Why a Website is Crucial to Your Business
Without a doubt, your most powerful marketing tool, hands down, is your business website. This is where you can let the whole world know you are and what you offer. In fact, 92% of business owners believe that having a website is the most effective digital marketing strategy.
Have you ever visited a website and been disappointed? Or worse, tried to visit a website that failed to load within a few seconds? Or even worse, not mobile-friendly (this is where you cringe).
Of course you have. We all have. And, more likely than not, you have probably clicked off of it and went somewhere else..
That’s their loss…or maybe it’s yours.
The simple truth is that every business needs a website that wows its visitors and works well.
To boil it down, your business website can either:
- Help you stand out from your competitors or
- Drive people directly to your competitors.
These days, savvy business owners must consider the fact that their audience seeks more than just a place to go online to purchase products and/or services. Instead, they crave a unique and highly visual online experience that entices and delights them.
And this is where good website design comes in.
Here are 5 reasons why your website is crucial.
A website makes you look professional.
84% of today’s consumers think a website makes your business more credible than those who only have social media profiles. Your website is also the place to show off any professional certifications or awards your business has.
Alongside that, having your own website lets you create a branded email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) which adds a level of professionalism to all of your correspondence, especially if you’ve used a personal email address to conduct business up until now. You can easily do this through G Suite from Google.
Website visitors often decide whether they want to do business with you within a fraction of a second, based on how they perceive your site. They may not even be aware they are judging you.
Here are 3 statistics you need to be aware of, courtesy of HubSpot:
- 93% of people have left a website because it didn’t display properly on their device.
- 90% of people have left a website because it was badly designed.
- 93% of people have left because a website didn’t load quickly enough.
The better “first impression” you give, the more likely your visitors are to stay and/or return to your website. Good website design definitely makes a difference when it comes to attracting and retaining potential clients while maintaining a professional presence.
Your website establishes your place in the industry.
75% of website credibility comes from the design and layout of your site. Establish yourself as a leader in your field by building a high-quality website first. If your competitors aren’t online yet, they probably will be soon.
IF your competitors are online, build a website that’s completely different from your competitors’ sites, showing potential customers what makes your company stand apart.
Your website ensures your success over the long term.
As of this year, almost 4.54 billion people (59% of the global population) use the Internet, and more people are getting online as access to technology grows.
Without a website, your business is invisible to these people. As we progress further into the digital era, your business will become invisible to everyone unless you invest in a website.
So to stay competitive in this increasingly digital world, your business needs to get online.
Your website is your piece of real estate on the web – and will be there long after social media platforms close.
One of the reasons some businesses don’t bother with a website is the assumption that social media platforms make it unnecessary. I have had businesses tell me this as well. Facebook itself boasts that it’s home to 40 million small business pages.
The problem with not taking the time to develop your own website is that you’re at the mercy of the platform. Rules are subject to change without your knowledge, and sometimes platforms ride out into the sunset.
Back in 2018 Facebook purged its site of 800 political accounts and declared them spam. Some of the page owners were sharing factual news stories, not spam. It really didn’t matter what their explanation was, Facebook has the final say, and their content is gone forever.
A violation, however unintended, could have your page shut down overnight. Imagine all of your content and customer access is suddenly gone, and with no guarantee that it is going to come back.
Social media can be great for your business, but it’s a better idea to use it as a compliment with your own website. Share your content and allow it to encourage a steady stream of traffic into space that your business both owns and controls.
Your business website is a direct reflection of YOU
Along with that all-important first impression a website gives to its visitors, your website design also gives them an idea (perceived or realistic) of how you conduct business. For example, shoddy web design may inadvertently give your visitors the impression that your products and/or services are also inferior or low quality (think of the sites that still look like they are living in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s).
On the other hand, a well-designed business website can go a long way towards building trust. And trust is a big factor in sales. An organized website with a strong visual component creates a sense of legitimacy for you and your business.
As I mentioned above, your business’ website is also your most powerful marketing tool. Consider a good design as yet another way you can successfully stand out from your competition.
What are my options for building the best business website?
Now that you understand why you need a well-designed business website, you are ready for the next step: building one.
You’re going to find that there are dozens of website builder platforms and sites currently available.
Perhaps you’re strapped for time, or design isn’t your strong suit? Many startups and new entrepreneurs find that it’s easier to hire someone else who has the time and the talent.
Unless you personally know or have received a trusted referral for a web designer, consider us to help you with all of your web design needs without breaking the bank.
On the other hand, if you are more of a “do-it-yourself” type, you’ll find many affordable options as well.
There are some do-it-yourself options for building websites are:
- Shopify (if you are building an e-commerce site)
Regardless of who designs your business website, these are some of the primary design aspects you should consider when designing your business website:
- Logo and branding, including a defined color palette
- Simple typography that is easy to read
- Easy user interface tools and elements that work in intuitive ways
- Navigation that moves users through the site
- Strong images that showcase your brand
- Concise and targeted copy
- Easy to understand calls-to-action
- Your brand story told in a way that connects with users
- Modern design techniques and interface
Along with a strong design, websites today must be mobile-friendly, aka responsive. Google is now penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly, which means if you are not and your competitor is, they will rank ahead of you. Site speed is important too. Please be sure to ask anyone working on your website about responsiveness and site speed – any designer worth their money will answer those with no issue.
Are you in the process of designing or redesigning your business website? Do you agree that a well-designed website is critical for successful online marketing? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
If you are looking to have a new website rebuilt or are just starting and need one, visit our website design page and contact us to get started!
Mandy Edwards is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a marketing company specializing in digital & social media marketing located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of 18+ years. In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes, named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia’s top 40 Under 40 Alumni.