Why do I need a website?
We spend a lot of time making websites, but it occurred to me that we don’t often explain to people the VALUE of a good website. Most people understand intuitively that a website is good for business. A lot of people go out there and try to do it themselves, or ask a friend or relative. It’s relatively easy to cobble something together rather quickly. But a website is an investment and you really get what you pay for. A website will pay off in the long run if you understand what it can accomplish for you, and if done right. But the first task is just understanding its value; what a website brings to the table.
So let me just take a minute and list a few specific ways a website is valuable for your business:
Information at your fingertips
Want to know more about your customers? A website can track many important things about the people who visit your website. Some of the data it collects is who they are, how long they visited, what they looked at, and where they came from (ie. how they found you in the first place). Information like this is a gold mine for someone planning strategy for the business. Unlike traditional brick and mortar stores where it’s very difficult to track these things, with a website you can know so much more. And knowledge is power. Once you know these things you can incorporate it into your strategy. So nobody cares about _____, but they love _____. A website can tell you what’s important, and what’s not, at least in the eyes of your visitors.
Expand your reach
A website greatly expands your reach. It serves as a one-stop portal for your business, an always-on beacon that draws people near and far to your company. People like to engage with a website. They can read about your company from the comforts of their home, or on the go with their phone. A website creates new ways for you to reach out to them too. Contact forms are a great first contact with potential customers. It’s a non-threatening, low barrier way to get in touch. Just fill out a name, email, and comment box and they’re on their way. Email and newsletter signups are another way to engage your audience. Many people use social media to talk with their customers. A website can bring various conversations together by integrating them in one place. It also points people TO your social media. Either way, your website is a portal to these conversations.
Create an impression
Good design is really important to your business. It helps communicate who you are and what you care about. It communicates your vision and values to your customer. People do make judgements based on appearance. You can make a powerful impression about your business by the way it looks on the web. A well designed, nice looking website will attract people to your business. It creates a lasting impression.
New revenue streams
This one almost goes without saying, but a website can open up new revenue streams with an online store. The beautiful thing about the web is that it empowers just about ANYBODY to be a merchant and sell sell sell! A website can open up new markets for you, sell your products to a wider audience, and ultimately increase your revenue.
These are just a few ways a website is valuable for your business. Like I said, a website is an investment. It takes time, effort, and money. But hopefully you now have a better understanding of how a website can propel your business forward and why it is a good investment.