In the modern Internet age most people are using websites to make informed and logical decisions when it comes to purchases or for employing the services of others. In a study conducted by the eCommerce Foundation it was found that “88% of consumers research and compare products before buying them either online or in-store.” This development in consumer behaviour highlights the importance and precedence of having a website for your business.
With the rise of globalism and the Internet acting as the highway of information, in order for any business to survive the changes of demand in society, a website is required. Much like a shop used to have a storefront, your website is your digital store or office. It is the foundation in which all your digital marketing supports. Within this article we highlight the importance of a website regardless of your company or industry and its relevance to your companies’ future success. We will also cover some of the things we believe you should know when it comes to getting started with your companies’ professional website.
Importance of a Website for Marketing
The importance of a website in regards to your marketing is the principal foundation of your digital marketing strategy. It’s the “final destination” in which you’re attempting to drive customers and clients to, in order to then inform and generate leads. All your content and online advertising should be pointing back to your website to enforce the message and provide additional information to consumers. It is therefore paramount that your website denotes a concise and professional appearance in addition to the information they are searching for, such as, your brand or company philosophy, the products and services you offer and your contact details.
With your website serving as the destination, your different marketing channels should be used to engage customers with the objective of moving them from said channel to your website. Consider social media marketing. Social media is a great tool to introduce yourself, converse and engage consumers with, however you should be directing those potential leads to your website when they require more information than social media can provide. For example, when we advertise our Digital Marketing Company or Creative Advertising and Search Engine Optimisation services, and a customer is unsure as to what they are, we can refer them to our services pages or relevant blog posts on our website.
If you direct customers to blog posts through Content Marketing, then you will need a website otherwise your content will not have a home. Naturally, you need a website in order to display your company news and updates, information about your services or your product descriptions. A website is the place all this content about your company should live.
Your website will also be the foundation of any email marketing campaigns you run. Somewhere to which you convert the leads you’ve generated into sales. A regular newsletter or even cold email to businesses are great ways to gain leads and potential clients or customers to your website.
In addition to email and social media marketing, there are also things like pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. PPC marketing is a form of advertising, in which a fee is paid each time your ad is clicked on. Your PPC ad can have various destinations including your website.
It is important to have your website optimised for search engines, such that this will, like PPC marketing, generate traffic to your website, the difference being that this traffic will be organic and will not cost you money like PPC advertising does. With a shift towards users researching products and services, without website optimisation, the chances of your website being shown in the organic section of the search results will be slim. In addition, SEO allows you to target long tail keywords, things like questions or specific problems and issues such as washing machine error codes. This is essential in order to reach new and potential customers through search optimisation.
Importance of a Website for Sales
Needless to say, sales are paramount to every business in order for it to survive. Increasing sales is the way you grow your business and its success. The importance of a website in generating sales is of an upmost importance.
With your online presence through a website, you are able to reach and appear before more potential customers and clients. The greater your reach and presence the greater the opportunity for leads and subsequently sales. A website doesn’t inherently guarantee you sales but through various forms of marketing, such as search engine optimisation, email and social media, you will greatly improve the chances of generating leads, as well as qualified leads.
A website correctly designed to generate leads and appropriately optimised for search engines should definitely increase sales for your business. This is done through increasing your presence and the availability of potential visits to convert to leads and customers.
Your website not only services as a channel for sales, informing customers in their purchase journey, but also has the possibility of representing your brand 24/7 through customer services if you choose to use programs such as ‘chat bots’.
Building Credibility with a Website
Brand Image is the perception the world has about your company, and your website is your online representation of that image. The importance of a website benefits not only in the reputation of your brand and company but also its credibility. In today’s global marketplace the lack of a digital presence such as your website could hamper your credibility to potential customers. With most companies having a website, those that don’t may seem less professional or simply have something to hide.
A website’s ability to build and establish credibility comes in the form of being able to communicate and engage with consumers. By showcasing your services and products, you begin to build a relationship with them converting consumers and potential leads into customers. You can continue this process through the transparency of information such as sharing your mission state or philosophy and through curating relevant content which will not only build trust but also your authority within the industry.
With authority established, your reputation will begin to flourish, and thus your leads and sales will inevitably increase. Just like companies, consumers desire to work with and purchase from brands they feel most align with their own values, much like the way we develop relationships based on commonalities and shared interests through our social interactions.
In addition to this, your website allows you to establish yourself apart from your competition. Holistically and subconsciously propagating your unique selling points. Naturally, like humans the content contained on each website is unique allowing your business to simultaneously show your commonalities with the consumer but also your differences from your competitors. Without a website, you risk losing potential customers to a competitor with a website. This is why it is necessary to have an online presence.
Make the Right First Impression with a Professional Website Design
Depending on your business, your website might be the first impression of your brand. It is therefore crucial to ensure it’s a good one. Much like traditional brick and mortar business, your website is your digital shop front and customers will judge you on it. As aforementioned, a lot of consumers will also be researching your business before they do business with you. Therefore it’s vital that your website presents a professional and hassle free appearance, Otherwise you will be turning customers away before you’ve even interacted as evident in research by Google stating that 94% of people mistrust or reject a website based on its design.
A professional website must be able to demonstrate core elements including, but not limited to:
- Simple and Logical Navigation: A visitor to your website shouldn’t have to excessively look for what they are after. Your pages should be visible and clear sign posted. Much like you’d expect when doing your food shop. Otherwise, frustrations can occur and the visitor is more than likely going to leave and go elsewhere.
- Attractive Design: A website should have style and evidence a clear understanding of basic art theory – attractive in appearance with the right use of colour and images to emphasise your brand identity and philosophy. It should balance form and function all with effort ease of use.
- Helpful Content: The content on your site should be informative and help visitors better understand your products and services. It also needs to emphasise relevant keywords that your consumers might use to find brands like yours online.
- Search Engine Optimization: The website’s architectural structure should be optimised search engines but easily readable for visitors. This goes for both the design of the website itself and the content housed within it. This will increase the chances of visitors finding your brand, staying on your site and converting into a lead or sale.
- Fast Site Load Times: A websites speed is both favoured by visitors and search engines. If your site is slow, it begs the question of what your service is like. Customers are therefore likely to become frustrated and impatient and locate your competitors instead.
- Easy Conversion: A Website should be of minimal hassle to your visitors with clearly signposted paths to enable them to convert. This can include the checkout service for eCommerce stores or even the ability to contact you via phone or your online enquiry form.
How to Get Started with a Website for Your Business
The importance of a website in the pursuit of business success is evident. Without a website, you‘re missing out on potential leads, customers and sales simply due to the facts you’re either not known online or you cant be reached.
We at Leblek would argue the necessity of a website in this modern age of business, especially with it being digital. If you’re wondering where to even start, don’t worry we’ve got that covered in this article too.
Website design doesn’t have to be rocket science. There are many different quick, cheap and cheerful ways to start your journey online, most of which are easy drag and drop website building software such are Shopify, Squarespace and Wix. We however tend to do most of our web design on WordPress.
If you’re serious about your website, you should consider working with a professional digital marketing or web design agency. That way you’d be able to have something crafted perfectly for you, which will be optimised for search engines, as well as having on hand support whenever needed.
Naturally we’d recommend picking up the phone or contacting us online today. Leblek’s expert web designers provide a range of website design options and digital marketing services. Our websites are proven in lead generation for companies across a range of different industries and sectors.