Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Since I'm a web designer, I have a tendency to think everyone understands that having a website is important. Every once in a while, I have to remind myself that some people just haven't heard yet!
Why is having a website such a big deal? Here are 6 reasons:
1. A website increases your credibility.
Your website has a powerful impact on a potential customer's confidence in you. A professional design, well-written copy, helpful product information, and good contact info can tremendously increase trust in your company. It lets people know you're knowledgeable and up-to-date. If you take the time to develop a good-quality site with helpful information, visitors will have no choice but to be impressed.
2. A website makes your company visible anytime, anywhere.
As of April 2002, there are roughly 165.8 million people online in the US alone. Some of them are looking for your products and services. With a website, you open yourself up to a world of opportunity in reaching people who might not otherwise find you. With the click of a mouse, anyone can get to your company's website 24/7.
3. A website makes it easy for people to refer new customers to you.
For many businesses, referrals are a crucial source of new customers. Having a website makes it easy to encourage referrals, because customers can simply send friends and business contacts to your site. Website addresses are easier to remember than phone numbers. Plus, giving people multiple ways of contacting you makes it more likely that they will do so.
4. A website is a powerful sales tool.
Selling your products through an online store is often a killer way to expand your business. You have a perpetual, easily-accessed storefront--one that costs a fraction of a brick and mortar store and can reach many more people. Effective sales copy can do an incredible job of hooking visitors on your products and compelling them to click that "buy" button.
Even if you can't sell your services directly over the internet, a website is still a powerful asset. It's a primer that you use to convince visitors of why they need your services. You get them salivating to buy, then invite them to contact you through your site.
5. A website increases the value of your advertising.
Adding your website address to all your advertisments, business cards, and company literature is a great way to draw potential customers to your company. Providing a website gives people a way to act on your message whenever they hear about you or see an ad for your company. Going to a website is easier than writing, visiting a store, or even making a phone call. Customers get the information at their convenience and don't have to wait for a salesperson to help them. Also, it's often more comfortable to visit a website, because there is no obligation. Visitors don't feel pressured.
6. A website helps you stay in contact with potential customers.
There are frequently people who are interested in what you have to offer, but they might not be ready to buy right now. You need to stay in contact with them so that you immediately come to mind when they ARE ready. A website is a great way to facilitate this. You can use your website to collect email addresses from visitors. Then you can periodically send out promotional emails or a newsletter. Staying in contact keeps your company fresh in visitors' minds.
Well, there you have it--6 ways a website benefits your company and helps you sell more. Do you want to leave this opportunity to your competitors? Surely not! Each day you wait, you're letting them establish themselves online as THE resource in your field. Stop giving them that advantage!
About the Author
Jamie Kiley is the editor of Passing Notes, a web design newsletter. Get a hot, fresh web design tip delivered to your inbox every two weeks! Sign up now at (http://www.kianta.com/)