Every great business starts with a great website. Your online presence is so vital to the success of your business and having an up-to-date reflective website can help carry your presence miles ahead of your competitors, as well as ultimately helping to grow your business.
The importance of websites in general has massively increased during the last decade and especially during the pandemic. With the majority of the world resorting to online purchases, centralising your business operations within a website will enable your business to excel.
That stat alone should be enough to convince you to get a website, but you may still be unsure about what a website really does for your business and why you need one? Allow us to help by guiding you through the fundamentals of owning a website by answering the questions that matter the most.
Who does it benefit?
The two main bodies who’ll benefit from a website are your business and your customers.
Owning a website means you’ll be able to reach people in the far corners of the world. Without one, these potential customers just won’t be able to find you. A website also allows you to showcase your brand and display your style, as well as probably the most important benefit, sell your products or services. You will be able to sell more products than just having a physical store and a good idea is to have ‘online exclusive’ items/services.
Your website will provide your customers with one central location where they can find everything they need. From their favourite products, FAQ’s about your business, meet your team, read helpful articles, get in contact with you. The list goes on.
What does a website do?
The purpose of a website will vary depending upon your business, industry, and what you are looking to get out of it.
For example, if you are an e-commerce, having a website will act as your ‘physical store’ by providing your customers with a single shopping location where they can browse your products and make purchases.
A secondary example is, if you operate a B2B company, a website is a great way of providing comfort to your customers. Your website can hold information about what services you provide and if it’s the right product/service for their needs. The primary purpose is simple – you’re giving people a taste of who you are as a business and what you can do for them.
When should I get started?
Straight away, as soon as possible, right this minute! The sooner your business can get a website up and running, the better. But don’t rush it. You don’t want a poor design and working website do you?
Whilst we recommend getting your website up and running asap, there’s a couple steps of preparation you’ll need to undergo first.
- Ensure you understand the goals of your website. What do you want to achieve from your website?
- Do your research. Whether it’s on the CMS, SEO, the customer journey or design agencies.
- Have a plan in place. Think about both short-term and long-term goals for your business. How can these be achieved by your website?
- Have a little nosey around other websites, in particular your competitors. Of course, don’t copy and paste their style but use those websites as a bit of a guide.
- Think about your content. What will you be selling, producing and how do you want that displayed on your site? What images do you want to use? Does it all align with your brand?
Where should I build my website?
There are so many website builders, tools and software, like WordPress or Wix, that you can choose to build your own website. Some are great, others not so. But you may not be comfortable or even have the time to spend designing and building a website. If that is the case you can look to hire a web design agency to do all the heavy lifting.
You could even, if you have the budget and skilled employees, hire your own in-house web developer to support the development and ongoing maintenance of your company website. Whilst this is a good option, it may not be the most optimal. Your developers may be brilliant at their work, but don’t always think those skills can be translated to website building. That is a whole different skill set that your team might not have. You will also need someone to look after and maintain your website which may require hiring someone full time.
Why do I need a website?
The reasons to have a website for your business are endless. So, rather than waffling on, let us highlight our top seven reasons to own a website for you below.
Owning your own website means you’ll be creating a more professional image for stakeholders. That professional edge will also ultimately give you more credibility as a business, especially in comparison with businesses that only have a social media presence. In fact, 75% of people base the credibility of a business on how their website looks (Source: Stanford).
2. Get Noticed Online
Optimising where you sit in search results will bring in a new wave of potential customers to your website. A quality developed SEO strategy can help you to drive quality traffic to your website. By applying different strategies, creating quality content and offering value to visitors, you can begin to see leads climb.
3. Showcase your Brand
Once designed and built, your website will be the perfect chance to show off your brand in all its glory. From the logo, imagery, values, to the mission statement. Your website will breathe life into your brand.
4. Give People 24/7 Accessibility
Owning a website means that you’re not limiting yourself or your customers. Your customers will be able to purchase, check new products, read helpful articles, learn more about the business, get in contact with you and so much more, whenever and wherever they like.
5. Showcase your Products/Services
You’ve put the time and effort into producing your products or specialising in your services, why wouldn’t you want to show them off? As this will be your main selling point, you’ll obviously want to market what products you sell or services you offer. No better place to do this than your website.
6. Cuts Costs
By having your own website, your business doesn’t necessarily need a physical store, which can massively cut your business costs. No brick and mortar store means you don’t need to put money towards employees or maintenance, therefore saving you a lot of cash in the long run.
7. Reach New Audiences
Without a website you won’t be able to reach the billions of people across the world. It really is that simple. The exposure your business will receive from a website, will allow you to expand on your current presence and reach new audiences.
How do I get started?
If you’re a new business or startup, hiring a web design agency would be the most beneficial first move. A design agency will work with you to ensure your website meets all of your needs and desires. Plus the varying experience among designers in an agency, means that you’ll get plenty of options for your website and total confidence that it will be completed to a high standard.