7 reasons why you need a website
A new website is a big investment – I get that. Especially if your business is still in its early stages and not earning very much. Those early stages seem to involve a lot of paying out money – there’s the logo, business cards, accountant fees, maybe a lawyer, social media training, etc – and not much back initially.
A website doesn’t just cost money, there is the time investment too. In fact, it can be a greater investment of time than money.
I mean you can pay peanuts to get a website (there is a saying there!). If you go back a few years, it would have cost thousands for a website and you would have needed specialist help. I know when we were running our first business back in 2012 the website cost an eyewatering amount (and it wasn’t exactly suitable for our needs!). These days it is much easier. In fact, you can do it yourself. But the investment of time has not changed. You still need to consider what your website is for, write the content, get some images and put it all together.
So is it worth it???
1. A website gives you credibility
The reality is that businesses with a website come across as more credible than those without. Public perception is that it is much “safer” to deal with a business with a website than one with just a Facebook page. I mean anyone can set up a Facebook page and ask for payment by bank transfer or PayPal…
A website gives buying visitors much more comfort that they are dealing with a real business, particularly if a physical address is listed (which you should have if you are taking payment) and payment is through a secure portal – like PayPal or Stripe. Adding photos of you (with a bit about you) adds to that. It shows you are real not fake…
2. Showcase your wares.
It’s great to get people interested in you and what you have to offer through your Facebook page or Instagram feed. These are very visual, easily accessible to potential customers and people can see things that you do. But it’s difficult to properly see a selection of what you have and what they might choose to buy on social media. It’s all a bit all over the place. A website is a much better place to showcase your wares.
Your social media is great for introducing people to your business and tempting them to get to know more. Your website is better for enabling them to see everything you do and to get to know, like and trust you and then ultimately become a paying customer. It is also likely to result in them buying more (especially if you are a product based business)!
3. Ease of Admin
When your orders come through messages and emails in a rather haphazard way (as happens with social media) it’s really difficult to keep track of who has ordered what, whether they have paid and whether you have sent their items out.
A website with a shop on the other hand makes the whole process so much easier – for them and for you.
People click on a button to buy. You can set it so that it only allows people to buy items which are in stock or alternatively you could have it set to take back orders. Once they have hit that “buy” button it sends them to a secure payment system where they can make payment directly and you get notification of that order. All the details of the order are in one place – what they have ordered, any special requirements, address to send it to and the status of the order. There’s no trailing back through your emails or messages to find details of the order and you can see very easily which orders are still outstanding and which have been completed.
A good website will give you the base to easily grow your business. So, for example, you can add courses, add memberships, etc. You can add a shop if you don’t have one at the start. You can change payment mechanisms too.
There are also many tools to help you grow your business. Google Analytics allows you to understand which parts of your website are most viewed and where customers come from. Adding a Facebook pixel means you can advertise to those people who have already seen your website (a “warm audience” is much more likely to buy).
5. Collect emails.
You can collect email addresses to make a mailing list without a website.
But a website puts it all in one place and makes it a very easy process. You can ask people whether they want to join your mailing list when they buy a product. You can have a pop up which asks them if they want to join your mailing list when they’re browsing through your website (which of course they can’t do if you don’t have a website). It just makes building an email list easier than without website.
6. Find new customers.
Many people choose to have a website because they think that by having a website, they will automatically be listed on Google. And people will magically find them. It doesn’t work quite like that. The reality is it to get seen through Google search takes an awful lot of time and effort. And sometimes it’s just not worth it to be honest.
However, a good SEO strategy does allow people to find your website when searching through Google (other search engines are available!).
I honestly don’t think you should have that as your sole reason for having a website (hence it is number 6 on the list of reasons!). But it is an added benefit if you’re willing to put in the time and the effort and or you offer something that’s quite niche which makes SEO the whole bit easier.
7. It’s actually not that difficult.
Yes, building a website takes time and effort. But if you have the right plan and the guiding hand it doesn’t have to be difficult.
A website won’t just generate sales on its own. It needs time and effort from you to send traffic to your website. Social media is really helpful for this as is networking and PR. Selling at fairs and handing out your business cards will also drive traffic to your website. What a good website is really good at though is taking those visitors and turning them into customers. Without you having to do anything more…
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