Why Do You Need a Website?
It seems everyone is online these days. From huge, multinational companies, down to the small local businesses around the corner, they’re all online. Except for you.
You’re not sure about all this website business. It seems pretty expensive, and you're skeptical about it's effectiveness. Why bother?
Actually, there’s lots of compelling reasons why you not only want a website but need one. In fact, not having a website is probably hurting your business more than you realize. Here's 3 reasons.
1. You’re already being talked about on the Web
[Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Visit www.google.com and search for your business. What comes up?
Yellow pages, local wikis (like RocWiki), Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Places, and a host of other services already have information about you. The problem is, it’s probably incomplete, out of date, or just plain wrong.
Can you imagine the frustration if a customer called your phone number and it was disconnected? Or drove to your store thinking it was open, and you were closed?
Along with that, on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and any number of other websites, people are talking about you. The problem is, you’re not in the conversation. They could be saying good things, but more likely they're complaining about you. Other disgruntled customers will chime in, creating negative buzz about you.
You need a website, to provide:
- Accurate, up-to-date information
- Positive discussion from loyal, supportive customers
- A customer service “feedback loop” that includes you in the conversation
2. Websites are the 21st century phone numbers
In the past, when somebody needed a product or service, they picked up their hefty phone book and looked alphabetically for what they needed: Turn to P for “plumbing”, find a nearby business, then pick up the phone and dial.
This is a thing of the past. Most people will go to Google and search “plumbing rochester ny”, and click the first link in the results. Is that you?
Besides that, websites are just plain better than phone numbers as an information resource. Here’s why:
- The Web is always available 24/7
- Customers browse information at their leisure
- Web addresses are much easier to remember
Just think, which of the following is easier to remember? 1-866-WES-JONE or WesJones.net? Which will sound better on a radio or print advertisement, or mentioned in passing?
Even so, the people that forgot your phone number won’t remember your website address either—they'll just search for the name of your business. All the more reason to have your website ready and waiting for them with accurate, useful information.
3. Better marketing and new customers
[Image: winnod / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Radio, TV and print advertising can help get your name out there locally, but they can only reach a limited range of people. Radio, TV and print advertising is sometimes called outbound marketing, where the business sends out an advertisement and interrupts the customer from whatever they were doing. Let’s face it, it’s annoying.
A website, however, can reach a much broader audience, in fact a global audience, for low cost. And it’s a form of inbound marketing, where interested customers actively seek you out to learn more about your product or service. And when customers are interested in you, they’ll talk to their friends about you, advocating your brand for free.
You could even form an online community around your niche market. Let’s say you have a baseball card store. Local card collectors will be drawn to your store, but there are card collecting enthusiasts around the world. Your website could be a destination for other collectors to talk to each other about their interests and about you, generating a lot of positive buzz. Even if they are far away, they might turn into paying customers!
So, website marketing is better than traditional marketing, because:
- You can reach a wider audience
- Customers actively seek you out instead of you annoying them
- A global community forms around your niche market
These are just a few of the compelling reasons that you need a website. Ready to get started? Drop me a line and we can chat.