What can a website do for your business?
It might be surprising, even shocking perhaps, but almost 2 million entrepreneurs in the UK still do business without a website (source: Approved Index). The report published earlier this year revealed that if these companies were to launch a new site, the average uplift in revenue would be in excess of £170k per business. Small-sized businesses would stand to make the largest growth in revenue – £106 billion per year – the report reveal, if they introduced a website. Staggering findings.
So why is a website so important? Why does a business, no matter how small, need one? What are the benefits? And, perhaps, most importantly, how can having a website help you grow your startup business?
Here are some of the most important reasons why every small business needs a website:
A website gives your business credibility
By having a website, you are giving your business the opportunity to tell consumers why they should trust you. And trust builds credibility. Most people will search the internet for a product or service before purchase to check a company’s credibility first. A well-designed and information-rich website, one which includes testimonials, will give potential customers a great first impression of your business.
A website gives you brand awareness
A website is the perfect platform to provide information about your company. Your company’s products, services, personality and mission should all be included. It will give your target audience a great overview of who you are and what you offer.
Your customers expect it
Most consumers expect businesses to have an online presence in some form or other. Mostly, they would head straight to your website for information about your products and services. If you’re also a physical shop, your location and opening hours will also be searched. Testimonials and reviews are equally important in a potential customer’s decision-making process. Without a business website, this valuable information is unavailable, the digitally-savvy consumer will be unable to find you, and potential sales can easily be lost.
It is an ideal way to showcase your products and services
A website provides you with a fantastic platform to showcase your products and services in the best light possible. Great content, beautiful imagery, videos, tutorials, infographics and downloadable PDFs are just some of the digital media components that can be incorporated onto a website.
Your business is accessible 24/7
Your website is available at all times. This gives your clients and potential customers the opportunity to see your products and services whenever it suits them, day or night. A great advantage for busy consumers in today’s digital age.
It offers a high reach potential
By positioning your company online, your business will reach out to a much broader target market – literally thousands more potential customers can be reached.
Websites provide another marketing channel
Having a website gives your business an automatic internet presence: an online billboard. You can introduce new products and services, advertise offers, and integrate other marketing elements to get people’s attention, eg. blogging, search engine optimization and social and digital media channels. A low-cost, high-reward, instantaneous marketing tool!
It offers a great opportunity for data collection and lead generation
Through content forms and an email integration tool, such as MailChimp, or online competitions and campaigns, you can have a customer email list up and running in no time. Ideal for sending regular newsletters, offers and keeping in touch with your clients and potential customers.
Your business will show up in Google search results
Without a website, the chances of showing up on the search engine results pages are almost zero. With more than 80% of consumers performing an online search before making a purchase, a business website site is therefore pretty much essential.
Using your site and optimising it for search engines (eg Google) will increase your chances of appearing at the top of their results. Customising page titles, meta descriptions and keywords, for example, will help you get more visibility with your target market.
You can control your content
Whereas comments on social media channels are difficult to predict or control, a company’s blog is the perfect medium to get your message across, influence public perception and keep your target audience informed.
It saves time (and money)
A website is the perfect platform to provide information to your customers. An informative website will often negate the need for lengthy phone calls, costly, time-consuming mailings or long emails. A few clicks of a button can save you both time and money!
A website enables you to increase your customer support and services
From FAQs to online chat facilities, instruction manuals and video tutorials, a business website is the ideal place to answer your customers’ questions and provide them with any additional services they may need.
Need help setting up a website for your business?
If you’re looking to create a website for your business, Toast & Marketing can help. Whether you’re looking for expert advice on how to start, need help with web design or content writing, or are looking to outsource your website build and/or management completely, we offer a tailor-made solution for your needs. Simple, practical and cost-effective services – ideal for startups and small businesses.