Do I really need a Website?
Yes, absolutely you need a website if you are a business. This could be a local, online, sales, and basically, any type of business needs a website. If you want more potential customers, having a website is essential.
Using your website as a hub for your business (as in an online store) can be quite a boost for the way you work. Or even using it as a place to showcase your latest pieces of work (blog posts, books, paintings) can have a dramatic impact on the number of people you can reach.
There aren’t many businesses that can survive without a Web presence and there’s no reason not to have a website. Your business’s website can be a highly effective marketing tool that can be very cost-efficient.
Ten Things Your Website Can Do (for Starters)
There are many things you can do with your website, here are 10 good starting points:
1. Create a presence.
Who knows about your business? Where can prospects and clients go to learn more? Your website can help establish your business as a going concern, communicate your brand value proposition and it can convey professionalism. It also extends your reach to anyone in the world.
2. Help build trust.
New clients and prospects might want to know about your business history, your expertise and your specialization. This is a great vehicle for people to learn more and attain that comfort level they seek.
3. Get listed on search engines.
Build your website incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) techniques so that you can easily be found by people searching for relevant keywords. This can be an important gateway to expanding your business.
4. Point of contact.
Your website provides customers with an easy way to contact you and learn more about your products, services and business.
5. Leverage social networks.
Implement a social media strategy to reach a larger audience and to create more buzz about your biz. Establish your presence on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook likes and shares can drive people to your website. Links to popular or topical items from or to your website will add to its relevance.
6. Sell products.
If your business lends itself to online sales, create a virtual store as an alternative or complement to a storefront or office location.
7. Share the latest news.
Whenever there are new developments regarding your business, update your website. Sites that have fresh, relevant and timely information draw users back more often.
Keep your website fresh and keep drawing people in with regular Blog posts. Show your expertise, share insights and provide practical tips on topics relevant to your business or to your customers.
9. Learn about customers.
Learn about their needs, preferences, and interests. Establish and nurture two-way communication with prospects and clients. This will forge a deeper bond and serve them better.
10. Customer convenience.
Providing customers with multiple ways to interact with your business is almost mandatory these days. Anything less could result in lost sales.
A lot of people think a website is unnecessary today due to social media.
People incorrectly assume they can market and grow their business online using only social media channels.
Social media channels are great for building awareness for your company, products and services but they are only one piece of the entire vehicle.
Awareness is merely the first stage of your marketing efforts and must be supplemented with lead capture, nurturing and calls to action to turn that attention from social into customers.
Think of the various social media channels as the wheels of your vehicle. They are important pieces of the vehicle but useless on their own.
Your website is your vehicle.
Every marketing channel and strategy should tie back to your website for one reason:
You own your website and can control the path your visitors take.
Want to collect leads? Set up email marketing opt-ins on your website and filter them off to your CRM.
Want to educate your audience? Write epic blog posts, with embedded videos, checklists and audio to be wherever is most convenient for your audience.
Want to pull free traffic off the internet? Perform SEO on your content and get it optimized to rank.
So in short, yes you definitely still need a website today.
I would argue a website is more important than ever due to all of the available marketing channels and strategies available to you and your business today.