So here I am, I have started helping businesses with their websites and I have not really let businesses know why they need a functional website. So what better time to do it. There are two common explanations I come across when I talk to businesses who don't use or have a website, and they are:
Have one but don't really need it...
So this gets broken down again in two parts. The first part is directed to businesses who have websites, designed them themselves or paid a fee for someone to design it, published it to the web and waited for the world to come to them. Sadly, it is not that easy getting your website on the first couple of pages of Google. It takes time for Google to trust your website. It also takes a bit of work to tinker with the link building and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
Secondly, I have found that when talking to some business owners who are experiencing 'good times' they do not rely on their website to generate sales and leads. They usually say they get all their work from word of mouth. I always immediately think they are lucky to be in this situation, however, when I ask them to think what would happen if momentum changed, if the leads stopped coming this way, what would they do...
The answer usually is:
'Oh well, I would then look at a website or pay more attention to the one I have'.
Yes, you can concentrate on it if this time comes, or, you could make sure your website is optimised now so it is ready to generate new leads if it is not already. Sure there are people out there that can help you with it, and like I said earlier, there is a bit to do to optimise your website. However, if you do this from the start or build a website now while the good times are here, it helps eliminate the risk of the 'gravy train stopping' and builds business continuity.
The second type of business usually tells me:
I Don't need one..
For the businesses I speak to who do not have a website, I usually point out the following to help them understand why a website is crucial.
Thousands and thousands of people use the internet to search for businesses that sell similar products or services to your business. By not having a website, or an optimised website if you have one already, you will be missing out on the action.
Online Portfolio - showcase your business
By having a website your potential customers can find out about you, your services, your products and your business. What businesses seem to forget is that a website allows potential customers to see testimonials which we are seeing as a massive advantage to businesses who can showcase positive feedback on their business website. It also allows for existing customers to promote your business by quoting your website - free marketing, how good is that!
The shop is now 24/7
Your website never closes. It can let customers, where ever they are, access your website and buy your products or request a quote for your services.
Engagement with customers
A website is a vehicle to build a customer base so you can directly inform them of special offers, new products, important information etc. It can also give you the opportunity to remind them a service on a vehicle, lawn mower or pool filter service is due. The possibilities are endless. It also gives them the opportunity to ask you questions etc.
If you are brave enough, you can link your social media platforms to your website, but thats another story. You can find out a little more about that in an earlier blog on this website.
In this modern age a website is a sign of authority for customers. There is an element of unease with some potential customers if they cannot find your website and look at what you do.
Lastly, we are moving to an age where referrals are the big deal. Potential customers are not relying on printed business lists anymore. It is digital all the way! Social media allows for instant information and this includes instant referrals. Businesses who are not relying on funnelling social media referrals, so they point towards their website, are being disadvantaged. This is all and well if you are lucky enough to be on the 'gravy train', but like I said earlier, what happens if momentum changes.