5 reasons why you need a website.
I remember when the idea of a website was a new concept. It was this misunderstood page that showed up after a www. on the apple computer in our elementary school library and was somehow connected to someone else on the other side of the country. At the time I remember that I was not that impressed. Perhaps it was because our only visit was to a school website that had little interesting content for a 8 year old. It’s been a couple years now and my feelings have changed, websites are an amazing tool and what can be created through them is even more amazing. I originally started out saying, in my first draft, that websites are a major part of the back bone of our economy, which I believe is true, but I would go farther now saying that they are also a major part of our society and culture. There are a ton of reasons why you need a website, but here are my top five reasons.
1. Websites are essential in today's marketing model.
You website should be the hub of your marketing and obviously the center of your online marketing, but everything should point to your website. It is your 24/7 ad campaign that has the ability to share, sell, and inform even when you are sleeping or on vacation. Your website will give you the ability to continue a conversation long after the face to face time has ended and as such your stationary, ad campaigns, publications, conversations, etc. need to point everyone back to your website.
On the shelf to my right in my office right now I have 6 rather large phone books for all over Canada, but all they are is collecting dust. I pick up maybe one of them once a month, on average, but other than that it is Google that finds my phone numbers. Really it is far more convenient to turn to a website to find my information than paging through a large book. More and more people are turning to websites to solve their problems and if you are not on the web then you will miss out.
A quick stat that I found interesting was that
- It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users.
- Television took 13 years.
- Internet 4 years.
- iPod 3 years.
- In 9 months Facebook added 100 million users.
- Downloads of iPhone aps have surpassed 3 billion in less than 18 months. (Press release from Apple)
Bottom line if you do not have a website, then you are missing millions of potential customers. Can you afford to do that?
2. Websites save you time and money.
One of the biggest factors that I have noticed, in one of my websites in particular, was that once we began including more than the necessary content we found ourselves answering less phone calls, but were recording more sales. Customers were going to the website, finding the information they needed, and therefore a call to us was not needed. Also with products now all online we were seeing many customers move online which put us to work in filling orders instead of trying to create them. This provides more time for staff to be able to work on other tasks instead of always answering the phone for simple questions, which saves us money.
Websites also allow you the time and space to educate customers. If a customer arrives on your website, finds an article of interest, like this one, and reads it they have now been educated. Now that education might simply show how a product works, why they need it, or might just talk about a related topic. However, now when you speak with that customer they already have that knowledge and you are no longer required to explain the basics of the product. This means you can be more efficient during your sales because they educated about it.
3. Websites are easy.
One of the most overlooked reasons for having a website is that they are actually really easy to begin and keep updated. Even if you have to hire a company to design it for you. I have turned out some websites in as little as four hours. With new and better content management systems such as Joomla, Wordpress, and Drupal, you now have the ability to manage your own website with little or no programming knowledge. This means you can keep your content fresh and updated. Does your website still have events and prices listed from 2006? Contact Us, you need to upgrade!
4. Websites provide a professional touch to your business.
I don’t know how many emails I get everyday, but if you are a legitimate company and you send me an email from an email provider like yahoo, gmail or hotmail then I will simply delete it, and so will thousands of other email users. With hundreds of emails each day you only have a fraction of a second to get my attention. If you want to be taken seriously you need an email with your company name in it. You email address will also be an advertisement for your business. When you send an email you are reminding people who you are and how to get in touch with you.
As I mentioned before your website is also a place where you have total control. It is an Ad running 24/7, where you can show your best, and meet with people on their time schedule. Like most things you will get from your website what you put into it. If your website looks like an 80’s cereal box, then that is how customers will view you. Your website must show customers your best, if it is anything but then you will be passed by.
5. Websites allow you to build into clients on a consistent basis.
Building relationships with your customers is essential for continued business. If you want to build that model you need to have avenues to connect with your customers and when part of your customers are halfway across the world your website will jump to your rescue. Newsletters, updated content, new products, social networks, and interactive content are all ways that you can join in conversation with your clients.
Websites are not going to replace one on one communication, but they are going to help you get to that point a lot quicker with a lot more potential customers. It will also open your business up to new opportunities that you may not have found before. Contact Richard Bankert Web Design and we will get you web presence started today!