What crosses your mind when you Google a company only to find that their website is an old, out-of-date Facebook page? Or worse, that they have no online presence at all?
Likely, you’d wonder if the business you searched for is credible and established. It’s not as easy to trust a company without a website that showcases their values, their work, and customer testimonials. Plus, in this digital age, it’s unusual to encounter a business without a website.
Of course, there are many reasons why a business or organization may not have one. Most frequently, business owners or managers simply don’t have enough time to create a website. Some businesses sell products that aren’t typically sold online, and some are content without a digital presence. Many small and local business fall into these categories, mistakenly believing that websites provide little to no ROI.
However, it’s safe to say that neither a Facebook site nor a blank Google search result provides the best first impression of your business.
Below are six ways websites can benefit you and your business.
When people go into work, they dress professionally to make a good impression on clients and colleagues. So why doesn’t everyone do the same for their business’s website?
A website is one of the best opportunities to create a positive and professional impression of your company. When customers Google your company name, they should be greeted by a beautiful website that’s both welcoming and functional. Think of a website as your online salesperson—it may very well be that customer’s first impression of your company, and you want to make sure it’s both friendly and helpful.
In addition to lending professionalism to your business and brand, having a website also provides many opportunities to increase its credibility.
For example, many websites include customer testimonials and/or past projects. Testimonials are important because these voices come directly from other customers. They’re the only part of the website that’s not written directly by the company, for the company. When reading a testimonial, prospective customers know they’re receiving honest, unbiased feedback, so they’re likely to extend that trust to the company itself.
If applicable to your business, a past projects section is also valuable because it provides a clear overview of the quality, scope, and type of work you do. If a prospective customer is impressed and intrigued by your past work, then you’ve likely won over a new client.
Simply put, having a website increases the chance that your business can be found online.
Many strategies exist to increase these chances, the most effective one being SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Other techniques include targeting keywords, hyperlinking, adding image descriptions, and verification by Google.
While these methods seem tedious and complicated to implement, Hilltop specializes in optimizing WordPress websites to drive clicks, create impressions, and bring you to the front page of Google.
In 2020, e-commerce sales increased by 43%, jumping from 571 billion in 2019 to an impressive 815 billion. Since then, online shopping has remained higher than pre-pandemic records and is projected to reach into the trillions in 2024.
Due to the increasing Amazon-ification of our world, online shopping will never go away—in fact, many people have come to expect it. That’s why it’s as important as ever to create a digital presence that allows for online sales.
Simplify customer experience
As a result of this pandemic-era online shopping surge, many people now prefer to purchase online. It’s more convenient, it’s faster, and it eliminates the need for face-to-face interactions. Not only will online sales increase leads generated from new customers, but increased convenience may also encourage more purchases from existing customers.
Further, in addition to thinking of your website as an online salesperson, you can also assign it the role of customer service representative/front desk staff. For example, many people look to Google to answer simple questions like pricing, locations, or store hours. Making sure that such information is available and easily accessible on your website will help alleviate pressure from existing customer service staff, so they can focus on the important things.
Websites for Small Business
Contrary to popular belief, consumers often search for local businesses online, and many of those leads turn into online or in-person sales later on. Even if your small business doesn’t currently sell products online, having a website increases the likelihood of being found by customers.
Consider these statistics on small/local business websites from HubSpot:
- “46% of searches on Google include local intent
- 97% of users use search to find local businesses
- 28% of users purchased an item after a local search
- 70% of users will visit a store because of what they found online”
It’s easier than you think
For many business owners, websites are the least of their worries. We understand that not everyone has the time to create one on their own, and that’s why Hilltop specializes in creating custom websites that are affordable and beautiful. We’ll design, create, and maintain it for you so that it can work for your business, not against it. You’ll reap its benefits for years to come.