It’s safe to say that 2020 hasn’t exactly turned out like most people planned. We’ve had to make serious adjustments to our daily routines and to our lives in general. It’s becoming clear that the world we knew before likely won’t be back for a very long time as we all adjust the way we do business.
That being said, the further we get into 2020, the more important it is for your business to have a website. In fact, it’s the single most important piece for your business to have right now.
That’s a fairly bold statement, but I stand by it. Consider your website as your business calling card. It’s essentially your digital resume to the world. When people come to your site, they want to see if you can fit a need they have. Without a website, they go to your competition. It’s as simple as that. Read on for more reasons why you need a website right now.
Customers Expect a Business Website
In today’s society of connectivity, it’s expected that every business has a website. People search online. That’s how we all learn. We don’t go to the phone book anymore. And we don’t always rely on recommendations from friends and neighbors. We go online if we need something. We rely on reviews and the experiences of others to tell us if we want to do business with a certain company. And if a business doesn’t have a website, people move on. Websites help connect your business to new customers.
Not having a website sends a message that you don’t care. If your customers want to find information about your business but they can’t, it sends the message they shouldn’t even bother you with your business at all. And they’ll go to one of your competitors.
Because your website is a resume and essentially a calling card to the rest of the world, you need to have your brand all over the place. Your website sets the tone for your business. That’s what branding is. It’s your messaging, your logo, the colors, and the way you portray your business. Your website needs to accurately reflect who you are as a company and what you represent to the customers you serve.
A strongly branded website allows you to control the narrative about your business. It lets you tell the story of your company the way you want. It helps your customers and visitors understand what you stand for as a company. The way you brand your company also helps your customers connect with you. If you showcase who you are, your employees, and your core values, customers can relate to your company.
Your website should also show your current offers, deals, and list all your products and services. It should also offer calls to action on every page. These details are what every single person to your website wants to know. This will help you bring in more customers to your business than by any other channel.
Websites Add Credibility
Having a website gives instant credibility to your business. Like I mentioned above, customers expect a business to have a website. They expect it to answer their questions. And if your website provides all that information and those details, it instantly builds credibility and trust where it didn’t exist before. Customers expect simplicity and to get information. When a website provides that, a potential customer has already taken the first step down the sales funnel.
There are so many different channels you can take in the marketing world. And all serve their own purpose to help promote your business. However, most of these channels point back to your website so people can learn more. You need to have a good website to maximize the effectiveness of all the other marketing channels. And while you have some initial cost to set up your website, most hosting companies charge a minimal fee to keep your site up. It’s one of the most cost effective ways to promote your business. And compared with other marketing avenues like advertising and email marketing, your website costs are minimal.
Your website is on 24/7. And if it’s optimized well, that means you can reach more customers and a wider audience than any other form of digital marketing. Google literally has billions of searches every single day. And it’s likely that people near you want to find the kinds of products and services you offer. They can look at any time, day or night. And having a good website means you can reach potential customers whenever works for them, instead of just during regular business hours. They may be only able to contact you during your regular hours. But having a website means they can learn about your business anytime.
Today’s word of mouth is called social proof. It comes from reviews, social media, and the testimonials of other customers who have used your business. That’s how people today grow to trust a business enough to try it themselves. If others have a good experience with your company, there’s a good chance they will too. Review sites like Yelp or Google My Business profiles are a great way to start. Once a customer sees good ratings there, they go to the business website to learn more. Having good testimonials and reviews directly on your website sets a good tone as customers learn more.
How to maximize the reach of your site
Now that you understand the why of having a website, there are several key things you need in order to retain the customers that visit your site.
Make it look modern and professional
I’m not saying have a modern and hip look to your site. (Unless that’s your branding, then go for it!) I’m saying your website needs to feel current. And not that you just created it 10 years ago and left it to sit on the internet, unattended and unloved for a decade. It needs to follow current design trends, specs, and look professional.
Update it regularly
Customers are very internet savvy today. They can tell when a website hasn’t been updated for a long time. It’s important to update your site regularly with current offers and promotions. This shows customers that you care and work hard for your customers.
Allow customers to contact you
Every page on your site should have a call to action. That could be an online form that allows them to contact you. It could link to a blog where they can learn more. Your site also needs to have clear contact information so customers can get in touch with your business or make an appointment. Contacting your business should be top of mind throughout your website.
When you have your website built and created, it does no good if no one can find it. That’s when SEO comes in. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization makes sure your website gets found when people search using certain keywords. There’s a lot of steps that go into SEO. But when optimized properly, it can take your website leaps and bounds further ahead of your competitors.
If you’re not sure how to do any of this or want to build a website, Manta can help! During COVID-19, we’re offering a discount on our website services. Learn more or contact us here!