There is a lot of online competition these days vying for a users’ attention — TikTok, Facebook, social media in general, not to mention the copious number of videos on YouTube and other platforms. For small and medium-sized businesses, some pundits are even questioning the need for websites at all for a variety of reasons, or what I consider excuses, such as:
- I have a Facebook/TikTok/Instagram page
- I have an app
- I have a Google My Business page
- Nobody looks at websites anymore
These are separate issues from:
- I cannot afford to hire a website developer
- I do not know where to begin
- I do not know what to put on the website
While it is true that there are more ways to reach customers and prospects online than ever before, professionally designed websites are still an integral part of the mix for any businesses online presence. Having your own website is important to any business even if you don’t actually “sell” anything directly from your website or your emphasis is getting people to use a dedicated app.
The pure versatility of having a website is why I believe every business needs one. Here are just a few reasons:
10 reasons why your business still needs a website:
You Own It
Unlike social media sites that are free to change the rules of the game whenever they want (i.e., Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter), your website is 100% yours. This is YOUR kingdom and you can say what you want in the manner that makes most sense for your business and YOUR customers and clients. You are not at the whim of the platform that changes algorithms or institutes traffic limitations or content restrictions (assuming your messaging is legal).
You Can Focus It
Using not just words and colors but also by your choice of images and graphics you can project the type of image you want to the types of customers you are trying to attract. Is your business serious and corporate? Creative? Fun? Irreverent? Are you projecting cutting edge technology or more of a down-home natural look and feel. By using specific textures, colors, images, and tone of your writing you can shape the way in which your website, and by extension your business, is perceived by prospects and people who are considering doing business with you. You can write the website content to reflect YOUR voice and values.
Promote Services and Events
Your website can make use of calendars and blog posts to inform your visitors about important events such as trade shows, networking, product, and services launches.
If your business is very event focused you can use an events calendar to not only promote the date and time but provide map links to locations and even sell tickets directly from the listing.
Show Off Your Stuff
Having an attractive gallery to show off your wears does not necessarily apply to all types of businesses. But if you are a non-profit or almost any type of service, food or home design business or any type of business with a visible component, a picture (or video) is definitely worth a thousand words. Displaying your floral arrangements, pool installations, pet grooming, wedding cakes, new home constructions or child care facility will go a long way to showing new prospects the quality of your work.
Launching Mobile Apps
It was not long ago that many pundits thought that mobile apps would replace webpages and the Internet as we know it. Sort of what happened when cable TV became big in the early 80’s and people predicted the death of broadcast TV. But how often do you see a commercial on broadcast TV advertising a cable show? A lot. Why? Because millions of people still watch broadcast TV. Same with apps and websites. Yes, more people now access the internet via their phones but people still go to websites. And while already interacting with your brand on the web, why not download an app while you are there, right? See how that works?
Everything Under One Roof
Similar to the apps argument, linking your social media to your website gives you more room to display your social media content, especially video. Social media becomes just one way to get there. For example: a short video on TikTok that links to your website or an Instagram post that references your website in your profile can lead to longer-form, expanded multimedia unimpeded by file size or viewing length restrictions. Think of your entire online experience as a hub and spoke approach with your website as the hub and all other channels pointing to your brand’s “home office” —- your website!
Unlike a physical store, a website is accessible 24/7, allowing customers to visit and learn about your business at any time. This can lead to increased sales and brand awareness. Using chatbots can also be used to answer basic questions and point users to the appropriate responses. A website never sleeps!
Improve Customer Support:
A website can provide an easy way for customers to access support. This can help improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. A website is a great way for medical offices to offer downloads of commonly used forms. Adding employment applications, organization membership applications and other types of forms can make things more convenient for new clients and customers. Having a robust and updated Frequently Asked Questions can help cut down on phone calls and allow customers and clients to be better educated and informed about your processes. Adding basic conveniences like office hours and links to Google maps and directions can be very helpful. For restaurants it is a must have to publish menus.
A website can help build credibility for your business. It demonstrates that you are a legitimate and professional operation, and it provides potential customers with a way to learn more about your business and its history. You can add customer reviews, testimonials, and links to third-party authority sites like Yelp, Houzz, Google Reviews and more. One great thing many of our clients use are short testimonial videos from satisfied clients recorded over Zoom that can easily be added to YouTube and embedded directly on your website blog or pages.
It is Everywhere
While websites were originally created with desktop and laptop computers in mind, most updated websites are also mobile ready or mobile friendly. This is critically important because since 2014, more people access the internet on their phoners than their computers. So yes, while more people access the internet via their phones, a professionally designed website that is 100% mobile ready (like this one) can be easily viewed and accessed no matter what device it is being displayed on. Everything, Everywhere, All at once, indeed!