People often say to me that because they have Facebook and social media accounts they don't need a website. The go-to place to find goods and services nowadays is on Google so if your competitor has a website you're already at a disadvantage. The disconnect between you and your potential customers who vet your business based on its online presence could be costing you money.
Think of your website like a shop front. Would you go into a business with no writing on their shop front? You'd probably think it was no longer in business. So many businesses either have no website or fail to update their current one. This as you can imagine reflects badly on the business and the customer's impression of the business. So let's look at why you should create your online shop front.
1. Help Customers find your business.
The obvious one. A website is like your digital storefront, providing an online presence that is accessible 24/7. This helps potential customers find information about your business, products, and services and most importantly your contact information. If they can't find what they are looking for they will quickly move on somewhere else.
2. Credibility and Branding.
Your website like your storefront creates a first impression on the business. If it's a mess, this can immediately put off potential customers. You need to think about how you want to be represented online and having your website be the first result that shows up on Google, puts you in control of that representation. Website design needs to be considered as a core part of the business just like a store front, marketing or signage.
3. Gain Competitive Advantage
Do a quick search on Google using some of the terms people might use to find your business and see what comes up. Have a look at your competitors and see what they are doing. It may be the case that they haven't invested in a website and this gives you an immediate opportunity to gain an advantage over them. If your direct competition has a website, they have a clear advantage especially if they are effectively marketing their website. Maybe their website design is poor and here you have an opening to offer a better user experience to people seeking out the service.
4. Cost Effective Advertising
If it's the case that you are in a niche business it can be very cost effective to build a website. There might not be much local competition so if anyone googles your service in your locality, you will be first up on Google results. This is what they call organic reach, meaning you haven't paid for it through Google Ads.
After you’ve spent money designing your website, everything else is free advertising. So when you think about the cost of building and hosting your website and domain you need to factor in what is it worth to you.
If your site costs you €30 a month, do you make back €30 in sales? Look at it less as a cost and more as an investment. This site can make you money if you put the time and effort into it.
5. Make Sales Online: E-Commerce
If your business can sell products and services online this can be a great way to generate revenue without having to interact with a customer at all. There are many ways to do this, even if you don’t sell physical products. You could add an online booking system so clients can book slots in a yoga class for example, or book a space for a counselling or therapy session.
You could sell gift vouchers online as well. You also have the option to integrate Shopify or any of the other e-commerce solutions into your website and start selling products from your shop or add a click-and-collect service. Since the covid pandemic the amount of sales that have moved online has been massive so now is a great time to capitalise on people's changed spending habits.
I hope this makes you start to think more about how you want to represent your business online. Thanks for reading and don't be afraid to get in touch.