When most of your marketing efforts are performed offline and in-person, it’s hard to see how a website can actually benefit your business.
Even though you may not understand the power of having a website work for you, the facts do not lie. Companies that have a business website sell more products and services than offline only companies.
Having a website opens you up to more of your market and target customers, and works harder than any employees that you’ve spent time and money to help them learn proper marketing techniques.
Here are 5 major reasons why you need to have a website for your business, and how it’s the single biggest marketing asset you can implement if you want to see consistent growth.
A website allows you to increase your branding.
The branding in your business plays a bigger role than most business owners think. You need to clearly portray your messaging to your market if you expect to stand out in their minds when they’re having a problem that your products or services can solve.
There’s a lot that goes into your branding. Unfortunately, most small business use business cards and a logo on their employee t-shirts and consider their branding complete. This type of branding doesn’t actually help you online.
When it comes to your online branding, you need to go much more in-depth. You need to portray the same messaging that’s on your website to all of the marketing channels you use, and a simple business card website just won’t cut it.
If you’re unfamiliar with Branding, here is the BusinessDictionary.com definition:
The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
Your branding is easy to accomplish when you’re working with a web designer that understands your messaging and can implement those aspects into the website they’ve built for you.
A website saves your customer support team.
Properly taking care of your customers is one of the most time and money intensive aspects of running any type of business. Having a website allows you to easily take care of them by publishing content that’s surrounding the most commonly asked questions and problems that they may have with your products or services.
You’re also able to utilize content marketing to help drive new targeted traffic to your website. Acquiring new customers via the content you produce is one of the highest ROI forms of marketing you can do, because the content requires a one-time payment and can be promoted across the internet with very little effort.
You can implement lower cost customer service solutions by using your website. Chat software, email collection forms, and frequently asked question sections can be used and the training required for your employees to properly manage them is substantially lower than training new employees to answer phones and field questions.
A website lets you position ahead of your competitors.
Competition is fierce for local small and medium businesses. Thankfully, a large portion of those companies are not properly utilizing online marketing channels to help their businesses grow. If you bring a website online that’s designed to convert visitors into new customers, you’re already ahead of them.
Having your website online also opens up new forms of advertising that aren’t available to traditionally offline businesses. Everything from Google Adwords to Facebook ads can be used to grow your customer base.
A properly designed website with content that’s designed to convert them into customers and a payment system that lets you take money over the internet is critical in today’s digital landscape, and most small to medium businesses simply do not understand the power or how to actually do it without wasting time and money.
A website allows you to weed out the tire kickers.
It’s impossible to sell your products and services to everyone that you meet. This ends up wasting a lot of time that your salespeople and customer support teams could be using to focus on existing customers, and prospects that are ready to buy.
Stop and think about how much time your team currently spends trying to convert sales that were probably never going to buy anyways.
Pareto’s Rule states that 20% of your efforts will deliver 80% of your results. Having a website allows you to open yourself up to the 20% of people that are ready to make a purchase now, without having to spend time on the 80% of people that aren’t ready or have no intention of making a purchase.
A website acts as your 24 / 7 sales team.
Getting rid of the tire kickers without having to actually spend time on them is just one aspect that having a business website helps you achieve. It also acts as a 24 hour per day, 7 day per week sales force that never gets tired or needs to be paid more money to continue performing at a high level.
While it may never replace your actual sales team, it gives you a new channel to make sales that requires only an initial upfront investment instead of continued commission payouts or salaried sales associates.
All of the advertisements that you run, pointing to your website, can be automatically converted to sales with a proper design, branding, content, and sales pages.
If you implement a sales funnel and continue working to get it converting more visitors into customers, you’re not only getting your message in front of people who may have never seen it otherwise, you’re also opening up new sales channels that are available to people 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
This is just the beginning of automating your online sales process, which is impossible unless you have a website in place that acts as both a marketing asset and a sales vehicle.
James Crook – Author, Speaker, Web Marketer – is the best selling author of “Digitally Enhanced” and founder of marketing agency Choc Chip Digital. He works with hundreds of small businesses each year to grow their client base online, and is a passionate advocate for the power of authentic, heart-centred marketing. Widely recognised as a confident and articulate communicator, James draws on his love of digital technology to inspire, motivate and educate audiences across Australia.