Importance of a Website
17 Reasons For Business Success and How to Get One
My granddad Bruno googles everything. Bruno looks at places he wants to visit, and if the pictures aren’t pretty, he doesn’t go. He reads product reviews and makes a purchase if the reviews satisfy him. He googles every store near him before he visits. If Bruno can’t find the store on Google, it’s doesn’t exist for him.
And he’s only one of 4.33 billion people who use the internet. You read that right, over 50% of all people worldwide are online!
[Illustration of a connected world]
Although that should be reason enough to jump right into your website creation process, I’ll give you 17 more reasons why you absolutely need a website.
BUT, this isn’t just some lame everyday list post. Additionally to the reasons why you should get a website, I’ll show you how to get one.
It’ll take 14 minutes to read, but it just might change the course of your business!
Table of Contents
1. Go Beyond Social Media and Reach More People
You might argue that you already have a Facebook page. Or Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Medium, or whatever other social media platform you love the most.
And that’s awesome! You need a social media profile to be as close as you can to your customers. Also, you can reach A LOT of people. But it shouldn’t be a stand-alone. There are still many people that aren’t active on social media – I know for sure that Bruno isn’t – and you don’t want to lose out on that audience.
2. You Don't Depend on Another Website
Another problem that comes with social media is that you don’t actually own your page. You just host your profile with the platform. If they go down, you go down with them.
Imagine you use your Facebook fan page to sell your hand-knitted sweaters and engage with the knitting community. Suddenly, Facebook gets involved in a lawsuit and needs to shut down immediately. Your client base is gone, and you’re left with a bunch of yarn and needles. The people you used to interact with on Facebook can google for your business all they want. If there is no website to find, they have no way of staying in touch with you.
3. Save Marketing Bucks by Ranking on Google's First Page
I told you about Bruno and how he loves to google things. Now you better sit down when I tell you how many searches Google receives. It’s incredible. Google gets 3.8 million searches per minute!
Imagine for a second (while another 63.000 searches pass) that a tiny portion of these searchers discovers your company. Wouldn’t that be awesome? The best thing, being on Google is completely free.
However, ranking on Google’s first page isn’t exactly an easy feat. Getting lost in technical SEO, keywords, and high-performing content can seem daunting.
4. Get New Business Without Effort
Once your website is up and running, it can be an around-the-clock lead generator! If you have published evergreen content, for example, blog posts that are still relevant in two years, you will have leads trickling in while you sleep.
Even if you just have a landing page, as long as it gets found, it’ll bring in new business.
5. Inspire Trust in Your Website Visitors
People buy from brands they trust. I’m sure you make the best impressions wherever you can, in person, on the phone, and via email.
But with a website, you can take it to a whole nother level.
You can name drop and show the big players you’ve worked for. You can display reviews and show video testimonials from real clients. You can showcase your previous work. There are so many ways to inspire trust in people you’ve never met just by having them visit your website.
6. Present Yourself the Way You Want
Show people who you are through design, storytelling, and content. You can’t do that, at least not as effectively, with a sales letter or PowerPoint presentation. A social media account isn’t enough either, those platforms are too limiting. You can upload your own logo, choose your pictures, and write your content, but the design and functionality will be that of the platform.
Showing the full range of your brand’s character is only possible with its own website.
7. The Old Way of Marketing Is Broken
Advertising yourself on local billboards and in magazines and in newspapers is expensive. More importantly, that’s not where people look these days. They will see the billboards, but they won’t pay attention to them. Some will read a magazine with your ad in it, but they’ll just turn the page. It’s an old hat.
When you market your business online, you have tools that go beyond simple advertising. You can present a solution and give value to people who are engaging with you. That’s how you turn prospects into customers. That’s the new way of marketing.And it’s cheaper too! Here’s a little example: Imagine you advertise your problem-solving blog post on Facebook. For $20 you can reach 20.000 people! And that’s just an average, we’ve seen much higher numbers.
8. Enjoy the Benefits of Paid Online Marketing
I’ve just told you about reaching 20.000 people for a Jackson on Facebook. That’s just the beginning. Think about other platforms like Pinterest, Youtube, Linkedin, Reddit, and search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo. There are millions of potential customers are waiting for you, just one click away.
The catch is, profitable paid online marketing is tough.
Or at least tougher than many gurus want you to believe. You have to know your way around highly technical advertising platforms and copywriting and design and psychology and targeting and… You can probably figure out how to set up a campaign, but it’ll hardly bring in any results.
9. Your Competition Already Has a Website
Go to Google and search for some of your competitors. Chances are, you find many of them online.
Now, think like one of your clients. What would they type into Google if they were looking for your service? Try it. Can you see how your competitors pop up? Your former prospects, who are now your competitor’s clients, had the same experience.
If you want to be your competition’s competition, you need to be where they are.
10. Be in Touch With Your Customers
Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to get in touch with a business and not finding any contact information. If you find a phone number and call the place, it goes to voicemail. Or you find an email address, send a question, and wait three days for an answer.
That turns any person away from a business.
On a website, you can incorporate a number of tools to make it easy for customers to get in touch, like chatbots and forms to fill out. Sometimes you don’t even need to be in touch, you can solve their problems with a video you’ve uploaded or an FAQ you wrote.
11. Make Word of Mouth Marketing a Breeze
Imagine my granddad Bruno wants to recommend me this company he hired to do his gardening. They don’t have a website. He just says they’re good, but he can’t accurately represent them. He may misquote rates or forget about services. That wouldn’t happen if we could just go online and read about everything.
Saying to your friends, “Just check out their website,” is significantly easier than telling them everything about a business yourself.
Also, have you ever seen someone online promoting a company without a link to their website? I surely haven’t.
12. Prepare for the Future
59% of the global population uses the internet.
Ecommerce is booming. 16% of all retail sales happen online, and that number is rising.
I assume you’re planning to stay in business for a few more decades. In that case, you’ll need to have a website sooner or later anyway. Better make it sooner!
13. Get More Visits From Locals
Maybe you own a local business, and you’re scoffing at this article. “Pff, not everyone has to know me. My loyal local clients are enough.”
But how do they discover you in the first place? They search the web! Just as everyone else does. The times of window-shopping are over. In fact, 46% of all Google searches are local!
Another important thing is the reviews your clients leave on Google. You can’t fake those, and everybody trusts them. Many read them before they make contact with a business. When I feel like grabbing a drink, I check Google Maps. When I find a five-star bar with people saying they make killer cocktails, I’m very likely to get a taste.
So, don’t forget to ask your customers for a rating!
14. Be Crisis Proof
We’re in April 2020. A big part of the world is under lockdown due to a Coronavirus pandemic.
People can’t go out, so they aren’t walking past your shop’s windows anymore. They also won’t be talking about your business over a drink in the local pub. The only interaction point with the world is over the internet, and that’s where the business is booming right now.
Of course, this pandemic isn’t going to last forever, and things will go back to normal, and you’ll have people walking into your store just like before. If your business survived it. Many didn’t. Many could save themselves by putting effort into bringing their business to the internet.
Who knows what the future holds? Maybe soon online will be the only place to shop. Better be safe than sorry.
15. You Are Open 24/7
Have you ever taken a call at 3 am or answered an email at that time? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could always do that?
With a website, you can! Maybe you’ve seen the cute little button floating in the bottom right corner of this page? It’s a chatbot. No matter what time it is, you can click on it and get in touch with us. Although it might be just a robot answering, it could solve your issue or at least give you some feedback on when we’re back. Feel free to try it out!
Even if you don’t have a chatbot, many questions can be answered by your website. People can freely read all about who you are and what you do. You can publish hours upon hours of guides, FAQs, and manuals to solve your customer’s problems, instead of having them contact you.
16. Make the Life of Your Employees Easier
Make a password-protected section on your website for your employees. Now instead of training each newbie, just upload a training video and have them watch it. Also, upload your corporate manuals, pictures from the last BBQ, and important news, right for every employee to see!
17. Get Insight From Analytics
The data you can gather from analytics software is highly valuable. What service page do people visit the most? What product do are they interested in? Do they stay long enough to read your sales pitch, or do they get bored after 30 seconds and leave the page? You’ll find the answer to all these questions in your analytics tool.
Analytics software also gives you the opportunity to test out different approaches. If you aren’t sure how to name your product, for example, do a split test. Create the product twice with the same name and check your analytics to see which one people like better. The possibilities are endless.
How You Get a Website
That was almost two thousand words on why you need a website. If that helped you to decide to bring your business online, Great!
You’d now start googling “how to get a website,” right? Let me take that burden off you. Read on to find out what the best method is for you to get your website.
Code It Yourself
I’ve only included this section to advise against coding your own website. Most people trying to decide if they should get a website won’t know how to write code anyway.
You’ll invest a lot of time to learn the basics, more time to code a simple website, and some to fix all the bugs. It’s not feasible to learn coding just to make your own website. Rely on builder tools or hire someone to do it instead.
Use a CMS
A website builder tool, also called CMS – content management system – is the easiest way to get a website up and running. There’s a jillion of CMSs out there. Nevertheless, I’ll only focus on four: WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify for eCommerce. Why? Because one of those will be an excellent fit for you. And instead of writing about the history, features, and pricing of each, I’ll tell you which content management system YOU should use.
I’ll start off with WordPress, my top recommendation. WordPress is the most popular website builder out there, and for a good reason. It’s estimated that 33.5% of all websites are made with WordPress. That’d be 24,808,989 websites.
WordPress really packs a punch! No other website builder has as many plugins and design templates. It doesn’t matter if you want to build a small portfolio website to showcase your oil paintings of puppies or a fortune 500 company website, WordPress got you.
Another advantage of WordPress is that it’s open-source. Nobody owns it, therefore, nobody can tell you what to do with it. You have all the freedom.
WordPress super powerful and doesn’t cost a dime, but it takes a while to get the hang of it. You have to be tech-savvy.
Shopify is the most widely used website builder for eCommerce. It’s easy to use and has all the tools and add-ons to make your online shop run successfully.
Wix is popular as well, with 3,373,287 live sites.
It’s easier to use than WordPress and Squarespace. It’s easy to customize, and the editor is intuitive. Wix also takes care of the hosting and guides you through buying a domain and setting it up. On the downside, it offers fewer functions and customizations than WordPress; and the designs aren’t as pretty as on Squarespace.
Squarespace relies heavily on looks. The out-of-the-box designs are unparalleled! I’m sure you’ve come across one of those slick and modern one-page websites by Squarespace. They make you go, “woooow.”
It’s pretty, but you can’t customize it as much as WordPress or Wix, and the functionality is limited. Also, it’ll take some time to get used to the editor. It’s clunky and not as intuitive as the other two.
Hire Someone to Create Your Website
If you don’t want to (or can’t) do it yourself, hire someone to do it. Smart advice, right?
When you want to hire a professional to create your website, the possibilities are plenty. From web agencies to freelancers to your friends and family members, many people and companies would love to make your website.
In this section, you’ll learn what roads you can take and which is the right one for you.
Hire an Agency
Agencies know what kind of website gets you the results you want – and how to create them. They know all about the best practices, correct procedures, and legalities of the online world.
Even better, if you hire an agency that doesn’t just do web development. Choose a full-service agency! That way, your branding, and marketing will be on point as well and support your overall business goal. When hiring a good agency, you can be sure to get your paper’s worth.
Hire a Freelancer
Platforms like Upwork.com and Freelancer.com make it easy to find qualified freelancers for your project.
But those platforms also make it easy to find unqualified ones. So, be wary of scams and over promises when you hire someone online you don’t know. Be thorough in your hiring process and make sure the freelancer understands what you need and is able to deliver it.
Also, try to withstand the temptation to hire the cheapest worker you find. Some will do your coding for $5 per hour. As you know, in business, you get what you pay for. That also holds true when hiring freelancers.
Hire Your Momma's Friend's Third Cousin
I suggest you don’t hire within your personal circle. We all have friends or friends from friends or family members who tell us they can make our website when they actually can’t. They’ve just seen a WordPress tutorial and think they’ve got it all figured out.
If you go by their word and you end up with a crappy website, you’ll be mad, and your personal relationship will suffer.
So, unless they actually have something to show for themselves, don’t hire them. And even if they are actually good at making websites, there can always be complications on those projects. It’ll be hard to separate the business from the personal.
Personal Circle Verdict
Summary: Importance of a Website and How to Get On
Online isn’t just the future, it’s the present. You need a website, no matter what business you are in and who your customers are.
You can build it yourself using a popular CMS like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or – for retailers – Shopify. Which one you should choose depends on how tech-savvy you are and what you care for most in your online appearance.
A better solution may be to hire someone else to do it. Preferably an agency to be sure that your project comes to life the way you imagine it. With a smaller budget, you can still hire a freelancer who knows what they’re doing.
Try to avoid hiring in your personal circle because mixing personal life with business quickly leads to problems.