Still today, 30% – 40% of small organizations (either businesses, non-profits, or individuals) don’t have a website, let alone, a comprehensive online presence.
Considering the easy access to skilled professionals, accessible tools, and massive amounts of content options it is hard to understand why.
Because, today, it is relatively simple to “get online and stay there.”
- Create a Lasting First Impression
New visitors or potential customers will be pleased and assured to find a business website that is inviting, engaging, and informative. Also, when contacting people on the phone or by email you can just leave a well-crafted website address and that person can visit your website at their leisure. Often, your website will make a better first impression than you will.
- Another Powerful Tool
Beyond just making basic information (address, phone, hours, etc.) immediately available to your visitors, your website gives you an additional forum where you can address your visitors’ needs and concerns. You can also offer them expanded information and convincing next steps. By personalizing your website, you can offer business customers special deals and limited items, specifically for them.
- Look Established and Ready for Business
A well-designed, well-produced website can make, even a new start-up, look and perform like a seasoned pro. When your site appears near the top of the search results page, because your copy & images sparkle and your layout & navigation are engaging, you’ll know your website is up to the standards and ready to compete with larger and older sites in your niche.
- Become the Authority in Your Niche
When you create compelling content, you build your brand, and you build authenticity & authority with the search engines. Your visitors then know who they can trust on the Internet and who they will visit first. And if they visit you and trust you, working with you is not far behind. Your blogs, your articles, your general information, and your offerings show that you know your subject and your information is trustworthy.
- Great Way to Build Your Email List
By adding calls-to-action and sign-up forms to your website you will be able to automate the collection of email addresses to add to your email marketing list. Creating well-written and optimized content will compel visitors to become loyal fans. Legitimate email addresses can be hard to come by, but you can make it easier for visitors to sign up because they are interested in what you have to say.
- Analyze Your Efforts by Reviewing Your Analytics
The old saying “You don’t know where you are if you don’t know where you have been” is true on the Internet. If you put the effort into your website but don’t take the time to analyze the information, how will you know if the effort was working? By adding an analytics tool like Google Analytics you’ll have a powerful tool that will inform you of your visitors, their locations and demographics and so much more. Without a website, you will not be able to track this information.
- Increase Your Visibility
You’re probably not a big box store or a nationally known brand name. But even if you are a start-up, micro-business, small organization, or just an individual, you’ll gain more visibility on the Internet with a website than without one. If the party is on the Internet, then you want to be at that party. The main reason for this is that millions of people are searching the Internet and you might be the one that has what they are looking for. Don’t miss this party.
- Improve Your Advertising Effectiveness
Placing your website address on all your promotional material will help you gain additional exposure and encourage visitors to first check your site for the information they are seeking. Just by distributing your website address you’ll be expanding your reach and offering more than one promotional avenue to your audience.
- Save Money on Printing and Distribution Costs
A website can act as your online brochure or catalog that can be changed or updated at any time. Your images and content are bound by the size of the printed page or the cost of the printing but with a flexible website, you can add new content at no cost, any time you wish.
- Easy Access to New Customers
You can have your existing customers refer your site to their friends and relatives using only your web address. Also, random or organic visitors who come to your website via an online search will find you and stay with you if they find what they are looking for. Search engines are powerful tools and search engine optimization tools offer a great way to be found.
- Own Your Internet Identity
Your own domain name (www.yourcompany.com) establishes a strong online brand identity. You can also set up a personalized email address for the company, organization, yourself, and your employees and staff. This serves to build your brand.
- Easy to Use and Always Up to Date
If maintained properly your website will always be up-to-date and current. Even a busy business owner can make updates and edits, easily, from any computer. You won’t have to pay a programmer every time you want to change a date or add a product. Save your money for large projects or redesigns.
- Mobile-friendly Design
Mobile-friendly design and functionality is standard, not an “add-on” and significantly more searches are carried out on mobile phones (64%) than on laptops or desktops (35%). Your mobile websites allow your information to be seen on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
- Improve Productivity
A website increases your company’s productivity because less time is spent explaining product or service details because all this information is available 24 hours a day on your website. This self-serve opportunity will give you more time to engage with your visitors and better serve them.
- Educate Your Customers
Your website can offer free advice about your products and services. This information can be delivered in a well thought-out and consistent way. Some visitors might take a quick glance and act quickly while others might review and analyze every inch of your offerings before they make a move. By adding loads of quality information to your pages you can satisfy both.
- Expand Your Market
The Internet allows business or service organizations to break through the geographical barriers and become accessible from anywhere in the world. Selling products or services online has become cheaper and easier for you and your clients.
- Extend Your Local Reach
By extending the local reach of your brick-and-mortar location to visitors around the world you are open for business 24/7 365 days/year. You can provide them with all the information they need to make informed decisions.
- Promote & Sell Products & Services
Provide photos and detailed descriptions of your products or services. Explain to your visitors why your products or services are superior. Show visitors how your products or services can help them in their personal or professional lives. By updating your offerings periodically you’ll keep on top of the search results and pique the interest of your clients as new offerings become available.
- Promote Your Brick-and-Mortar Footprint
When “shoppers” are out and about, they will still be able to find you via their mobile phone. Your phone number, address, directions and hours of business, etc. can be made available for mobile users so they can find you as they are on the go. Today, the majority (60%) of searches are now done by mobile devices vs. desktops. This means that visitors won’t be looking you up at home, they’ll be searching for you on the road.
- Use Specific Pages as Training Aids or Sales Tools
If you have spent time creating great content on your website, there’s no need to reproduce this information in static or printed form. You can use information pages to teach or train staff, vendors, customers and clients. Printed material has limits, creates waste and eventually goes out of date but your website is ever fresh and up to date (assuming you keep it that way).
- When You Change Locations
If you move your operations to a new location your visitors can still find you because your main marketing tool, your business website, is easily accessible. Your website is flexible and if your search engine optimization is done properly your business will appear to online visitors who search for you.
- Great Tool for Finding New Employees
You can post job opportunities for available positions and applicants can investigate your company or organization and apply online.
- Encourage Two-Way Communication
By employing chat tools your visitors can quickly and easily contact you with questions without even sending an email. You can also set up forms and surveys on your website that will allow your visitors to send feedback and opinions.
- Improve Customer Service
Perhaps the most important benefit of having a website is to improve your “customer service”. Information requests can be processed immediately and electronically. Special deals and bonus buys can be positioned on the site and broadcast through email and text messages. Client reviews and concerns can be gathered online, and action can be quickly taken.
Bottom line: If you don’t have a website, your company is at a huge disadvantage.