Is it time to have a business website? Why?

by | Business, Strategy, Web design

You’ve probably heard that once you’ve launched your business, you MUST launch a website as well. But is it true for any business, and at any stage?

Do you need a website?

Our recommendation, for any early stage businesses is to measure their resources and only invest in marketing tools (such as an website) only after answering these answers:

  • Do you have the time to manage a website? – once you launch it, you have to create content for it, be available to chat if you’ve installed a chatbot (which we recommend, as the days when a site was an unilateral communication channel are long gone), keep it updated, promote it and continuously track its results and fastly improve it
  • Do your potential clients need a website in order to buy from you? – if you’ve just started, you might as well use, i.e., the Facebook store feature to present your products and manage all orders via one platform, at least until you have a client data base large enough for a website to make sense
  • Does your business profile require a website? – a website might be a priority since early days for an e-commerce business compared to a SaaS business
  • Do you have the budget and human resources to build it? – even if you only opt for a landing page presenting your main products or services, it should represent your brand, breathe quality and trust, be safe (especially if people buy via your site) and be constantly updates. This might mean you need an external collaborator to help you in the beginning or even having someone in house who can manage it
  • Can you make the most out of it? – a website can be an extremely powerful marketing tool if used correctly. You can position your business and yourself through it, attract customers, use it in retargeting ads campaigns, collect data for your newsletter and many more. Even though you don’t have to get involved in a complex marketing strategy since the beginning, it helps to know its real potential and build it accordingly.

Once you’ve reached the point where it does make sense for you to launch a business website, you should be aware of all the advantages it can bring to you and your business and use your web platform as the powerful conversion machine it can be!

Why should you launch a website?

➡️ You want to build trust

According to a survey from 2019, more than 80% of consumers think that companies that also have a website are more trust worthy. Having a professional website that follows Growth Driven Design rules shows that you are willing to invest time and money in order to offer your clients a great experience in term of UX, UI and communication.

Displaying high quality pictures or videos or uploading customers’ testimonials can also make your users feel confident about the quality of your services.

➡️ You want to engage with your potential customers

According to Statista, in 2020, almost 4.54 billion people (59% of the global population) were using the Internet. That is a large pool of potential clients you want to address and of course, you can do it through social media, but a well-optimized website can give them a better image of your business. 

In order to open communication, you can consider installing (and constantly managing) a chatbot. Chatbots – which are basically a software program that uses AI to communicate – are expected to reach a worldwide market size of more than $1.3 billion by 2024, while 47% of organizations are expected to implement chatbots for customer support services, and 40% are expected to adopt virtual assistants

But there are alternatives as well – you can have a forum or a comments section, an official email address where people can contact support, a phone number or you can even consider building email communities. 

➡️ You want to make it as easy as possible for your clients

Your future clients expect it to be easy to get in touch with you, to be able to learn about your products or services, to buy at any time of the day or night they want, to have their questions answered as fast as possible.

A permanently updated website makes the whole buying process smoother, as opposed to an offline shop or to a social media account where, i.e., it can be harder to search for certain information.

➡️ You want to position your company AND give back

Content marketing is one of the biggest trends in marketing in 2021, but at the same time, now is even harder to stand out through content. Given the crowded online environment where everyone has something to say, the content you develop must be professional, brand aligned and most importantly, it has to bring real value to its consumers.

Creating video, written, audio or photo content for your website has multiple advantages: your website will rank better, you will be able to tell your brand story and build a whole journey for your potential customers, you will give something back to your community and you will have a platform through which you can stand by your mission.

➡️ You want to sell

Of course, besides your more empathetic mission, your business is also profit oriented so your website should help you sell. And it does. 

Starting with organic reach – people find your website or even better, it appears among the first Google results, if properly optimized – and going to Google Advertising, your growth driven website can boost sales. Did you know that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine or that 74.87% of all desktop and laptop searches from January to December of 2019 occurred on Google (according to Net Marketshare)?

This means you must be discoverable on Google with your platforms and specifically with your website, as it can act as a one-stop-shop, where people can learn more about your products, read your content and buy.

In order to become visible, your content has to be of high quality (not necessarily long, but value-adding), you should have links in other publications as well, invest in SEO and be active continuously. If you want to learn more about SEO, here’s a useful guide we wrote about in-house SEO.

➡️ You can use it for marketing campaigns…that also lead to sales

Has someone visited your website but abandoned the cart? Add them to your remarketing campaigns and remind them about their desire to buy something. 

Do you want to stay in touch with potential clients? Write an eBook, ask for email addresses of those who want to download it and keep in touch through a newsletter.

Do you want to sell a more expensive product? Start with a cheaper or even free one and upsell!

Your website can work wonders in marketing campaigns and in order for you to see a progress, remember to constantly monitor the process – you can, i.e., install Google Analytics and track the most accessed pages or the sources people came from and landed on your website and invest more in those.

To conclude

Over time, the website can become a very effective tool for generating demand. Unlike advertising that stops working when you stop investing, over time a website’s visibility in search results should increase(if you do SEO right), bringing your business in front of your potential customers when they look for products or services like yours. The visitors that convert to leads on your website are 1st party data that you can communicate with via email, without needing to spend additional money. 

Of course you should be careful and get their consent to communicate and store their data first. But once you have their contact information you can reach out and establish a direct connection.

Besides the organic traffic you can attract – which is free traffic, you don’t pay for it – the website is a medium you own and control. So there are no limits to what formats you can play.

<span class="light-grey">Written by </span>Oana Groza

Written by Oana Groza

Oana is an experienced PR professional. From large companies to early-stage startups, she has helped them build their online and offline presence and connect with their target audience. She is currently supporting tech companies to grow their businesses through integrated communication strategies.