I think by now a lot of people would agree that being ‘present online’ is key for any business. The internet is a world away from the old school marketing and if you are not online, you will be losing out on great opportunities for your business.
A website alone can work as an employee and a key resource for your business focusing on many different types of digital marketing strategies to boost your brand online. But not only this, if you are not present at all on the web, how do you keep up to date with your market trends, competitors or even, how do your customers find you?
E Commerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe and North America and has grown in the UK alone from £60.43bn in 2016 to £67.38bn so far in 2017! These figures show how important it is to make sure your retail store online is not only up to date but, designed, marketed and responsive with all digital devices to achieve the highest number of hits.
40-50% of businesses do not have a website. Additionally, 80% of website owners don’t keep their websites up-to-date. This will give you a hint of how competitive you could be right now within the market.
A small business will gain credibility
A website is the best way to collate all of your work and effectively use it as a cv or portfolio of your offerings, where you can display any testimonials or figures to promote your business. Customers look for products or brands they trust and sometimes money doesn’t come into this, so if you are trying to create more sales and a better ranking on Google, then you will need to be consistent with your service or product offering and achieve positive word-of-mouth about your company.
It will enable you to keep your customers informed
Not only can you use your website to sell products or services, but you can use the tool to promote other online pages such as, Facebook, Twitter or even promoting your blog. You can advertise your monthly newsletters and encourage customers to sign up to inform them of your latest deals ‘Online Only’ – or even promoting unique discount codes. The key to this is to make sure you keep your website up to date with all branding regulations and business location. Make sure you also check your Google account is up to date, otherwise this can really confuse people searching for the correct company.
A website increases awareness about your brand 24/7
Your website and social media pages are accessible 24/7 365 days a year, possibly reaching thousands of people a month. This links back to making sure you manage your website properly and not just leave it sitting there and thinking you have ticked the box. It’s important to make sure you have briefed designers to use all your keywords when your site is in development and then consistently using these when posting on social media or writing your blog.
It makes you money, so it’s worth the investment
A lot of businesses make the mistake of not putting any marketing budgets aside, they feel it’s not something that’s important for now, and they can just do a bit here and there. But actually, one of the largest expenses a business incurs is the design and development of any online or offline marketing. Investing most of your budget on a website is a lot more cost effective as you can showcase pictures, videos, links and information to your audience and not have the worry of trying to fit it onto an A5 flyer.
When you receive a website quote, it can always seem daunting but, if you split the price out over the life of the website, how much you are going to use it, how much money it will produce and how it will be the main face of your brand online, then actually it is a quality investment. A lot of people also think that agencies add hidden costs, but those hidden costs are normally licensing fees and certificates which any website needs to be sustainable online.
Improves customer service
As mentioned earlier, one of the main positives of producing a website is it saves on labour costs. Offering a quick response customer service on your website with any regularly asked questions, is a great way to avoid paying labour costs and phone bills. Not forgetting to offer any other queries to be directed to your business email to make sure the customer is super happy.
All a customer really wants is to look and browse for what they want within 30 seconds, otherwise they get bored and go to one of your competitors – so make sure all of your pages and any ad extensions produced to promote your website are clear and straight to the point.