmart their competitors. However, with the tools of social media, many decision makers seem to be asking “Do I really need a website? or can I manage my digital footprint on social alone?”
This question seems to be more prevalent in established businesses since they’re thinking is “I’m an established business I don’t need a website” or “I have enough business from referrals” or “I have a Facebook page. My customers can find me there, or on Yelp.”
The hard truth is: A Digital Presence Today, Is A Must For The Future Of Business.
While having a Facebook page is a great start, it cannot offer the custom features and must-have’s a serious business needs to succeed going forward. Businesses are realizing a website is a tool they can depend on to bring in new customers, sell online, encourage locals to visit storefronts, make appointments and so much more. In all honesty, a website is the Must-Have tool in 2020 and beyond. Facebook, Yelp, and an established reputation are merely supporting tools.
Our web development process is very simple and painless for you and offers a better return on investment than any other form of advertising. If you plan on starting a business or marketing an established one, your company’s website should be your first priority.
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