With the popularity of social media and other shortened forms of digital media, many business owners find themselves questioning whether or not having a website is a worthwhile expense. While the cost of keeping a website up to date — and that of developing it in the first place — can be overwhelming to some, the investment is worthwhile in the long run. We’ll break down the reasons why.
A Website Is a Central Information Hub
Let’s say that a business offering a service such as home cleaning is debating building a website. Is it sufficient to have a Facebook page and a dedicated email address, since many referrals are coming from Facebook anyway? Perhaps, but more likely not.
Why is this? A website serves multiple purposes. First, a website is a central information hub for prospective customers or returning customers. A website is also an opportunity to boost search rankings — even for customers outside of the service area of the business. Many users will research a topic or a business before making a decision. Why not be there when they type in their search terms?
Having a website is an opportunity to further educate prospective customers about the products or services the business offers. For a home cleaning service, for example, there could be content on the website with “best practices” for spring cleaning, or a checklist of areas in the home to be sure to clean regularly. Content like this boosts SEO and therefore ranks your website higher when users are searching for keywords found on the website.
Websites Can Be Easy Lead Generators
Lead generation is a key to any business’ success. Prospecting leads, though, can be a tiring and arduous process that takes time away from actually serving current customers. Finding ways to automate lead generation as much as possible will save time and resources, while still helping the business continue its growth trajectory.
How can a website help a business generate leads? Easy! There are several ways to accomplish this. One of the easiest is to have a landing page or a pop-up asking users to submit their email addresses to receive an email marketing list or sale updates. Asking users to give their email addresses is a simple way to build a database of leads to reach out to later.
Another way a website can help generate leads is by offering some sort of deliverable. Whether it’s an e-book or a free product or a coupon/discount code, giving users something to benefit from is a great way to pique their interest. This also captures pertinent information that can be utilized later to contact the customer for marketing purposes.
Of course, it’s important — particularly today — to respect the privacy of the information and data gathered by the website. User data should never be sold to third parties or used for anything other than what is advertised. Mishandling user data is a surefire way to lose trust and business.
Even a small business should have a functional website that is kept current and relevant. This can be an investment of time and resources, but it can be an integral part to the success of any business, big or small.