It might seem hard to believe, but many businesses don’t believe that they need a website to promote their business. Businesses that operate brick-and-mortar shops, or do not do anything online, often do not see the value in putting time and energy into developing a website.
Even if you don’t think you need a website, it can be an important part of your marketing strategy. If you aren’t convinced, consider these five important ways that a custom website can help your business.
1. Analytics Provide Insights
Website analytics tell you more than how many people visited your site. With a basic understanding of an analytical dashboard, you can determine who is coming to your site, where they come from, the search terms that are most effective, how many visitors convert to customers, how many people come to your site and leave immediately, and more. These insights can prove invaluable when you’re developing a marketing plan for your business, and can help you target promotions and content so that it resonates with your audience. With the right analytics, you can set goals for your business and develop more effective strategies for meeting them.
2. Supports Your Brand
When you opt to have a custom website design for your brand, you have more control over the look and feel of the site, which supports your brand and helps differentiate your site from the competition. Everything from the colors, fonts, and photos you select to the overall site look and feel sends a message about your company and what you stand for. While a template design gives you a quick way to get your business online, going with a custom design is a better way to establish your unique brand and share your value proposition.
Keep in mind as well that the majority of your customers are going to look for you online before they decide to make a purchase or even contact you for more information. If they can’t find you online, they may not reach out at all — and your brand may suffer because your lack of online presence may send the message that you are old-fashioned or have something to hide, neither of which is a great image to project.
3. Improves SEO
While working on local SEO via directory listings, Google Places, and social media can help drive customers to your business, a website will help even more people find you. A well-developed website with relevant, optimized content can help customers find you. For example, if you own a party planning business in Illinois, you will probably get some calls if you keep your business details up-to-date in Google and categorize it properly. However, if you add content based around what your customers look for when they need your business (for example, a blog with birthday party ideas and advice) you’ll attract even more customers and show up higher in their search results.
4. Customers Have a Platform for Feedback
Customer reviews can be one of the most powerful tools you have for building your business. Studies show that the majority of shoppers — more than 80 percent — read reviews before making purchase decisions, and that the opinions and experiences of others are an important factor in their purchase decisions. With a website, you can give your customers a place where they can share their feedback about your business and your products, which not only helps people when they are trying to make decisions, but also helps to build your community and support your SEO efforts.
5. Improves Sales
When your website is designed specifically for your business, you can use the e-commerce solution that works best for your business. By creating an online storefront that makes it possible for customers to easily find what they are looking for, and make a purchase with just a few clicks, your sales will increase — especially if you primarily operate within your physical location and an online store serves as a second “location.” And thanks to analytics, you can identify where customers are having difficulties and easily make changes when needed, keeping your bottom line intact.
Creating a custom website does not have to be a difficult or expensive. You don’t necessarily need to have a complicated or “fancy” site, either. Even if your site is simple and just provides basic information, it’s still an important tool, and can go a long way toward growing a successful business.