The website question is one that gets a lot of airtime at the moment, because the widespread use of social networking means that more and more brands are starting out on social media alone.
But we still think that your business needs a website, and there are six very good reasons why. Let’s take a look.
Let’s get started.
1. Referrals alone aren’t enough
I’ve worked with a lot of businesses in my time who’ve argued that they don’t need a website because their products speak for themselves and will bring in all of the referrals they’ll need. Even if that’s the case (and it almost certainly isn’t), where do you think those referrals will look before reaching out to you? The truth is that if you don’t have a website, they’ll just buy from someone who does.
Also, not having a website makes people ask questions like, “Does this company keep up with technology? Will I need to be working with someone who still does things with a pen and paper? Am I going to need a fax machine?”
2. You need to meet people where they are
No matter what industry your business is active in, your customers are active online. In fact, around 60% of the global population uses the internet on a regular basis. That means that creating a website is just common sense because it allows you to meet your customers where they’re active, in the same way that opening a Facebook page makes sense if you know that most of your customers are active on Facebook.
3. It provides a reflection of your brand
Your website is a little bit like a flagship store, providing the online headquarters of your brand. Without a website, you have no headquarters. This is also why it’s so important to make sure that your website is regularly updated. You can’t afford to have a website that looks ten years old. If your site isn’t sleek and modern, people will look elsewhere.
When people first arrive on a website, the right, more visual side of their brain tries to figure out whether it likes the website. If the site passes the right brain test, the left, more analytical side of the brain takes over and looks for data points to validate it. If your website looks old, the left brain will be looking for data points to verify that.
4. All you need is a landing page
If budget is an issue and you can’t afford to develop a full website, a simple landing page is better than nothing. This can save you a lot of money when it comes to development costs, and you can use it to deploy a data capture form along with a lead magnet to start building up an email list. It will also ensure that you’ve secured the domain name and that you’ve started to build its authority ahead of later launching an updated version of the site.
Studies show that email marketing drives 20% of traffic and conversions on e-commerce sites, and so developing a good quality email list will give you a massive head start when it comes to scaling your brand.
5. It’s an owned property
One of the problems with relying on social networking sites instead of building a website of your own is that those platforms are owned by third-parties. You could spend five years building a Facebook presence, only for Facebook to announce that it’s closing down. Facebook also owns all of the data. And of course, as these platforms change and lose users, that will also affect your business.
It’s a much better long-term strategy to develop your website as an owned property that belongs to your business so that you can maintain total control over it.
6. Greater customisation
How much does a website cost?
This is one of those how long is a piece of string questions, and you can build the things for free using open source software if you have the expertise. As a general rule, though, you’re looking at $3-5,000 in basic development costs, plus a couple hundred bucks a month on hosting and maintenance.
If you’re not a small business and you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, websites can cost you anywhere from $10,000 to over $1 million. You can learn some more about website costs in one of our earlier articles.
The good news is that even if you manufacture and sell products, you don’t necessarily need to build an e-commerce store. You can often save money by linking off-site to third-party retailers, such as Amazon. This can be a decent mid-point when you don’t have an unlimited budget. You can start to build out a content site that links to third-parties and pay website costs at a later date.
Did you know?
- It takes around 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site and whether they’ll stay or go.
- 57% of internet users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile.
- 75% of consumers admit making judgements about a company’s credibility based on their website design.
- 94% of all negative website feedback is design-related.
The subjects we’ve covered today should be enough to give you a good idea of whether a website makes sense for you, and so now it’s over to you to get the ball rolling. Ready to get your website project off the ground and to start looking into development agencies? Reach out to us today to find out how we can help you.