A few days back I was speaking to a business owner who has no website yet advertises on the “internet” and this fellow didn’t see the importance of having a business website. His logic was that his business name and contact details had been picked up a few ‘online directories’ without him having lifted a finger, so he was already on the internet. Why should he bother with a website?
The view took me a bit by surprise and was a bit of a revelation to me. So here are my top 3 reasons as to why a business should have a website:
1. Having an address where people can visit YOU
The first good reason to have your own website is you have an address (referred to as Domain Name) that is exclusively yours and helps you build an identity for your business just in the name itself. So if you are a plumber then having the wording ‘plumbing’ in the domain name would be sensible. A well named domain name helps you rank better in Search Engine Result Pages. Higher ranking = better business. See my article on the topic of ranking.
Here are some useful tips promoted on business.gov.au on Domain Names
2. Content you own (not your social media channel)
By all means definitely use Social Media to get the word out about your business and build relationships with your customers, but you should own the content on your own site. By creating content on your own site this ensures that you can direct the content to the relevant Social Media channel and you don’t become beholden to any one Social Media channel. Social media channels can be fickle as well, one day everyone wants to be a part of it, the next there’s a new flavour! Take FaceBook as an example, once a popular platform for the hip and happening youngsters, now more likely you will find baby boomers on FaceBook. The young have since moved on to another platform, which is a problem for you if your target market is a younger market. See some interesting stats on that topic here.
Another benefit of having content on your website is that if you have quality content others will want to create links to your site. These links (known as backlinks) will also help you rank better in Search Engine Result Pages. Higher ranking = better business refer to the first point above!
3. Drive traffic through your website
You want to drive traffic through your website, where you have control to display (and sell) what you want, how you want, when you want! You can control your customers experience on your website and by carefully analysing your website statistics you can gain insights into what works and what doesn’t (i.e. through most visited pages) and become more attuned your customer preferences.
Now for the Steak knives
But wait there’s more! Not only should your business have a website, but it should be a responsive website. A responsive website is one that adapts to the device your site is being previewed on. This has become supremely important since a growing number of internet users are turning their back on traditional computers and opting to do all their internet browsing via mobile phones. A website that is not designed to be responsive could be turning your customers off and moving them on to your competition.