Why You Need a Website
From Credibility to Conversions
As web designers, we often forget that not everyone uses technology or runs a business the same way. So let’s talk about the value of websites.
1. Websites Give You Credibility
We hate that this is our number one reason but it really is. It’s not compelling, it’s not a promise of guaranteed clients or even guaranteed interaction from potential customers. But you still need to look like a legitimate business. And, these days, that involves a website and at least one social media page — preferably Facebook.
From the customer point of view, the first thing we do when we hear business recommendations from friends is to look it up online. If they don’t have a website, oftentimes that’s a dealbreaker. This is not because people deliberately judge businesses for not having a website, but because having to find reviews or some form of information online is a chore and it might be just enough effort to dissuade them from following through.
2. Information for Potential Customers
After credibility, we’d say the primary purpose a website serves is to answer your clients’ questions. They might be able to find those answers on Google or Facebook, but the best way to make sure customers get the correct information easily is to have your own website. Even without great SEO, most websites will come up in the search when the company name is Googled and that’s where your customer will click.
It’s not enough just to have a website — it needs to function and it needs to provide the basic information that your customers are looking for. Things we recommend you place in the header or footer so they’re always visible:
- Phone Numbers
- Email Address
- Social Media Links
Outside of that basic contact information, almost every website will NEED a services or products page, an about page, and a contact form. After the home pages and the services page, we see about pages getting the most traffic. For many customers, the about page is the final tipping point of converting. This means they liked what they saw about your services and now they want to know who you are and why they should choose you. Give them something compelling to help them make that decision! If you want ideas for what to write on your website pages, check out our other article on website content.
3. Building Community Engagement
For many of us, especially lately, the first place we think of when building or engaging with a community is social media. But if you blog, your website can be a great resource as well. Blogging is good for SEO and it’s also a great tool to get customers returning to your website regularly to read your new content.
Why is community so important?
Mere-exposure effect. What this means is that the more often you come into contact with something (a person, business, concept) the more you like it. In this case, familiarity breeds comfort rather than contempt.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed when researching a product to buy and ended up choosing a familiar-sounding brand? We have.
We live in a world of choices. Sometimes waaay too many choices, and sometimes we just want something that feels familiar and safe. If you use your website (and blog) to build a community, that’s a network that will look to you for answers and, eventually, more direct help in solving their problems with your product or service.
4. Generating & Converting Leads
When we talk about lead generation, there are a couple of different areas we consider. SEO one of many possible strategies for generating new leads and while it’s not always the cheapest, it can absolutely be worth it if you know your clients are searching for your services online (and what keywords they’re using!). Now, getting to the first page of search results for your keywords will probably cost you some money for an SEO expert and possibly PPC ads or various other Google SEO services.
Lead generation is also about website traffic that comes from other sources, like your online communities (people reading your blog, social media, and so on). Every page and post should have a purpose and a call to action. If you don’t know what action you want users (hopefully people from your target audience) to take on a page of your website, you might want to reconsider whether that page makes sense to have.
Your website content should tie in with social media offers and PPC (pay-per-click) ads. Alone, the ads can pique a potential customer’s interest, but they’ll want a legitimate, informative web page to get more information before they sign up. And that’s what your landing page should do. Reiterate the offer, explain its value, and then provide an action for your user to take.
And that’s really what it’s all about. You need a website because you need customers. Customers need reassurance that you’re who you say you are (credibility), to know how to reach you (information), to feel comfortable with you (community), and a call to action to get started (conversions).
Ready to Take the Next Step & Build a Website?
There are a few more things you need to know once you start building. Check out these resources or set up a call to learn more about our web design packages!
- What Should You Put on Your Website?
- How SSL Certificates Helps Your Website & Your SEO
- Everything You Need to Know to Have an ADA Compliant Website
- Keep Your Contact Form Messages from Going to Spam!