Local small businesses, brands, startups, and solopreneurs need to have a website.
Every business needs to be online. Having a website makes a business discoverable - meaning, customers can find the business when they are searching for it. A business’s website is a trusted authority on all information regarding the business. It’s the horse’s mouth, the final destination, and where the buck stops. The website is a place to spread the mission and expand the message. It's where success is tracked, measured, and scaled. A business website is where business happens online.
A website is a business's trusted source of truth. Without a website, a business has no online source of truth.
It's not ideal if the only place to find information about your business was someone else’s website. Who’s to say this other website is publishing correct and up to date info? What if you can’t update what it says? How can a customer trust the information they’re seeing? And, how could a customer who doesn’t trust a business do business with that business? The answer is they choose not to and don’t.
Having a website makes a business discoverable online.
Customers expect a business to have a website. Having a website is the norm and it is what they're used to. It's offsetting and feels strange to search for a business online and not find them.
The website is a place to share and extend business messaging. Businesses that are growing through advertising, digital, and traditional marketing can get more bang for their buck.
The ability to track and monitor data increases the confidence a business can have in how a marketing budget is being spent while providing valuable insights for directing and projecting future opportunities for growth.
As a central hub, a website can extend and personalize messaging and customer experiences.
Not all customer experiences begin online. Some begin with external media or a paid ad. The success of these ads can be tracked more efficiently when you are directing the recipient onward to the website and its highly-aligned messaging.
Imagine someone who is discovering a business for the first time from a newspaper ad. They see the advertisement in the local newspaper. It has a link to the business website. The person follows the link to the website and sees a landing page with similar graphics, messaging, and branding - maybe it even mentions the newspaper ad. They instantly know they're in the right place and will likely take further action.
A website is a great tool for collecting valuable business insights.
Websites provide endless opportunities to track how people are interacting with the business via the website, how many people are interacting with the website, how often people are interacting with the website, how people are arriving to the website, how long they stay on and use the website, where and what pages they're exiting and leaving the website from, and many other metrics you could use to update, test, and optimize with.
In a sense, a business's website is like a virtual lobby. It's a place where a customer can check out and learn more about a business without directly communicating. They're prospecting.
A website gives businesses a place to capture leads and turn prospects into customers. It's a place to share contact info, offer a contact form to send the business a message, and chat up customers on the fly with live chat customer support applications. Positioning and personalizing the business in front of the customer significantly increases the chance of gaining their trust and earning their business. Turn cold leads into warm leads through consistent and professional branding.
Ensuring upfront that people have all the key information required to do business with a business is the best way to make digital business happen more and more often.
If you have a business then make sure your business has a website. It might only be your digital business card, but you can't do business online if you're not online. Customers can't find you if you can't be discovered. Customers won't do business with you if they don't trust the information they're seeing about you (of if it's incorrect information to begin with). Get discovered. Build trust. Be the authority on you. Give yourself the opportunity to scale when you need to.