Why do I need a website? Top 15 reasons
"Every business must have a website."
By now you've heard or read this somewhere but you're not sure. Will a website work for your business, in your industry? How do you know if internet marketing is one of the marketing methods you should be using?
You’ll know you need a website if you answer yes to any of the following 15 questions.
Would you like to…
1. ... Make more sales with an online shop front?
A good website can serve as
- your online shop front,
- your showroom,
- your client service department, and
- in some cases, it can even take the place of a physical shop.
All websites offer the potential of being a 24/7 salesman – except that you don’t have to pay an extra salary!
Some websites will also enable you to sell your products directly from the internet. Instead of having to manage a physical shop, with all the challenges that go with a brick and mortar location, some businesses can be very successfully run straight from a website. (Such websites are called e-commerce sites.)
Whether or not you decide to do business only from the web, a website allows you to present an always available, full colour catalogue of your products.Your store may be closed but your website is always open and so your client can browse through what you have to offer whenever it suits her – even in the middle of the night! The ultimate in convenience for both you and your client!
2. ... Make it easy for your clients to get to know you?
Before a stranger becomes a client she needs to get to know you. This is true whether you introduce yourself and your business face to face or via a radio ad or via a website. Potential clients will feel more at ease doing business with you if they can first find out
- who you are,
- what you do,
- how you can help them solve their problems
- what your history and background is,
- where you are located,
- how they can contact you and
- generally form an impression of your approach to business and your clients.
Many people would feel downright embarrassed asking for this info directly. A website gives them a starting point that is non-threatening yet informative and credible.
A website let you give basic business info and provide your clients information relevant to their buying decision. For example, you can provide product specs, prices, photos etc. The more relevant info you give, the better a client can get to know you and your expertise. This makes it easier to do business with you.
3. ... Build relationships with your clients?
Doing business with existing clients costs less than trying to get new clients all the time. (Pareto’s Principle says that 80 % of your income comes from 20 % of your clients.)
By providing relevant useful info related to your products or services on your website you can establish relationships with new clients as well as build on relationships with existing clients. Your website becomes an entry point for new clients and return point for existing clients.
New products and new information can be made available to your clients on your site. This will help them make the most of the product or service that they've bought from you. This increases the value of doing business with you and encourages people to return to you and use you again in future. All in all, a website allows you to keep in contact with your clients easily and professionally.
4. ... Better serve your clients - without spending more time?
A website also helps you to serve your clients better. During your years of doing business you've acquired valuable knowledge about your products which would be very useful for your client. But, often the time that you and your client actually get to spend together is limited and you don't get to share all your knowledge.
By placing this info on your website, you make it available to current and potential clients and so improve your position as a specialist in your field. Your clients benefit a lot by this approach as they can return to the info again and again. This means that they can continue to make the most of the product or service they have invested in.
For example, imagine that you sell Persian carpets. Very often, when buying such an item the client is more concerned about where to put it and how it will fit in with the rest of the décor than anything else. This usually means that very little time is spent discussing care and maintenance.
But, chances are good that somewhere along the line the carpet will get stained. Imagine the value that you will then bring to this client if she knows that she can go to your website for tips on how to remove stains from the carpet!
Not only can your website serve as a constant reference for her, you can be sure that she will also refer you to all her friends!
Used correctly, a website will ensure that you become every client’s trusted adviser and that you’re first in mind when it comes to anything to do with your line of business.
5. ... Showcase your specials and benefit from aspects not offered by print media?
Specials are of great way to encourage clients to make use of your firm. But the cost of printing pamphlets and of placing ads in newspapers is very high. This makes regular advertising of specials very expensive.
By using a website, on the other hand, you can run specials as often as you want to with next to no cost at all – especially if you have a CMS (Content Management System) site that lets you to make updates yourself. You can change your specials monthly, weekly or even daily if you want to and you can always have a special that coincides with the bigger occasions like Valentine’s day, Mother’s day, Christmas etc.
A website also allows you to make the most of other client focused functions. For example, you can add
- shopping carts,
- photo galleries,
- real estate listings,
- chat rooms,
- internal search engines to make looking for information on your site easier,
- newsletter subscriptions,
- feedback forms etc.
All of these features make it easier and more desirable for clients to do business with you on a more regular basis. It all adds up to make your business more profitable.
6. ... Give clients a reason to keep coming back?
When the time comes for you to replace an item that is worn out, or for you to invest in a product that you have long wanted, who would you prefer to do business with? A complete stranger or the business that has been adding value to your life with regular updates, info and contact?
A well-managed and marketed website which is often updated with useful info and product offerings gives clients the ideal reason to keep coming back to you.
Everybody likes to feel that they are special and cared about and that they are more than just a number in a system. Successful business owners will also tell you that regular contact with a client ensures that they stay loyal and will keep doing business with you time and time again.
It is however, very difficult to make regular contact with all your clients by means like personal visits and phone calls. A website, combined with other internet marketing aspects, such as a newsletter, enables you to keep in contact and to be of continued service to your client. This results in clients that keep coming back to you.
7. ... Make new / updated info available quickly and easily?
Great businesses are always changing and improving, offering better products and services or new ways of doing things. The challenge lies in making sure that your client stays up to date with all you have to offer.
Traditional advertising, like radio ads, pamphlets, posters etc, are expensive and also take quite a while to prepare – by which time your announcement is not so new anymore and the impact is lost.
Imagine being able to make new or updated info available at once at no extra cost and with no waste of outdated materials. A website based on a CMS system gives you just this kind of flexibility. You can update, add, edit or delete info as the need arises and pass these changes on to your client immediately.
This allows your clients to stay aware of the value you offer. It also shows that you do business with speed and efficiency.
8. ... Beat the costs of print media?
Websites offer a number of advantages over traditional print media. For instance
- Full colour is not more expensive than one colour. Your website can take advantage of all the colors to present your business in the best possible way without any extra cost implications – unlike print media where each color costs extra in the printing process and must be kept in mind from the initial design.
- Changes to design and info can be made easily. They can also be made available immediately without costly reprints and wasted copies of outdated material. Printed materials that must be updated need a reprint, costing more money for each change. If a website is based on a CMS system there are no extra costs for updates.
- Distribution costs are hugely reduced when sending info via a website and e-mail. Snail mailing (traditional posting) promotional literature is slow and expensive. Websites and e-mail offer an almost instantaneous means of advertising.
- Printing costs are dramatically reduced when using internet marketing as much of your advertising and marketing materials are now electronic and readily available with no limit on quantity.
- A website lets you take advantage of the impact of demonstrating your products and services with full colour photos, videos, sound etc. This kind of presentation makes a better impression and is more informative than a plain printed brochure. (A client can also always come back to your online demo whereas with a printed ad, once it’s in the dustbin it’s gone forever!)
9. ... Answer Frequently Asked Questions better?
Most clients buying a similar type of product, for a similar type of purpose, ask a similar type of question. So a lot of of your time is spent answering the same questions over and over again. You know that answering these questions is vitally important for the client to reach a purchase decision and so answering frequently asked questions is an aspect of business which you simply can't avoid.
If you have been in business for a while you'll know - more or less - all the typical questions that a client will want answered while he is looking at your product. Instead of spending your time trying to answer the same questions over and over again, you can place the questions and their answers on your website. This allows you to manage your time better and attend to each client’s individual needs while not ignoring their need for certain basic information.
A Frequently Asked Question section on your website also lets clients to go back to explanations, benefits, features etc that they may not remember clearly. It gives them time to think about your info without feeling pressured.
11. ... Get feedback from clients?
Who is the most important person in your business? Your client!
If your client doesn’t want or like what you have to offer, she’s going to take her business somewhere else. Doesn’t it make sense then, to find out what our clients want so that we can give it to them?
This makes sense but it is also easier said than done. Not many people have the confidence to walk up to their clients and say, “Hi! Are you happy with the service we give here? Is there anything you don’t like?”
And many clients are too rushed, or too polite, to answer you as honestly and completely as you need them too if you are to get the answers you need to make things better.
A simple poll or feedback form on your website provides clients with a quick, easy and anonymous way of letting you know what they think, what they want more of, what they don’t like etc. The client gets to say what they want without feeling uncomfortable and you get to know about it without face to face embarrassment.
This info can prove invaluable to you and will enable you to quickly make the changes necessary to keep your clients happy. It would be a sad state indeed, if you never asked and they never told and they simply slipped away to someone else who gave them what they wanted in the way they wanted it...
11. ... Test new products & services quickly and with almost no risk?
You've been approached to be the distributor of a new widget in your area. How do you go about finding out if your client base would be interested in this widget and if adding it to your current business would be profitable? And how do you do this quickly enough that the distributorship isn’t offered to someone else?
Introducing new products and services on your website is a fast, easy and cheap method to test new products and services. You can make information available immediately, show accurate, informative and attractive photographs of the product and get feedback from the people who are already doing business with you. This will enable you to make an informed a decision without spending huge amounts of money.
12. ... Expand the size of your target market?
Although some businesses can only offer their services locally, most businesses can make their products and services available to people no matter where they may be.
Until the internet, advertising nationwide, let alone internationally, was so expensive that breaking into international markets was the domain of only the very biggest players. The internet has changed all this and now anyone can do business with just about anyone else, anywhere in the world. Your website really can be your shopfront for the world.
13. ... Offer press releases and digital press kits?
Many companies use the media for publicity purposes. Lots of time and cost is involved in compiling and then sending timeous press releases and / or press kits.
A website enables a company to have all its press releases and up-to-date press kits available in one convenient spot. This saves the business time and money and is extremely useful for the editors you are trying to reach.
14. ... Make a favourable impact on your client?
A successful firm knows that its most important priority is satisfying its clients. It constantly tries to improve so it can serve each client better.
Technology lets us serve our clients better, faster and with more options than in the past. Clients have come to expect fast, knowledgeable service and the more convenience you offer when doing business with you, the easier it is for clients to decide to return to you.
Your website can give your clients the info and ease they are looking for, when they want and need it. The impression made by your business is one that speaks of being technologically up-to-date, competent & prompt.
Who would you rather work with:
- Someone who uses current and new methods and options, who stays informed and is in a position to offer you the best possible option at this particular moment
- Or someone who is still using old systems and structures, who can’t seem to be bothered with greater efficiency and effectiveness and who only offers a very limited range of solutions?
Now, which of these two business types would you rather look like?
15. ... Benefit from referral or affiliate marketing?
Another huge advantage offered by websites is the opportunity to increase your marketing reach and resulting profit by using referral or affiliate marketing. This lets other people market your products on their websites. You pay them a commission when and if they make a sale.
This increases the number of people you reach without you having more marketing costs. You can also offer other people’s products on your website and you then profit just by marketing other people’s products and earning affiliate income.
Websites offer remarkable opportunities – from more sales for existing businesses to a complete solution for new businesses. What you can do with your site and what you can achieve is limited only by your imagination! And with the easy SnapSites website solutions we have available for you, you really have no more reason not to start making more money from your own website.
Let us know what you want from your website by talking to us today: