Are you one of those business owners who think a website is a pure waste of your money and time?
Do you scorn at the idea that a website can boost your business so you never really got into how to build a website for your small business?
As a business owner, you (and your team) are already working zealously for your company, so why would you need something that clearly needs more money, more team members, more time, more effort to maintain, right?
I hear you. But here’s why having a website for your small business is really important:
Your website saves you money and time
You use ads, email blasts, phone messages, etc. to get to your target audience. That takes money. Moreover, once you get to the potential customers, you spend a lot of time providing the information about your products and services, even before pitching for a sale.
But once you have your website, it’s your own asset – there is no limit to the amount of feature descriptions, press releases, brochures, testimonials, success stories, etc. that you can share through your website and promote your business, thus saving you time and money.
Your customers are online
We live in the Digital Age. We are digitally savvy, and often impatient in our Internet adventures.
Now if I’m looking for your product or service, but I don’t see you online with your own website to provide me the information I need, I will go somewhere else, i.e. your competition. I need your assurance to buy from you, and if I’m not getting that through your website, I don’t trust (or know) you enough to buy from you.
This fact is now even more relevant in the post-COVID era than before.
Your competition is already online
Like I said above, your competition has a lot to score if you don’t have a website but they do. All because consumers nowadays expect business websites to influence their purchasing decisions. You’re simply losing your credibility as a business or brand without a website that showcases your products and services online, even while you’re sleeping.
So chuck out that old thinking that a website is not a necessity for your business.
And with the advent of digital marketing technologies, you can only hope to grow bigger with a great website that puts you at the top in your industry.
So what makes a website great?
Your website is your marketing tool. You use it to attract customers, and if you have a great website, you can make a sale.. even while you’re sleeping.
Isn’t that awesome?
Here are the 4 things that makes a website GREAT:
Quick Loading Time
If your website takes too much time to load, you are losing prospects. Optimise your website to load quickly.
Pro-tip: A webpage should load within 3 seconds, or less.
Easy of Use
Your website should describe your business elaborately with words and images. There should be action buttons to place orders, request samples, register complaints, or simply contact you.
Pro tip: Add “how to use” and “how to troubleshoot” instructions on your product pages.
As mobile device usage increases every day, ensure your website is mobile-friendly, and it does not look broken when accessed by any mobile device.
Pro tip: Use responsive design for your website and it will automatically make your website mobile-ready.
Search Engine Optimised
Search Engine Optimisation is coding the website in a manner search engines understand what your website is about. For starters, include meta tags, H1 headings, etc. in your code.
Pro-tip: Use ALT tags on images because search engines can not “read” images.
Why a Great Website is Important for Your Business
As a business owner, you understand the importance of marketing. The more potential leads you have, the better are your chances of gaining customers. And one proven marketing strategy is a website.
Your website is a great digital marketing strategy for your business, open 24/7, showcasing your products world wide, and helping you gain more opportunities. If created with care, a great website can help you gain more customers. So if you don’t have a website as of now, plan this proven marketing strategy into your business plan.
A Website Connects Your Business to the Customer
Your marketing efforts are based on who YOU think would want to use your products. But what if there are people who know of you, and your products, but have no way to reach you?
Also, what about the people who don’t necessarily know your products by name, but are searching online by a more generic description? For instance, unless you are using the Analytics tool from your website, would you ever get to know a person living in the next town wants to get their hands on your product?
Therefore, a website connects you to all groups of people, granting you more opportunities to make a sale.
A Great Website Makes the Sale
By definition itself, a GREAT website refers to a website which describes your products elaborately with text and images, is mobile-friendly, and provides the comfort of placing an order without leaving the site, and sometimes even cop a free sample to get started.
Hence, a great website can connect you with potential leads, AND make the sale for you.
Top 5 Elements to Have in Your Website for Better ROI
As business owners, we have to be on our toes to combat the world of extreme competition, while providing unique customer experiences to encourage brand loyalty and customer retention. So how exactly can business owners achieve this?
The answer lies in your website.
You can stand out from your competition while making sales by incorporating these top 5 elements in your website for better return on investment (ROI):
Unique Value Proposition – UVP
Why should someone do business with you?
No, not because you need the money, although that’s a good motivation for us, right?
For AirBnb, the UVP is “Experience a city like a local”.
For Dropbox, it’s “Securely share, sync, and collaborate”.
These are unique UVPs that tell you right away what the business is about, how it’s different from the competition, and most importantly, how it benefits you, the consumer.
So what’s yours?
Never assume a user will know where to go next from your website’s homepage. Set up a clear path for the user to follow with explicit call to actions (defined later on).
Don’t make your user guess on your website. She will most likely hit the “Back” button and browse one of your competitor’s website instead. Best practice here would be to include links to your homepage, blog, about, business pages, and most importantly, contact pages on the top as well as the foot of your website.
Visible Contact Information
People can browse websites for hours, but when they arrive at a decision of investing their hard-earned money, more often than not, they prefer if they can speak or chat with someone from the business. So have your contact information visible on your website at all times – on the top menu, footer menu, social links, and so on.
Having all your contact information in one glance will ensure you’re not missing out on anyone trying to get in touch with you.
Explicit Call to Action (CTA)
As mentioned above, define a clear user journey on your website using explicit call to action CTA links and buttons.
E.g. if you want the user to read your blog posts after browsing your homepage, add a nice, attractive and colorful CTA button that says, “Read our Blog” on your homepage. And so on. It’s up to you on what you want the journey to be, but be explicit.
If your website is not loading properly on your mobile device, and that too, within seconds, your user will simply move on to your competition website (provided they are doing a better job of it!)
Your website can boast the best design in the galaxy with content crafted by the greatest wordsmiths in the universe, and your website will still be a dud, if you haven’t prepped it for mobile devices.
It takes one form submission, one phone call, one email, or just one message on social media to convert a user into a customer, and these top 5 elements listed above should ensure such an action from the user, when implemented in the right manner.
There are, of course, many more elements like social proof, success stories, case studies, testimonials, blogs, website analytics, etc. which you can add to your website to bolster your ROI further on, but as beginners, this is a good starting point.
How AnksImage can Help
We create fully optimised websites for small businesses and startups with all the above points in mind. This helps you garner more attention and stand out from your competition.
So whenever you are ready to build a website for your small business, drop us a line.
If you are more interested in creating a website for your small business on your own, we can help you too. We have customised learning modules that you can learn how to create a website on your own.
Read my other Digital Marketing articles.