Why Does Your Business Need a Web Site?Posted: August 23, 2010
So this topic might seem painfully obvious if you’re into social media, you’re probably pretty internet savvy. However, it may surprise you to learn that nearly half of small businesses don’t have a web site!
In this day and age every business should have a web site, right? It’s a no-brainer. But why, what business needs does a web site address? Building a web site can be simple, or it can be a significant expense. Regardless of how much time and money you sink into your business’ “online presence”, you should understand some of the key reasons to have a web site.
Having this understanding will help you design a better web site and understand the value of investing in this important business tool. There are many reasons for a business to have a web site, but I’ve illustrated some of the more important ones here.
Provide information to your customers. A web site can be a great introduction to your business. It contains more information than a business card, an ad in a newspaper, an entry in a telephone book, or a brochure.
A web site is interactive; it should allow your online visitor to explore your business and learn more about the services and products you provide, shipping options and rates. It’ll also allow your customer to get your store hours, driving directions and contact information – 24/7!
Generate sales. The modern business is not limited to a physical location, with fixed hours, relying on one-on-one contact with the customer.
Many consumers browse online before completing a purchase, even if the sale is made in-store. Consumers find product specifications, learn more about services, compare offerings and prices, and seek out online reviews and share information and experiences with others. The decision to purchase is often made before your customer walks through the door.
The online marketplace is enormous, and any business without a web site, or one that does not capture the customer’s attention, is missing out on this significant segment of the market.
Market your business, products and services. A web site allows a business to create “brand awareness” and to extend its brand to a broader audience. Business growth can be driven through your web site.
Your company may cater to the needs of the local community, but it’s likely that if your business is solving for an important problem, or successfully fulfilling the needs and wants of your local customers, those solutions may appeal to consumers in other parts of the country or world as well.
Create advertising revenue. Your web site can generate revenue from ads from other companies when a shopper clicks on their ad, which is displayed in your web site. Those companies pay when a viewer clicks on their ad. Ad revenue may not be the primary objective of your web site, but can provide a tidy secondary source of revenue.
It’s clear that having a web site is a necessity for nearly any business. Understanding the reasons for having a web site is vital to building and maintaining an effective web site, which in turn, will help us in meeting the primary objectives of any business, which is to produce and sell products and services that meet the needs and wants of our customers, while making a profit.
If you already have a web site and want to improve it, or if you’d like to build a web site but don’t know where to start, I’ve provided a few helpful links.
A guide to building an effective web site
A web site checklist to assist with the decision making around building a business web site
In an upcoming post we’ll look at some solutions for building your web presence, from Facebook fan pages, to DIY template sites, right up to custom built sites and some pros and cons to each of them.
And if your company has a website, feel free to post the link in the comments for others to see.