1. A website helps people find you.
Over 85 percent of consumers search for companies online. A company website is typically a consumer’s first point of contact with a company, yet many business owners make the mistake of thinking their company isn’t large enough to need a website. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 10,000-employee corporate giant or a one-man show, if you don’t have a website, you’re losing business to other companies that do.
A website keeps your business open to the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no labor costs to watch it. It broadens your base of customers because anyone in the world can find you online. Why should you limit your business to your neighborhood when the whole world may be your potential market? A website also improves your customer service as customers are able to find the information they’re looking for even if you’re not available to help them.
2. A website projects your company as a professional, legitimate business.
A website helps your business establish credibility. One of the great things about the internet is that it has leveled the playing field when it comes to competing with the big boys. With a well-designed website, your little operation can project the image and professionalism of a much larger production. The opposite is also true. When a large corporation has a poorly designed website, it gives the impression that they’re not interested in attracting your business.
Our SAGE Video Crew attended an industry conference a couple of weeks ago to get others’ opinions on the importance of having a company website. We asked people what they think when they can’t find a company online, and the industry seemed to be in agreement. Responses ranged from “It’s very concerning. Someone’s website is going to give you an idea if you want to do business with a company or not” to “There’s so much fraud going on, so I think it’s important to check things out. It’s about legitimacy; I don’t know if you can trust that company”.
3. A website makes it easy for people to do business with you.
Many people prefer the convenience of doing business online. With e-commerce capabilities, growing your business takes little effort if you have an effective website. That said, it’s not enough that you just have a website. You must have a professional-looking, up-to-date, informative site if you want to be taken seriously. Since most consumers are searching for information online before even contacting a company, you have one shot to make a good first impression on a potential customer. One of our interviewees put it perfectly, saying, “We are too overburdened with information to spend any time on something that doesn’t give us—very quickly—the answers that we’re looking for. We’re just going to pass on to another website.”
Throughout the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing blog posts with tips for designing a professional, user-friendly website, steps toward ranking higher in search engines, how to maintain your website, the importance of blogging, and other advice for converting lookers to buyers.
One reason many businesses are reluctant to have a website is because they think it is expensive. However, all SAGE Total Access subscribers and SAGE Advantage members get a basic company website included with their subscription or membership. Setting up a website through SAGE is simple, but if the idea of having to build your own site is what’s keeping you from starting, there are plenty of SAGE experts willing to help.