You face a lot of big decisions as a business owner. One of the biggest is what to do about your website. You may have gotten advice that you don’t even need a business website anymore thanks to the power of social media, or that a basic, templated website is just fine.
That advice might seem pretty appealing as you try to stretch your budget. But skimping on your website is a false economy. We get it. A great website is a big investment.
But we’ll tell you what we’ve learned from our years of helping all types of businesses succeed: It’s an investment that pays off like no other, and it sets the stage for everything else you do. Going beyond the basics and creating a customized, strategy-driven website is simply the most powerful way to speed up your success. You need a business website that quickly communicates who you are and what you’re selling to anyone, anywhere, any time.
Here’s why it’s still essential to have a powerful business website.
You can only put in so many hours. A well-designed website — one that makes it easy for prospective customers to buy from you or take other actions you want them to take— keeps your business growing even while you sleep. You never know when a customer — or a media outlet seeking someone with your expertise, or a complementary business looking for partnership — is searching for you. You need a business website to get found.
It’s the Main Way Many People Will Experience Your Business
And if you don’t have a physical storefront, it’s the only way customers will interact with you. A dated, unattractive, poorly functioning website is the equivalent of a store or office that’s messy and that lacks customer service.
Because Customers Are Picky – and Busy
The days when you could gain an edge just by having any kind of website are long gone. Customers are used to effortless and even enjoyable online experiences. They’re also pressed for time. If you don’t pique their interest quickly, or they can’t find information easily, they are out of there. Professional design plays a huge part in capturing your audience and keeping them engaged.
Because You Can’t Rely on Social Media
You own your website. A vibrant social media presence should be part of your marketing plan, of course. But the keyword here is part. The rules of the social media world change fast. The hot network of the moment can fizzle out before you know it.
– Organic reach (in other words, the chance that your followers will see posts you don’t promote) on Facebook is effectively dead.
– Instagram is reducing the organic reach of posts, and signs are that Snapchat will follow.
– Once beloved and buzzed-about, Twitter is now troubled and controversial.
Your business might be doing fine now with, say, just Facebook and Instagram pages, but you can’t count on that strategy continuing to work. You need a business website that gives you a stable presence no matter what’s going on with social media.
And the bottom line is that even if someone discovers you through social media, they need to be directed back to your website to buy your product, hire you or find out more. An Instagram following alone does not make you money. You must have a way for people to buy what you’re selling!
Because It’s the Key to Building Your Email List
While your social media following is the mercy of the different networks you use, your list of email subscribers is something you control. That’s why it’s essential to build your email list. And the best way to attract subscribers is through a website that intrigues and impresses them.
Because It’s the Launch Pad for Everything Else
You have lots of ideas for spreading the word about your business. And your website might not be the one you’re most excited about right now: Maybe you’re more focused on pitching the media and other influencers or speaking to professional groups. But to succeed with these efforts — and others like them — you need a business website as a calling card. It will quickly show anyone thinking of booking you, interviewing you or hiring you that you’re established and credible.
We sometimes hear from businesses that believe they need only an app, not a website. Apps are great — we don’t discourage them. However, they take a lot of money to create and promote. You should have a core audience in place before launching an app. And – you guessed it – your website is the way to grow that audience and eventually drive traffic and awareness to your app.
Because It Protects Your Other Investments
Let’s say your goal is to sell the online courses you created. You put a lot into them, and they’re amazing — the best in your field. But your dream customers will shy away from buying your courses if your website doesn’t look trustworthy or if it’s too hard to use. You need a business website that quickly conveys that you’re a competent, trustworthy expert.
Because Design IS important
Professionally designed sites get more visibility and traffic. Most of what visitors remember about your site will be related to its visual impact. To make an impression on customers, great design isn’t optional.
No matter how gung-ho you are about your business, don’t rush into a website that won’t serve you well over the long term. Our free guide “Your Unstoppable Brand” will tell you more about how to get a strategy-driven, customized website that saves you time, stress and money and that speeds you toward your goals. And we’re always happy to help with questions about what kind of website will get the best results for your business. Contact us now to talk more.