Have you ever thought, “Why should I invest in a website when I don’t do any work online?” Maybe you’re a plumber who doesn’t understand why you need an online presence when your work is clearly offline, or a contractor who’s always gotten your business from offline word-of-mouth, or a brick-and-mortar business owner who thinks you don’t need to use the web to reach your customers who are right around the corner.
If this sounds like you, there’s a chance that you’ve missed out on lots of revenue recently—and will continue to do so until you launch a website to increase your online visibility. In today’s world, it’s critically important to have a professional, easy-to-navigate website, for more reasons than one.
First of all, being online can seriously improve your chances of being found by new customers. Even if you aren’t online, your customers are, and most of them are doing research for purchase decisions online. In fact, in a recent study, 87% of respondents said they had searched online for local products, services, or businesses in the past month. The stronger your URL and website copy, the more likely your business is to appear in search results on Google and other search engines when people look for things like “plumber near me” or “HVAC repair in Joplin.” While search is often the first step, strong website copy is the second. In that same survey, 73% of consumers said they visited local businesses’ websites to help make a purchase decision. Internet search and website visits are used by customers more than all other methods of research, including recommendations from friends and family, newspaper circulars, radio, and social networks.
Second, a good website can make it easier for customers to find the information they want to know before making a purchase decision, plus information they need to get in touch when they’re ready to buy. Having a website will allow you to tell your story, boost your brand, and draw customers in. Ask yourself, “If I was a customer considering hiring me for the first time, what would I want to know?” Things like an about page, your contact information (phone, email, and hours of operation), and a strong services page can help boost your brand and make a compelling case for why customers should want to work with you.
As a bonus, codifying this information on your website can save you loads of time. Instead of running through the same details with every single customer, you can reference pages on your website. Prospective and current customers alike will appreciate price lists, services offered, and other FAQs being only a click away.
Websites matter. Here are the key reasons why you need to pay attention to yours:
1. All social roads lead to your website. If you’re a business, every YouTube video, Tweet, Facebook update, and blog post your create should have a single goal: Convince readers or viewers to take some kind of action (buy something, make a call, sign up, etc.) These types of direct actions (aka the outright sales pitch) are going to take place on your website. So you need to think of your website as the last, and most important, step in closing the sale or driving whatever type of action you’re after.
2. Your website is permanent. Social networks and tools come and go. Remember Friendster? MySpace gave way to Facebook. And Google+ has now arrived on the scene. There will always be social media tools, but the popularity of specific tools will change over the years. Your website, however, is here to stay.
3. You have control over your website. With your website, you are in complete control. You determine the navigation; you define the page structure; and you create the look and feel. With social media accounts and pages, you’re at the mercy of the site. While Facebook, for example, does offer some customization and tab options, your creativity, branding, and user experience will always be limited in some way by the social network. On top of this, Facebook or other sites can always choose to change the look of their site or their policies — and your opinion won’t be considered.
4. Only your website can convey detailed information. Websites remain critical interaction points where interested visitors can learn all the details of your products or services. When it comes to information, the same level of complexity and breadth of information simply cannot be matched on Facebook tabs or a YouTube profile. If customers are looking for product specifications, need to learn more about a doctor’s specialties, or want to see a restaurant’s full menu, they’ll go to the website.
5. Your website pulls everything together. In the days of multi-channel digital marketing, it’s all too easy to end up sending mixed messages. The website can serve as a central reference point that sets the tone and content of the brand message for all other channels to follow.
A good online presence can also seriously improve your credibility. In fact, 84% of consumers say businesses with websites are more credible than those without! Many customers will choose (or exclude!) a service provider based on information online alone, so if you’re not in the mix, you’re going to miss out. If you don’t have a website and your competition does, you may end up looking like a less serious player.
The best part is, it’s quick and easy to get these benefits. Even if you’ve never built a website before, you can have a professional-looking one up and running in a couple of hours for less than $150. DIY templates have democratized the website-building business, making it possible for even the smallest service professionals to compete with regional and national franchises. Start by registering your domain today then picking the right website builder for you, and you’re well on your way.
At KBI Marketing we believe good design involves both form and function.
Form = how your website looks and feels
Function = how your website performs and converts
In your business you need both. A pretty website will not help your business grow of it is not designed to convert leads into customers. However, studies show that well designed sites convert much better than poorly designed ones.
At KBI Marketing we provide a packaged service for contractors. We use great design to impress potential clients and convert them to real paying customers. We work hard to ensure that your online presence is professional and instills trust. Feel free to check out some examples of our real websites that convert design into dollars.
Ready to enhance your web presence by revamping your website content but not sure where to start? Contact our digital marketing team today to learn more about how to develop and optimize high quality content for your website. Whether you need help with copywriting, search engine optimization or brainstorming ideas for new website content, our digital marketing strategists can help.
Studies show that 29% of small businesses still don’t have websites—that’s 29% of businesses that are missing out on the huge benefits of having an online presence and losing a war on credibility that they may not even be aware they’re battling. Don’t let yourself be one of them. Get your small business website up and running today.