Last month I ran a small poll on Instagram Stories about the importance of websites for businesses. The results are in, and guess what? If you have a business, you should have a website.
Here are the poll questions and results:
If a business does not have a website, does that affect if/how you buy their products/services?
If you own a business, are you surprised to see that a majority of people might NOT be shopping with you if you don't have a website?
Is a Facebook Page as good as a website?
As you can see, a majority of people do not consider a FB page as a website.
If these results surprise, you, keep reading to learn how you can help your business be more successful by having a website.
1. A website makes your business more credible
A website makes you legit, and it instills near-instant trust. Before making a purchase, studies show that 81% of customers do their research online. If your potential buyers can’t find your business, you just lost a sale. Plus, you can design your website to set the vibe of your business, and maybe event create a sense of what your physical shop location feels like for brand consistency.
2. A website makes you more visible.
In the US, over 90% of people are online -- on their phones, tablets and computers. Without a website, your business is invisible. And while your customers are online, most likely so are your competitors. If you do not have an online presence, your customers will connect with your competitors.
3. A website is your content to own
Anything posted on social media is not your content — the platform owns it. And it can get shut down, be hacked, or block you from accessing your own page. Poof! There goes all your images, your posts, your reviews, not to mention all your followers. Are you really willing to lose everything?
4. A website makes you look like a pro
Many website platforms allow you create a custom branded email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) This adds a level of professionalism to all of your emails, and is a step above using your personal gmail account.
5. You can showcase your products and services
With high-quality photos, you can display your products or services exactly how you want on your website. You’re not limited by social media cropping, or how more than 3 images are displayed (does anyone actually click through the "12+" thumbnail of photos?)
6. A website helps provide a better customer experience
A website is a great place to make your contact information easily available to potential customers. Even better, you can set the expectation of when they can expect to hear back from you. None of us want to be tied to our mobile devices all day and all night, responding to every comment or review.
7. A website is easier than ever to create and manage
Expense is considered the biggest barrier for having a website. But, it has never been easier or more affordable to create a functional, aesthetically pleasing website. With website builders available today (like Wix, which is what I personally use and recommend), it is so easy to build an attractive, mobile-friendly site, with zero coding knowledge. These platforms can do it all, domain name and hosting, to e-commerce and email marketing.
Not sure shower to start? For the easiest maintenance, I recommend the minimum of:
a home page
an about page
a gallery and/or online shop
a contact page