You might be wondering – why do I need a website?
It can seem like a bit of a luxury when you are just starting a business. And even some local businesses don’t really see the need.
Not only that, but a website can seem like an intimidating and complex thing to build, especially when you have no experience with them.
Luckily there are professionals (like me) who can help you out, and make the process a fun and easy one, instead of a painful and scary one.
But before you even get to that point, you need to understand why you should really have a website.
Why it is perhaps one of the most fundamental things you need for your business.
Get Started Building Your Own Website
The whole world is on the internet.
Ok, my grandma isn’t. But apart from her, I think everyone else is!
If you have not yet embraced the internet, and created an online presence for your business or brand, then your competitors certainly have. They are reaping the benefits as we speak.
If that is not convincing enough, then consider this. According to a 2013 study from GE Captial’s Retail Bank:
81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store
Which means that most people will research a purchase, a supplier or a company online before they ever get in touch.
Of course referrals are a strong source of new customers, and people might stumble across your services (like Alice falling down the hole to Wonderland) without a website.
But let’s face it, you need a website if you want to get found online.
And that is where most people are looking for you or your competitors.
So what are you waiting for?
How can I help you improve online?
I know. You run a local underwater basket weaving workshop, and you have absolutely no need for a website!
What if I wanted to call you, but had lost your number?
What if I am interested in underwater basket weaving and am looking for a workshop in my area?
What if I wanted to find out when the next workshop is, or how much it costs?
All of these questions can be answered with a website.
Not only will you get more customers, but you will save time on answering those questions too!
Your website does not have to be mind-blowing, but a simple website with answers to the basic questions your customers have is a must.
You already skip all the advertising on TV using your Tivo (or other digital recorder).
You ignore all the brochures dumped in your mailbox.
Billboards don’t grab your attention like they used to.
Old school marketing is slowly dying, and if you have not started the transition to the online world, now is the time.
The foundation of any online advertising or “Content Marketing” is a fantastic website.
A place you want your future customers or readers to arrive at and feel welcome.
A place you know they will come back to again and again, because it offers exactly what they need.
If you don’t have a website, where will they go?
If you do, is it a place they will find what they are looking for?
Content marketing is the future of marketing for any business. And you need a website for that.
Gone are the days where you only have access to customers in your local area.
Even if you sell physical products, there is nothing stopping you from shipping them around the country, or even abroad.
Maybe you do personal coaching? No problem. There is Skype or webinars to help you reach your audience online.
So having a website can help you reach potentially hundreds of millions of new customers.
I personally work with people in Canada, the USA, Australia, and all over Europe.
And you can to…if you have a website.
If you are always on the phone trying to get new business or help customers with their problems, then it’s definitely time for a website.
A website doesn’t take coffee breaks, or long lunches. Nor do they sleep.
So imagine having an ever-present employee, always answering customers questions and luring them to buy your amazing products or services.
All this could be yours (and more), if you had an awesome website, filled with information your customers are looking for.
In fact, as I write this post, I am traveling in another country and not even really tending to my business.
My website is set up to handle most of the work. I just need to monitor it occasionally.
I am not tied to my business.
You don’t have to be.
Aside from all the basic things you need to add to your website (contact information, services, products etc) a website can also become a focal point for your customers to find the information they are looking for.
There is a great example in Jay Baer’s recent book Youtility where a pool and spa company were on the verge of bankruptcy.
However, by filling their website with useful, customer focused information, answering all common questions about their products, they were able to save their company!
Not only that, they were also able to expand their business and are now the number one source of pool related information on the web.
Even if you do not want to fill your website with useful information (I know time is short), you should at least show your customers what you do, and how amazing your products or services are.
Using your website as a showcase or portfolio is also a powerful tool that builds trust.
The more information you provide your potential customers online, the more ready they will be to buy when they come to you.
Imagine that, a customer coming to you with their wallet already open!
Of course building a website is easier now than it was 10 years ago.
And with amazing tools like WordPress, maintaining a website is also significantly easier.
But would you let your 13 year old nephew build your house? Unlikely. Unless he is a construction prodigy, but there aren’t many of those out there!
So why would you consider a non-professional for your website?
Your website is your business card, your online presence, and your number one way of attracting new customers.
So take your website seriously and get it done by a professional, and reap the rewards of being online!
Get Started Building Your Own Website
Photo credit: eliot. via photopin cc
Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).
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