Any business needs to keep up with the times, and in this technological age, having your own website is a necessity that business owners cannot go without. No matter what the size of the company you own, be you the head of a large business with many employees, or a small business owner operating from your home, having your own website will aid you considerably.
You may think you don’t have the technical know in how to set up a website. In the past, you would have needed an advanced qualification in coding to know how to do it. Thankfully, there are a number of online services who can help you set up and maintain a website. Some allow you to create one for free, while others charge you monthly. Shop around and find an online service that is affordable and easy to use. Without a lot of complicated data to process, you can easily design the site the way you want it, and have features such as e-commerce and video playback options.
Your website should also be user-friendly, attractive to look at and offer easy navigation. For example, bright and bold colors will catch the consumer’s eye, and interesting photographs of your product will further their interest.
Here are several ways a website will help your business.
While you should always invest your time and money in advertising your company, through flyers, business cards, and radio ads, for example, having your own website will give you the added profile you need.
Your front page should always be about your company, telling the consumer who you are and what the product is you are selling. Using brightly colored photographs, showcase your product across the site, using creative text to encourage people to buy from you.
When you have a track record in selling your product, ask buyers to leave feedback and reviews which you can post online as testimonials. Knowing that you have a solid history with other customers will encourage others to buy from you.
The use of video is another great way to advertise your product. It can be easy to create your own with the aid of a webcam, or separate camcorder. Once done, simply upload it and embed it onto your site. Showcase your product by making an instructional video, giving the user a tutorial in how to use your it. Extend further by posting the video online, on YouTube for example, increasing the possibility of consumers finding you online. However, you should find ways to make the video interesting, so don’t waffle on needlessly and try and inject your personality into what you are saying.
Gives you added credibility
Online shopping is more popular than ever before, and you need to be part of that trend. Your competitors will likely have a website of their own, so you need to keep up with them and win customers over to you. When attending business meetings or speaking on online forums, you can generate interest in your company. By being able to pass over your website information, you are showing people you are a professional, with a passion for what you do.
If you are unhappy with the way your website looks, hire somebody to update it or help you create a new one. There are a number of freelance web designers for hire, and when you find someone you like, you can return to them for help in the future.
Brings you closer to your customers
Considering the billions of people who use the internet every day, there are a lot of people out there who may be interested in the services you are offering. However, they could easily stumble upon your site and move on at the click of a button. Therefore, you need to do a little bit of work, attract customers to your website and keep them there.
You’re probably asking yourself, how can I attract people to my website in favor of a competitor? First of all, you need people to find you on whatever search engine they use.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a means of optimizing your website so that you will list higher in search engine rankings. Every day people use search engines to find the products and services they want. You may sell cushions as part of your business but an internet user who googles the word ‘cushion’ are going to find possibly hundreds of other sites on the search engine before they get to yours. If you are unsure of the intricacies of SEO, there are services out there who will help your site feature more prominently. In the future, you may decide to set up a new website, meaning you may have to start the whole SEO business again. However, to alleviate this extra work and worry, there are website migration tips for seo, so you need never fall to the bottom of engine rankings again.
There are other ways to get noticed. For example, the design and coloring of your website are important. When people do find you online, make it an attractive place to spend their time, as much as they would in any physical store. People should be able to find their way around your site with ease, so make navigation simple. At the click of a button, the consumer should be able to look at the product they want and find their way to the online basket to buy. Make it too complicated, and they will move on to somebody else.
Enable a communication page from your site where the consumer can ask you questions on the product, shipping costs, etc. When you do receive a question, be sure to respond respectfully and quickly to gain good customer relations. Good communication is vital in any business, and you don’t want to be a faceless stranger sat on the other end of the computer. Talk to your customers, listen to their feedback and reviews of your product and enable a better relationship with them. Your business needs to be unique to stand out from all the rest, so having that personal touch is a guaranteed way to keep business flowing your way.
Cheaper than producing a brochure every six months, your website is also a perfect place to let customers know about new products you have for sale. Create a page showcasing all the new offers, promotions and services available. If customers are happy to receive emails from you, send them newsletters occasionally, but not on too regular a basis in case they unsubscribe.
To improve customer relations, offer discounts to long-standing clients. Think of other ways of keeping them away from the competition, such as free shipping and prompt return policies.
Your website is always available
The downside of any high street store is they are not always open when people need them. The benefit of having an online store is it never closes, being available 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year. It doesn’t matter if you are online or off, people are free to browse or buy from your site whenever they want, suiting their lifestyle and yours. However, it has to be user-friendly, so ensure people don’t get lost when navigating it. Signpost customers to areas of interest within the site, so they stay around for longer.
Gives your company brand value
We use brands every day, from our favorite cereal to the type of toothpaste we use. A branded product stands out from the generic types out there and is a guarantee of quality.
Your website needs a name and a logo that you can reuse on other products, such as freebies you may give away at conferences. This will make you stand out in a crowded market and guarantee you further success.
Connects to social media
Having a website has many advantages as we have already seen. It will benefit you greatly when you use social media alongside it. Whatever account you use, be it Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, as examples, you can post links to your website from your social media and vice versa.
Encourage your friends, family and trusted customers to spread the word about you as well. News of your company may spread to areas of the world you never expected. Of course, the flipside of this is bad word of mouth. If you have sold somebody a product that has been damaged in transit and refused the return, you are going to upset people. Send a message to a customer that is disrespectful and unhelpful, and they may share what you have written with others. Bottom line: sell a worthwhile product and offer excellent customer service to ensure people speak well of you.
When you have a great offer you need to shout about, tweet it! Have a photograph of a new product? Showcase it on Instagram. Have some exciting news to report? Post it on Facebook. Considering the millions of people on social media, there are plenty of potential customers you can attract to your website.