Does your company need a website?
The short answer is a resounding and most definitely yes! But why? Consider for a moment how many times a day you, yourself, venture on to Google and ask questions about anything and everything. Google does not answer those questions for you - they only facilitate the answering. They have created the digital space for the rest of the world to answer any questions.
Fact: Over 45% of the entire human race accessed the internet in 2017. That's in the region of 3 billion people.
Take this article I am writing as an example. You are on your phone, desktop or iPad and you are reading something that I, a human, have written. It has been placed on the internet by a human for other humans to read. This is why you should always bear in mind that the internet is indeed human. It gets driven by human trends, human news, human media and even human greed. But, negatives aside, your business is also a business of humans. Even if you're in the business of canning pet food, the end product is, in reality, always humans and their needs. And the spectrum of human needs can be wide.
5 reasons why your company needs a website.
Imagine you try to find a company to help you fix your broken garage doors. You happen to pass a guy fixing a door down the street from your house. What a stroke of luck. You're happy that you don't have to look too far and he clearly works in the area. But you need some information. You stop to talk to him and he's keen to help you, but has no business card, no dedicated email address and no website. Who can vouch for this guy? Suddenly you feel your confidence in him waning. Has he let customers down? What is his success rate? And above all: is he really a professional, or just somebody who does cheap jobs on the side?
But imagine now he has a website with customer comments, ratings, price lists, phone numbers, explanations on services and before and after photos. Your mental trust graph starts to rise. It's a simple cognitive process for you: The fact that he has taken the time to acquire a website tells you he means business. He takes pride in his business. And if he takes pride in his business, he takes pride in his work. If he takes pride in his work, you're much more likely to be a happy customer.
The list of possible examples is literally infinite, but the principle is the same. Anybody who can prove that they mean business is more likely to get the business.
Please note that Facebook does not count. It is important to have a Facebook page but if that is your only online presence then, believe it or not, you're losing business.
2. It's like a permanent answering machine
The best and most efficient aspect of a website is that it can answer all the questions that a potential customer might want to ask without you having to take a single call. And it's a 24-hour service. Your address, hours of operation, services, ethos and anything else you might want to showcase is available at all times for all potential clients. Depending on the business, you might even want an FAQ page which includes common questions with all the relevant answers.
3. Your website doesn't have bad days
Your website is like a first impression - the face. Maybe you've been in that position where you take a call from a potential client and you're just-not-in-the-mood. Now you have to fake enthusiasm, be positive, spend the precious energy etc etc. The good news is that your website never frowns, never says the wrong thing by accident and never loses its cool. It is guaranteed to say exactly what you want it to say.
3. Money Savings
Henry Ford said "A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time." Entirely true. But another way of saying it is: You cannot afford not to have a website. Website needs will vary greatly in functionality. For example, an airline will need to have a sophisticated booking system, pages of legalities and consistently updated information on their site at all times. This can accumulate into hundreds of thousands of dollars - on a regular basis. But a photographer might only need a portfolio, to prove her competence and a contact page. This obviously translates into a lot fewer fees but the fact remains the same: A website will cost you money but will also bring you money - a return on your investment.
5. Everybody is doing it
For some non-conformists, this is every reason not to do something, but in reality: everybody is breathing; everybody is eating; everybody is trying to better their lives. There are some things we are forced to conform to. And there are some things we are not forced to, but we need to - and if we don't we shoot ourselves in the foot.
If you're a business owner, not having a website is literally the same as trying not to survive.
Bear in mind that owning your own website does completely eradicate the need for traditional and organic business growth. Word of mouth is still a strong factor as well as lead generation, telesales and the like. But see your website as a full-blown business card that tells your existing customers why they made the right choice.
Why "just a website" is not enough.
Wait! What? A website is not enough?
The hard truth is that once your website is up-and-running, looking fantastic and functioning properly it needs to be kept afloat. This is where SEO comes in. What is SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimisation. And if done correctly, will send you leagues ahead of your competitors. If you type a query into Google, Bing or Yahoo, you get a list of results. Hundreds of thousands. But the fact remains: very few searchers search past the first page. And only 18% make it past the first 3 options. Your goal is to be found in that space!
We've compiled an interesting analysis on how users click on Google
To see it, go to Google results and how people respond to them.
Extremely competitive and ever-changing, it is a daily challenge for all companies to rank well on search engines and stay there. But even though Google is a digital entity, each website has had a human working behind the scenes to get that website ranked on Google. The pages DID NOT reach the first page of Google by accident.
Fact: Search engines execute 1.2 trillion searches per year. And it's growing.
We mentioned earlier how having your own website is an extension of traditional business operations, well, SEO is an extension of your website. The 2 go hand in hand. Without SEO you would be the plumber who's not in the yellow pages. You would be the restaurant which not included in the list of restaurants...
Again, in the light of traditional business growth, you need to be telling the world why you're the best. Your website will do that. But only if people can find it. Not having a website is like not having a face. A face is the starting point for all further interactions. It speaks, listens and gives clear indications of expression and intent. Would you speak to somebody without a face?