If you’re setting up a new business, or perhaps you’re a small business that’s been operating for a few years, a website may not be your biggest priority. We understand that you’ve probably got enough to do managing your clients, accounts, payroll, equipment, materials, insurances and, of course, actually getting the work done!
But if you don’t have an online presence, there’s a good chance you’re losing work directly to your competitors that do. In the current economy, most people are tech-savvy, and will use online search engines, like Google, to search for and check out a service or product before they buy it. They’ll do their research and choose a supplier from the search results, so if your business isn’t showing up on the list – you won’t get the work.
Of course, there are other ways to get business, word-of-mouth recommendations, directory listings, printed advertising and van signage. However, in comparison to the amount of detail you can share in a printed advert, having your own website can provide your customers with all the information they need to make an informed decision and of course, get in touch with you easily.
You might think potential customers just need your phone number, but actually modern consumers often research your business before deciding whether to get in touch. They’ll go through a complicated sales funnel before initiating any contact, and you can maximise your website to connect with these customers at every step of the process.
For example, they might want to know if you operate in an environmentally friendly way, or they might want to check your credentials, qualifications and experience. Often, customers feel assured you’re the right business for them if they can read some positive reviews of your services or products from past customers, and you can easily include these on your website to build your credibility.
Of course, they may just want to check that you offer what they want, in their area and at a price that they want to pay, so providing a full overview of your services and products, the areas you cover and a price list can be enough to convert a potential customer into a firm lead.
If you’re still not convinced a new business website is worth the effort, read our six top reasons for building your online presence with a professional website…
Having a solid reputation is essential for any business; small, start-up or well established. And you can use your website as a way to build credibility and maintain your reputation.
Simply having a Facebook page, or poorly-designed single page website, could do your business more harm than good. Most consumers expect to be able to click through from social channels, review platforms and online directories to a professional website. If there isn’t a website to land on, they’re likely to think you’re unprofessional, not a ‘real’ company, unreliable or, even that you have something to hide!
However, if you have a well-made website, it can pull together all areas of your online presence and provide your customers with all the information they need about your business. This is even more important if you’re a start-up business, and you haven’t yet established a loyal customer base, brand or reputation, as you can tell your customers exactly who you are, what you do and show them examples of your work.
You could even include a website page dedicated to testimonials from past clients, happy with your work; or attractive examples of your work that will assure them you can do the job they need.
Your website is an extension of your business personality, and the text, or copy, is the perfect opportunity to speak to your customers, overcome their concerns, answer their questions and ultimately, persuade them to get in touch.
Your website is the ideal place to demonstrate your skills and experience. High quality imagery of completed jobs or finished products are ideal for tapping into your customer’s wants and desires.
Your photography might even tempt them to invest in more than they need. For example, if they only need a simple fence panel replacing, you can show them a beautifully installed fencing system with matching gate and decorative features, and convince them to replace the whole thing!
If your competitors are still relying on word-of-mouth recommendations or printed adverts in the local directory, you can easily tap into an audience of potential customers by showing them, rather than simply telling them, exactly how good you are.
A good website should balance design and style, with functionality and practicality. It should be attractive and professional, but also easy to use and navigate between pages and services so your customers can easily find what they’re looking for.
One of the best benefits of a website is that your customers have a choice of ways to contact you. They can find your phone number easily and give you a call, or they could drop you an email, at any time of the day (or night!) and you can provide a response at a time convenient to you.
This allows you to improve your customer service with considered responses that offer all the information your customers need, and provide a really convenient service to your potential and existing customers.
If you don’t have a website with a professional email address, or simply contact form, this could easily be the deciding factor between a potential customer choosing you, or sending a quick email to your competitor.
A website is flexible and responsive to your growing business. Once your website is built and live, you can quickly add pages for new services (or take away pages for services that are perhaps not as profitable), add more testimonials and photos of your work, and update it regularly with blog articles that will help you to build your reputation, brand and become a trusted voice in your industry.
You can add seasonal offers or products, and tailor offers to reach customers at every stage of the sales process. For example, a potential customer in the research stages of a sale, might land on your informative blog article explaining more about your products. As a result, your business will be fresh in their mind when they are ready to buy, so they’re likely to come straight back to your website. Or, your article might be so informative that they decide exactly what they want, navigate straight through to your website and get in touch!
One of the features of a website and digital marketing that you may not have considered before, is the amount of data and information you’ll have access to.
A properly developed website will be optimsed to take advantage of the online marketplace and get your website in front of the people searching for your products or services. This means that you can track your website’s success and the data will tell you how many times your website has been displayed in search results, how many people have visited your website and which pages they’ve clicked on.
You can also access data that tells you exactly what your customers are searching for, so if you sell composite windows, but your clients are searching UPVC windows, you can tweak your website to make sure your business pops up in their searches!
You might even be able to use the data from your website performance to expand your business, and offer new, profitable services that are in high demand.
You could opt for a cheap DIY website builder, but these won’t give you the professional web presence you want; you’ll have to find the time to build and update it yourself and you’ll have to learn much more about online marketing and interpreting data than you probably want to.
Instead, you could invest in a well-built, optimised and professional website, developed by someone that knows what they’re doing! This will make it low maintenance for you, and provide all of the above benefits without taking up your valuable time!
Evolution Media are a local web design and digital marketing company, who can build the website your business needs, for an affordable price. Our team will have an initial chat with you to really understand your business and then deliver a finished, functioning and attractive website that will provide the online presence you need. Our prices are affordable and cost effective, and can be spread out over 12 months to make it an affordable investment for your new business. Not only that, but we pride ourselves on being professional, approachable and friendly, so you can pick up the phone to chat to us, ask questions, update your website or find out how well your website is performing!