Benefits of a Business Website
A business website is now the standard and customers expect you to have one. There are millions of Internet users online comparing you to your competition and deciding based on your site and quality of content if you are worth contacting. If you are not yet on the web, you're missing out on numerous opportunities and customers because you're not even able to compete. In fact, customers today may look negatively upon your business because websites and email are now common means of communication. And if you think a website is only for certain industries, think again. Every business, from real estate agents and lawyers, to garden centres and interior decorators, should have a professional web presence.
Dangers of a Bad Website
In 2008, 84% of Canadians were online. This goes to show that customers are out there looking for products and services online. You may be missing out on obtaining these customers because you don't have a site at all, or your site is bad and driving them away.
Based on a recent study, web users know within about three seconds if a site is 'worth' staying at and therefore if the company itself is worth doing business with. Time is valuable online and your competition is always just a click away. If you have a poorly constructed or amateurish website that has bad navigation, illogical structure, spelling mistakes, broken links, or is unattractive, your website may be hurting your business more than you think by driving away customers.
Your site represents your company so a lack of effort translates into a perception of how you do business on a regular basis. So, it's simply no longer sufficient to just 'have a website'. You must have one that stands out and that offers your customers more value than your competitors.
For the reasons mentioned, it is vital to have a professional website that reflects and represents your business and sells your products and services. Care must be taken when developing a new site so that it coincides with your brand, meets your goals, and focuses on your target market.
Evaluating your Current Site
It's not enough to just have a web page with your logo and phone number because that's not really a helpful or effective site. Maybe you had a website built some years ago by your neighbour's kid or by a 'company' that slapped something together years ago. Some business owners actually have no idea if they have a website because it hasn't been updated in years. And if you're one of those people who don't think you need a website just because you don't surf the web, you're sadly thinking the wrong way. Your website isn't for you, it's for your customers, who are online!
- Does my website convert visitors into customers and keep them coming back for more?
- Even though I think the website looks nice, what do my customers think? Do they enjoy their online experience with my company?
- Does my site provide real value to my target customers and draw them in?
- Am I actively marketing my website to attract new customers?
- If my current site is actually hurting my business, is it the right time to invest in something more professional?
Top Reasons that every Business should have a Website
- Improved communication and long-term relationships with customers
- Increased sales
- Reduced advertising expenses
- 24/7 visibility
- Expansion into a global market
- Centralized spot to provide company and service information
- Customers getting information when they want it and feel informed when contacting you