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The Perks of Having a Business Website

Believe it or not, almost half of all small businesses don’t have a website.

Simply put, the importance of having a website to both large and small businesses cannot be overstated, as it connects them with millions of potential customers. Having a well-designed website makes it possible even for the small start-ups to make a lasting impression on their target audience and have a measurable method for making their brand visible and their business stand out from the competitors’.

75% of consumers report they make judgements on a company’s credibility on the basis of company’s website design*

Visibility is the key

For start-up businesses, location is everything. When opening a store in a location where a great number of potential customers can see it means a lot in terms of the exposure and business success. In this view, having an established online presence through a responsive website design means increased visibility, traffic and, ultimately, more potential customers.

For those running an online store, the Internet provides countless opportunities to market their products to, literally, hundreds of millions of people – the entire ecumene, to be precise! And to make them see you, they need to know that you exist. Recent studies indicate that between 70 and 80 percent of consumers research online prior to making a purchase decision, meaning that you need to have a website to let them know you exist.

According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to revisit a site on mobile if they experienced trouble accessing it and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead

Let them hear your story

A well-designed website provides a platform to share your story with the customers, including your company/brand history, what you’re doing now and where do you see your company in the future. This will show users know about your experience in the industry, your success story and the organizational values you share. In addition, you can also use your website to inform the customers about new and upcoming products, your long-term goals and plans for your brand(s). You do want to let them know you’ll stick for a while, right?

Catch up and outrun the competition

When establishing a business, you need to assume that your key competitors are already present online. Chances are – anyone you can think of already has a website. To know the trends and understand your competition, you need to research your competitors’ web design, SEO or load time or the marketing methods they use, to be able to move ‘one step beyond.’ Without a website, you’ll be simply lagging behind, but merely having a website is not all it takes to ‘beat’ the competition and attract the potential customers.

You actually need a proactive and responsive design to convince the customers that you are better than your competitors.

Slow-loading websites cost$2.6 billion in lost sales each year

Social media? Sure, but not enough!

One of the common mistakes a lot of companies make is assuming that social media presence makes a website unnecessary or irrelevant (even more so with Facebook boasting with its 40 million small business pages). Undoubtedly, you can work hard on your social media pages and establish valuable connections to your visitors, but the thing is that with social media, you’re likely to experience the change of rules without even being informed, forgetting the password, or losing your page to hackers – meaning, you don’t have the control over the much of the process.

A good illustration for this is Facebook’s decision to shut down purging its site of 800 political accounts, declaring them spam, even though page owners reported they were sharing legitimate news stories.

More importantly, social media, as your only point of addressing the customers, is at risk of becoming obsolete. A social media platform’s popularity is not everlasting, considering the users’ changing preferences and trends, which is why you should probably not limit yourself to social media platforms, as each one of them is likely to be abandoned – sooner or later.

Moving to a new platform may be a solution, but it means you’ll be starting from ‘the scratch,’ unless you have a considerable number of followers. And many businesses don’t. Moreover, there’s no guarantee your customer’s will follow you to the new platform. Whereas social media can be a great choice for businesses, you should never underestimate the importance of a website, a space you both own and control.

70% of small business websites don’t have a Call to Action (CTA) on their homepage

Reach the best talents

A well-designed website allows you not only draw customers, but the best, the most talented potential employees. And all of these talented, brilliant, highly-skilled people are more than likely to check out your website and see what kind of company they might be working for. This is precisely why you need a website with attractive graphics, the one that loads quickly and is regularly updated, as it instills a sense of confidence.

If you want to attract the talents, you need to have (and present) a modern vision and constantly improve your marketing capabilities, and the best way to do this is a well-designed, responsive web page.

94% of first impressions are based on design.

Content marketing made easier

Content marketing broadly refers to all the content you produce across different channels and represents a rather common and unpretentious way of increasing customer trust in your brand. Your social media account is a good place to do it, but you also need a space where you can share more diverse content. Moreover, users will more likely feel safe about browsing or downloading your content if it is on your website.

You can use your website to build personal relationships with your customers via blogs, share the knowledge, run a podcast, embed videos, share infographics or create e-books for download. With a website, you can figure out what type of content works best for both your customers and your brand. Having great content on your website will get you closer to your target audience and help you understand their specific needs and preferences.

38% of people stop engaging with a website if the content or design are unattractive

Customers as advertisers

Word of mouth tends to be underestimated, as many companies don’t realize the benefits of letting customers convince other potential customers to give your brand a chance. This free boost is particularly important for small businesses. Website also provides you with the opportunity to share testimonials, especially if those are real reactions from your actual customers. Authentic customer experiences and real people sharing their impressions about products or services are more likely to draw new customers and additionally increase trust in your brand.

47% of Users expect a maximum of 2 seconds loading time for an average website

Website builds authority

Regardless of whether it is buying guides, white papers or the latest news from the industry, your brand can benefit from having a reputation as an authority. You need to gain your customers’ trust and respect to get them to buy your products, and this is exactly why you need marketing tools. Nevertheless, it may be difficult to present those materials to your customers if you don’t have a website from which they can download or purchase them.

Once you make these authority-building materials visible and available through your website, your business will be more likely to be easily found online.

It takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not

Experts build authority

An effective way to build authority is having experts from your field to guest post content to your website, especially if you have a blog. Having trusted experts can help you establish your authority as a leader in your business field. This could be guest bloggers with a reputation in a specific field or reputable influencers who could contribute to your brand authority. Still, you need to be aware that relying on guests exclusively can muffle  your own voice, which is the key in customers’ perception of your company’s authority.

57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile

Customer service

There are customers who would travel to a physical location to report their complaints or concerns and there are also customers who would make a phone call and communicate these concerns, but today, the majority of customers prefer a real-time, online option. In addition to an active e-mail, a chatbot can considerably improve customer experience with your brand, especially if involving a human customer service agent.

Unlike AI chatbot assistance which may not provide all the answers, a real person your customers can talk to can significantly improve their experience and, once again, increase trust in your brand. A good customer service may even neutralize their negative experience with the previous purchase.

88% of online consumers are probably not likely to return to a site after a bad experience

Leverage viral content

To maintain your relevance and keep your website attractive and relevant for the customers, you should regularly check viral trends that could increase your brand awareness. This could be viral jokes and memes that could draw attention to your website and, ultimately, make your brand more popular. Nevertheless, you need to be sure that you are not going viral for the wrong reasons, which is why you need to research and pick the trends that support your brand and your values, however humorous or provocative they may be.

39% of users will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load

Mind the design

A well-designed website is a perfect blend of good design and great content, but it is also user-friendly and responsive. Nowadays, it means your website needs to be optimized for mobile phones as most websites created for desktop browsing are difficult to navigate on a mobile phone. Considering that around 70 percent of web traffic originates from mobile phones, your website needs to be adapted for mobile users – otherwise, it will not positively affect their user experience as one of the key aspects of a business website.

You need to keep an eye on the upcoming website trends to know when and how you will have to adapt.

85% of adult users think that a company’s website when on a mobile device should be as good or better than its desktop website.

You should consider your business website the difference between ‘getting somewhere’ and ‘not getting anywhere.’ You have seen that there are many ways you can have your website work for you and your overall marketing strategy. Be sure not to do everything from a social media platform as you need to be in control of your content and your identity. Ultimately, the future may bring a completely new level of interaction with customers but, before it happens, you need to make your brand visible and easily found on the web.

 

*Statistics: SWEOR.com