Even the most negative technophobes out there will admit that a huge portion of business revenue is being derived from online transactions, or offline transactions as a result of seeing the product or service online beforehand. Sometimes I wonder why people even hesitate about creating an online presence. Why? Nowadays the cost of setting up a website from scratch is extremely, and I mean extremely cheap. Don’t be quick to dismiss your product or service as one that doesn’t lend itself to the online environment. People all over the world are selling all kinds of goods online, the product doesn’t even have to be tangible – it could be selling an e-book on how to make hats or the merits of cooking bacon a certain way!
A website can be a great tool in not only promoting your products but selling them too. After all, your shop cannot be available 24-hours a day but your website can. It’s also probably worth mentioning that people do tend to surf the internet most when they return from work, so why not reinforce your brand online as well as offline?
Having a website is a great way of automating your business, whilst you are having an evening off or even sleeping your website can be generating brand awareness, generating leads but more importantly generating sales and revenue for your company.
The point here is to have something on the web so you can be found by potential customers or even partners etc.; even if your website simply contains your contact details with a brief description of what you offer, you can still generate leads and business.
Build Customer Relationships
A website is a great place to build customer relationships. This can be done extremely effectively using email. Once you have a consumers’ name and email address they could be a customer for life if they are treated well.
Let’s face it we all want to make money online, and the sole intention of many online organisations is to make money, and turn visitors into loyal customer who use their products or services over and over again. Creating a website, attracting visitors and funneling this traffic is a great lead generation technique. A local organisation I worked with on a website visitor conversion campaign found they increased lead generation 800% by effectively utilising the powers of creating an effective online presence and marketing their website through a variety of channels.
To compete against your competitors
Not having an online presence could mean you are missing out on a lot of potential business, meaning your competitors have a distinct advantage just by having a website. You can leverage the power of the internet to get ahead of competitors by learning from their mistakes and by doing what they do better.
To provide business information
A huge proportion of internet users use the internet to find local businesses or a product or service in general. Using the web to do this is generally a lot cheaper than directory enquiries and a hell of a lot quicker than using a telephone book or directory (who still does that??). A website containing your business information is available 24 hours a day, this can be printed and can be bookmarked to return to later. Furthermore, potential customers can contact you using the desired communication channel you display, and there are many options available when you have a website.
Ok, a lot of people use the advantage of having a global reach to say things like “you can sell your products to people overseas and people like to buy the latest and best products”, yes of course you can but you already know that. Having a global reach means that people from all over the world can buy your products, however again it doesn’t have to be a tangible product in order to be profitable.
Cost Effective Advertising
Offline advertising generally has a relatively low conversion rate. Leaflets, brochures or other printed materials can be quite costly and once these have been printed and distributed (and more often than not thrown away) this communication channel is dead.However, a website as a communication tool will always be online; this cannot be thrown away or discarded. Offline Marketing could be looked upon as a “push” marketing mechanism, however having a website uses a “pull” mechanism, and customers search for your services and find your website.Think of a website as a full color interactive brochure which you can add to whenever you like. Reduce advertising costs by using just one effective call to action/message and promoting your website address e.g. learn more about this product on our website, for more information visit webbed-design.com etc. And finally on this one, any amendments to your website can be done quickly and usually easily. This is a completely different story with marketing literature such as posters or flyers.
To project a professional image
Lots of very small business nowadays has some kind of online presence. Nothing looks more unprofessional than when a company refers to one of their points of contact being your email@example.com or your firstname.lastname@example.org. This says to many consumers that the business either couldn’t afford or wasn’t bothered about investing in their company brand image. Wouldn’t it to be better to use a more user friendly and professional email such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org? This gives the consumers the feeling they are dealing with a successful organisation and that their query or contact is being dealt with by a professional customer support/care team.
Your website can make you money
Firstly before I go into this one I would like to tell you two things, I previously attended a Search Engine Optimization seminar in London and in one of the exhibition halls I engaged in a conversation with a middle aged woman from Scotland. After discussing the topic of the seminar we were about to watch she revealed to me that she found her online success… selling books on how to make straw hats! She uncovered that she was able to quit her full time job 3 years ago to pursue her online career selling books, but without the full time 9 to 5 or later hours. She found she could happily sit back and work 1 or 2 hours per day checking email and performing general maintenance on her website. I think this goes to show that you don’t need to be a retail outlet selling top brand labels in clothing to become and entrepreneur online.
Effectively reach new markets
An overwhelming number of people now have access to the internet whether it’s through their mobile phone, PC, laptop or game console. You really can’t afford to miss out on all these potential customers. It may be that someone didn’t mean or intend to land on your website but people surf the internet in many different ways, more often than not people often refine their searches on search engines again and again until they get to the website they want. For example, they may begin searching for “car wax” and throughout their journey they may find that they don’t actually want a car wax anymore but what they want now is a car valeting service. This is common with website users in that they do end up on a website looking at products or services they didn’t intend to look at in the first instance.
If you want people to find your business, in this day and age there really is no comparable alternative to having an online presence. Word of mouth and other referrals will get you loyal customers, but in order to reach out to new customers you need to be able to be found. Considering most customers now do their ‘finding’ on the internet (or more specifically Google) you need to be visible, and this means you need a website.
Whether you already have some ideas or have no idea where to start, we can help you build your perfect business website. Feel free to get in touch for more details.