Today, almost 5 billion people worldwide use the internet; over 63% of the world's population! And over 90% of internet users are right here in the United States – that’s a staggering 312 million Americans online! Never has the importance of a website been more essential to your business.
Needless to say, the internet is where the vast majority of American consumers are finding products and services. So, if you don't have a strong online presence powered by a professionally developed website, you are missing out on countless business opportunities daily.
Having attractive product offerings is just one of the essential parts of any marketing equation. Having them well presented, in a user-friendly way, is another. If people don't know about your brand, nor can they find you online, how can you expect them to buy from you?
From experienced online content marketing, including SEO optimization, to sophisticated, results-driven content elements, the importance of a website and online presence that are both strategic and well-structured can’t be overlooked! So how can you learn more about this vast marketplace, and how can you boost your digital presence?
This article will discuss the critical importance of a quality website for any business today and why you need one.
Buyers Expect to Find Businesses Online
As we've just mentioned above, an overwhelming majority of consumers are online, meaning this is the most likely place for you to find new customers.
Today, they're looking online for information to help them make smarter purchasing decisions. They expect to find businesses online with the relevant information they're looking for. This information-seeking behavior determines the importance of having a professionally designed website.
In fact, according to the Commerce Foundation, 88% of consumers today research products before committing to making purchases. This relates to both buying online and in-store buys. So, if consumers cannot find you online, they'll quickly turn to and choose your competitors instead.
Put simply, it’s not enough to have any old website on the internet. You must have an easy-to-navigate site that answers visitors’ questions about your products and services and solves consumers’ problems.
A website is a digital asset that you own entirely. Unlike social media and search directories, where you have limited control over the published information and the kind of engagement received. You control the type of information posted and how it is presented, enabling you to put your best foot forward.
Your website is often the starting point of a new buyer’s journey. It can capture and nurture leads and guide buyers through a personalized journey to purchase.
Creating the Right First Impression
Let’s face it, creating a positive first impression is essential for any human interaction; whether it’s between friends, an employer and employee, or a brand and a potential customer. In those crucial seconds and minutes where a consumer gets to know your brand, you want to ensure that it leaves the right impression.
Here's some food for thought: according to Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, 75% of consumers admit that they judge a brand's credibility based on their website design. This means that a well-designed website establishes trust and builds credibility with the public.
Creating a good user experience shows that you have considered what your customers are looking for, thus strengthening trust with all visitors. Conversely, a website with a poor user experience is more likely to damage your brand and reputation and limit repeat visitors.
As you have already guessed, if you don't have a well-designed website with a good user experience, this creates instant distrust from prospects. As a result, they'll opt for competitors who have unique websites which are polished and professional looking.
A Hub for All Your Marketing Activities
The chances are that your company is already familiar with and carrying out real-world marketing. But as we’ve discussed, there's been a heavy shift from offline to online media in recent years. This has been exacerbated since the arrival of COVID-19 to our shores and is predicted to continue.
Because of this, you can't afford to lag. Your brand might already have digital marketing campaigns in action to drive more consumers toward you. So, it simply doesn't make sense to do digital marketing without considering the importance of a website that has been thoroughly thought through! If your website has not been updated and optimized for the buyer journey, any ROI on digital marketing campaigns will likely deliver disappointing results.
A well-structured website can also act as a hub for all your marketing activities. For example, it can create a relationship between your online visibility (such as search engine optimization or SEO) and your site. It can also create a relationship between your business’s social media accounts and your website. All this builds credibility and trust while centralizing your assets in one place, making it easy for prospects to engage with you and have their questions answered.
Not only that, but it can help connect offline interactions as well. For instance, referrals, word of mouth, and even print materials can refer consumers to your website and drive online visits. This allows you to capture and nurture the leads and ultimately convert new customers who would have otherwise been lost.
Also, when consumers can find you online, if you're a brick and mortar business, this can help them find you in the real world. Having a Google map embedded into your website and a click-through contact number makes it very easy for visitors to find and engage with you in “real-life.”
Your Website Creates Connections 24/7
As much as you'd like it to happen, you can't be everywhere your target demographic is. At least you can't do this in person. Nor can you afford to pay for a marketing person 24/7 to do this for you.
This is where the importance of a website comes in; it’s a valuable asset for any business.
A website becomes an affordable 24/7 marketing tool that creates opportunities for meaningful engagement with prospects while you’re asleep. It’s not bound by time zones, weather or traffic jams, so you can continue to promote your goods and services to otherwise out of reach markets.
When your business has a website that consumers can find and use quickly, it gives them a channel to connect with you and allows them to start building a relationship with you. It will enable consumers to still control their customer journey, as they'll approach you when they see fit.
It's Accessible, Even When You're Not
Many services have moved online because of how convenient it is. And after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, online services have become more critical than ever.
So, it's essential that you provide accessibility around the clock. This is especially imperative if your brand's other avenues aren't available. For example, if your store or office cannot open because of lockdowns or having to reduce hours, you can still make your brand and services available to people through your website. They'll really appreciate being able to continue to access your products and services, even during restrictions.
Know the Importance of a Website: It's the Most Important Marketing Tool You Have
Regardless of what industry you're in, one thing's clear: you shouldn't forget the importance of a website for your business that is robust. It's the heart of both your brands and your marketing strategy.
You can turn cold prospects into warm leads by creating a user-friendly, well-designed website. If you don't, then you risk losing time and sales opportunities.
So, invest in having your website professionally built or repurposed, and you'll soon enjoy the benefits of generating leads and converting customers. The cost of having a website will quickly pay for itself and see your business boom!
Are you ready to get started on your website? Start the process with a FREE Website Audit. Once you’ve completed it, we’ll be notified and reach out to you with the next steps.
910 West can help with web design, development, copywriting, and many other aspects of your online marketing, too – all focused on helping you find more customers!