27 Reasons Your Business Needs a Website
- Central hub for all information about your business.
- Allows you to sell your products and services 24/7.
- Answers customer questions about your business, saving you much time.
- Lets you link to your social networks, podcasts and videos.
- A place for visitors to subscribe to your news or blog.
- Provides potential customers various ways to contact you.
- Portal for online courses.
- Accept bookings for workshops / seminars / classes.
- Allows visitors to easily book appointments, no matter what time zone you are in.
- It gives your business credibility.
- You have access to your website analytics so you can find out what is working and what isn’t.
- Showcases portfolio of your projects.
- Promotes your business through search engines.
- Lets you exchange links with business partners.
- Offers library of resources and articles for your visitors.
- Allows you to offer special deals and promotions.
- Makes it easy for customers to interact with you at a time that suits them.
- Lets you share giveaways including reports, checklists, white papers.
- Lets visitors request a quote.
- Allows you to create sales funnels and set up landing pages.
- Gives you an opportunity to tell your story.
- Gives you exposure to new customers – not only local, but also global markets.
- Lets your customers register for a webinar, enter a competition or complete a quiz.
- Helps your business stand out from the competition.
- It allows you to quickly and easily update information about products and services.
- Provides an opportunity to collect customer emails and/or phone numbers.
- You have control over the look, functionality and what gets shown about your business.
$4.9 trillion e-commerce
sales expected in 2021
Source: Internet World Stats
Why Do You Need a Website?
If you are starting out in business, you may be questioning whether you even need a website. In most cases this is because the process of setting up a website seems overwhelming and costly. But if you understand all the benefits a website brings, you will understand why you need one.
1. Central hub for all information about your business.
In reality your website should be the centre of your business universe. It is where you regularly update information about your products and services, your company, contact details . You can also host special reports, whitepapers, downloadables, tutorials, videos and any other assets that you own.
Your website should also link to all your social networks, YouTube Channel, podcasts and other marketing materials.
2. Allows you to sell your products and services 24/7.
Regardless of whether you sell physical products, digital products or services, you can sell them directly from your website.
If you are relatively tech savvy you can set up your own online store via Shopify or if you have a WordPress website, WooCommerce plugin provides great functionality.
For those of you selling only one or two products, consider setting up a simple Paypal Shopping cart.
But for most people, the process of setting up e-commerce is too complicated. You need to understand payment gateways, website security as well as shipping, so this is best left to a website developer.
However, if set up properly, your website can be a 24/7 sales machine, making you sales while you sleep.
Learn more about how to make money with your website.
3. Answers customer questions about your business, saving you much time.
Having Frequently Asked Questions and detailed information about your products and services on your website means you will spend less time on the phone and emailing with your customers.
When visitors arrive on your website they want answers to their questions there and then, so make sure you give them all the details they require to make an informed decision about buying your products and services.
Read more about the most important 25 pages you need to include on your website
4. Lets you link to your social networks, podcasts and videos.
Make sure you include links to your social networks including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube.
If you host a podcast, also make sure you include links to where people can listen to you.
Remember though when placing links to external websites (such as social networks) the link opens a new tab/window. That way when your visitor is finished looking at the website and they close the page, your website is still open.
5. A place for visitors to subscribe to your news or blog.
Statistics show that it takes 9-14 touch points for people to get to know you, like you and trust you, so make sure you find a way to keep in touch with them and the best way to do that is to collect visitor email addresses.
Keep in mind that most people won’t subscribe to a newsletter, so you need to offer them an incentive to leave their email address – this can be a discount, a special offer, valuable report, free training, quiz or challenge.
Emails should be collected by email marketing services such as GetResponse, Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Aweber.
6. Provides potential customers different ways to contact you that is convenient for them.
One big mistakes new entrepreneurs often make is to include a web form on their website as the only way to communicate with them. This is generally because they don’t want to be bothered taking calls or answering emails.
But the reality is if you want customers to contact you, you need to make it convenient for them and provide several options including
- Phone number
- Chat functionality
- Social media links
- Street Address or PO Box
- Google map
7. Portal for online courses.
Although there are many online portals which allow you to host courses, you can set up an online course on your website, using a plugin such as LearnDash, Sensei, WP Courseware or LearnPress (if you have a WordPress website).
Again, this can be a little techy, so I would leave the initial set up to a developer, but you should be able to easily add content including videos, images and pdf files.
By hosting your own online course you have complete control over how your course looks and functions. You can even automate parts of the course.
8. Accept bookings for workshops / seminars / classes / accommodation.
If you run face to face or online workshops, seminars / webinars or classes or if you own a hotel/motel/accommodation, you can easily accept bookings and payments on your website.
Some plugins to check out include Bookingo, EventON, Event Plus, Events Schedule and HBook Hotel Booking System.
9. Allows visitors to easily book appointments, no matter what time zone you are in.
If you are a coach, consultant or service provider, make it easy for customers to book an appointment with you.
There are many booking calendar options that allow your visitors to book an appointment with you no matter what part of the world they are in. Many calendars even allow you to accept payment at the time of booking, saving you lots of time and energy.
One such great tool is vcita. Others include Calendly, Bookly or Schedule Once.
If you own a salon, check out Salon Booking WordPress Reservation Plugin
10. It gives your business credibility.
This is a big one. If you tell someone you have a business but don’t have a website, it’s almost as bad as saying I have a business, but don’t have a phone number.
People won’t take you seriously.
And proving that you are credible and trustworthy is what can make a big difference in your conversion rate from visitors to paying customers.
There are many ways to prove your credibility online. Check out Top 27 Ways to Boost Your Website’s Credibility.
11. You have access to your website analytics so you can find out what is working and what isn’t.
If you want to find out what content your customers are reading and what marketing campaigns are working, you will need to install a program such as Google Analytics.
Google Analytics lets you:
- track online traffic,
- understand user behaviour,
- helps you find your target audience,
- see where your visitors are coming from,
- which device they are using
and so much more.
When you understand your website statistics you can make adjustments to your website content and marketing campaigns.
12. Showcases portfolio of your products / projects
They say “pictures speak a thousand words” and on your website this is particularly important. Showcase photos of your products as they are being used by your customers.
If you are a coach or consultant, feature a gallery of industry events you have attended, workshops you have conducted or seminars you have presented at.
Most of us love great makeovers and there is nothing quite like a Before & After photo gallery when it comes to credibility and expertise. This is particularly applicable to interior designers, makeup artists, hairdressers, cleaners, weight loss consultants, personal trainers and similar.
13. Promotes your business through search engines.
With 1.8 billion websites on the internet right now and thousands being added each month, everyone is striving to do the same – to come up in the first spot (or at least on the first page) of Google and other search engines. In reality there are only 3 ways you can come up on top:
- Set up a pay per click advertising campaign, such as Google Adwords
- Optimise your website for keywords (also known as Search Engine Optimisation)
- List your business on Google My Business and Bing Places for Business
Your strategy will depend on the money / time you have to invest into this strategy. If you need to start selling fast, then opt for Google Adwords as you can start promoting your business very quickly.
If you are looking for a more long term solution, then consider search engine optimization. Depending on the size and age of the website, expect to invest 6-12 months of work before you see any results.
Regardless of whether you go down the SEO or Google Adwords path, I would recommend setting up a Google My Business and Bing Places for Business listings. These are free and can potentially drive traffic to you relatively fast, especially for local businesses.
14. Lets you exchange links with business partners.
Link exchange is an extremely powerful marketing strategy which can bring you many new leads and customers.
Find websites whose business complements yours and add their website to your links/resource page. Then contact the company and ask for a reciprocal link. For example if you are a wedding dress designer, you could contact businesses that sell wedding cakes, jewellery, flowers and also venues, celebrants etc.
The more links you have pointing to your site from relevant websites, the higher you may rank in search engines.
15. Offers library of resources and articles for your visitors.
Add value to your business. Provide information that is going to help your customers achieve their goal.
Publish your own articles or approach other complementary businesses. For example a business coach could publish articles from an accountant, lawyer, marketing expert, graphic or website designer.
You can also share tools, apps and books that your customers may find valuable.
16. Allows you to offer special deals and promotions.
Since the content on your website can be easily changed, you can set up special offers, deals, promotions and sales whenever an opportunity arises.
If you have an online store you can set up a coupon which allows you to offer a sitewide discount.
17. It makes it easy for customers to interact with you at a time that suits them.
Your customers are busy and they will be looking at your website at different times of the day or night and from different time zones. Your website should be set up in a way that allows them to connect with you when it is convenient for them.
This can mean having a Live Chat on your site, a special form or an automated quoting system.
18. Lets you share giveaways including reports, checklists, white papers.
One way to develop trust and prove that you are an expert in your field is by giving away reports that can help your customers solve a problem or answer a question.
Most people won’t subscribe to a newsletter anymore, but they will happily leave their email address if they can get something of value in return.
19. Lets visitors request a quote.
Depending on your business, you can set up an automated quoting system , which allows customers to instantly receive a quote. Alternatively you can create a form that gives you an opportunity to provide a quote.
If you have a WordPress website, check out WPForms, Formidable Forms, Request a Quote for WooCommerce.
20. Allows you to create sales funnels and set up landing pages.
If you are running a marketing campaign such as Facebook or Google Ads and are looking for a landing page solution, you don’t need to spend extra money on landing page software. You can easily create landing pages and complete sales funnels right on your website.
The main difference between a regular web page and landing page is that landing pages are generally designed with one call to action in mind, such as to collect email addresses. They don’t have any navigation buttons so as not to distract the visitor. As the name suggests, it’s where a visitor “lands” after they click on an ad.
Check out this example of a landing page.
21. Gives you an opportunity to tell your story.
Whilst most of the content on your website should be focused on your customer, your About Us page is your chance to shine and show off your personality.
- Outline why you do what you do or how you got to offer this product / service
- Explain who you serve and how
- Share company history and how it evolved
- Make it creative and fun with original graphics
- Include engaging video about your staff and/or business
- Use high quality images and original photos
- Be real and authentic and funny if appropriate.
- Share milestones that you have achieved
- Share company mission
22. Gain exposure to new customers – not only local, but also global markets.
Expand the distribution of your products and services to other cities, states and countries. If you sell products, an online store allows you to sell internationally. Your website can even be translated into different languages.
If you are a coach or a consultant, you can offer your services via zoom or create online courses that can be available for customers not only locally but also overseas.
23. Lets your customers register for a webinar, enter a competition or complete a quiz.
Interact with your customers and set up a form on your website which allows people to register for a webinar, enter a competition or complete a quiz.
If you use WordPress, there are several plugins which you can integrate into your website to design sophisticated quizzes. These include Formidable Forms, LearnDash or Interact Quiz Maker.
For competition or giveaways, check out WP Contest Creator and KingSumo Giveaways.
24. Gives your business opportunity to stand out from the competition.
Show your personality and stand apart from your competitors by having your website designed by a professional developer. Many of your competitors may design their website themselves and this will show. People will judge them by their web design skills rather than their products and services.
Make sure you use high quality images and creative videos and keep updating your content, whenever things change in your business.
25. Allows you to quickly and easily update information about products and services.
Most website design platforms are simple to use, which means you don’t have to rely on a website designer or developer to update your information.
If you use WordPress for your website, we recommend using Enfold or Divi theme. Both themes are user friendly and allow you to easily customize and update your website.
26. Provides an opportunity to collect customer emails and/or phone numbers.
Don’t rely on social networks to keep in touch with your visitors and customers. Collect email addresses and/or phone numbers and provide your subscribers with useful information.
In many cases it can take several weeks or months for customers to be ready to buy your products and services. By keeping in touch with them regularly you will be on top of their mind, when they are ready to make the purchase.
27. You have control over the look, functionality and what gets shown about your business.
Unlike with social networks, you have complete control over how your website looks and functions. You choose what information gets displayed and if you decide, you can move your site to another hosting company (providing you use self hosted WordPress).
If your website is designed with Wix, Squarespace, Shopify or similar, you still have control over the design, but are not able to move the website somewhere else.
“If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.”
What can a website help with?
A website can help you:
- Present a more professional image and as a result attract more customers
- Stand apart from the competition
- Keep your business open 24/7 so you can generate more sales
- Connect with your customers at a time that’s convenient for them
- Easily update information so you can share news and offers
- Save time by providing customers details they would otherwise have to phone or email you about
- Earn more money by reaching customers around the world
- Save you money as you no longer need a physical store to run a business
What can a website do?
For most businesses a website is simply an online brochure, which tells their visitors about the products and services they offer. But a website can do so much more:
- Allow customers to buy products from the comfort of their home
- Collect email addresses, so you can keep in touch with your visitors
- Book appointments in different time zones
- Run online courses
- Provide automated quotes
- Process entries to a competition
- Accept registrations for classes / workshops / seminars
- Collect details from a survey
- Display information from your social networks
- Provide you indepth statistics about your visitors
- Allow customers to chat to you in real time
- Gives customers opportunity to provide feedback
- Sell other people’s products and services via affiliate programs
- Get paid for displaying ads from other businesses
- Run membership programs
- Allow customers to upload files for you to review
- Store important reports / whitepapers
- Accept payments from customers
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to have a website for your business.
Having said that, the process of getting your business online can be overwhelming. If you need help either setting up a brand new website, have an audit done on your current website or get a website makeover, schedule a free online strategy session, so we can discuss where you are and where you want to go and together we can come up with a plan that you will be excited about.
by Ivana Katz
Websites 4 Small Business – www.web4business.com.au; Ivana makes it easy for you to get your business online very quickly. If you’re looking for a professional and affordable website designer, CLICK HERE and download your FREE copy of “Ultimate Website Design Secrets Blackbook – 10 Bulletproof Strategies for Designing an Outrageously Successful Website”