Hard to believe, but true: There are still businesses out there that don’t have a website. That’s what we call digging your own grave – well, unless you’re exclusively going for the over-70 crowd. It’s standard procedure these days to go on the internet and find out about a business and its prices. That’s bad if you’re nowhere to be found. Your website is your digital shop window and online business card. The following study makes clear how essential the role of the internet is not only for new customer acquisition, but brand awareness as well:
- 91,7 percent of people like it a lot when companies have an online presence
- 34,4 percent of customers even switch to the competition if they don’t find the information they’re looking for
- 25,4 percent of people think it’s unprofessional for a company to not have a business website
- 48,1 percent think a business without a website is not keeping up with the times
- 80 percent want to be able to see prices online
The business website: back in the day
So let’s take a look back in time. Once upon a time you had the works: flyers, business cards, newspaper ads, telephone books, you name it. And the problem with these things was that they weren’t accessible to everyone the way a website is. Flyers and business cards had to get into the hands of potential new customers. This means that everybody who was looking for a new stylist, beautician or personal trainer had to be in the exact place where you had your marketing stuff lying around. Or hopefully they had bought a newspaper on the exact day you had your ad in it, or walked past your salon, shop or studio. What were the real chances of connecting here?
What does a business website do for you?
That brings us right to how useful a business website is. It’s your digital business card that everyone can grab wherever they are. Your prices, services, team and contact info are right there. New customers can get an image of you and your business in their head before their first appointment. And is there anybody left out there who books an appointment with a service business without checking their prices first? If you look at the survey at the start of this section, it’s 20 percent of people at best. So when going up against things like a flyer, one of the major things a business website has going for it is that new and existing customers find all kinds of information they need about your business with just a few clicks. Plus, you can update this information as often as you want. No more printing 500 new flyers and throwing out the old ones. No more limited printing space either. A business website gives you all the room you need to attractively present your business information and put your best foot forward.
You’re going to want to let a pro create the right business website for you. “Just another” website isn’t going to get things done properly. It needs to be set up the professional way technically and legally, and match the colors, style and look of your business. And it definitely has to have its finger on the pulse of everything that’s going on in the world of business. You’re going to run into things like domains, hosting, SEO and responsive design. These might make you sweat a little bit at first. This is why it’s important to have a pro helping you out who can explain everything in simple terms, get the things you want onto your website with the professional feel you need, and keep your website up and running. It’s not the simplest thing in the world to have a successful business website. It needs to be visually and technically effective. And there are legal things to keep in mind too depending where you are. A business website needs to be responsive so that it’s properly displayed on smartphones and tablets. It needs to have a natural feel. It must be optimized for search engines so you can be found on Google (more on this in a second). And really, really important: It needs to be user-friendly so people can find their way around it without any hangups.
There are all kinds of offers on the World Wide Web for so-called “modular” systems that let anyone set up their own website with a few clicks. That may sound tempting, but keep in mind that you’ll be the one in sole charge of making sure you’ve got a business website that does and has all of the things listed above. Are you really up for that challenge? Don’t underestimate the support factor a professional would bring to the table here. Any time a problem pops up with your business website, you’ll know right away who to turn to.