You will hardly argue that presence on the Internet is important for all types of businesses. Benefits of having a website are obvious, yet some companies don’t invest in website design at all. Why should a business, omitting using web development services, begin doing so? Let’s look at 7 reasons why web development is important to all types of businesses.
My Company Needs a Website… Does It?
First, there is a little-known and even less understood fact: being online does not necessarily mean having a professional website, which is a combination of domain name, hosting package and a CMS like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla (or a custom-made website design). Sometimes all you need is a landing page or a social network group.
Rudy Mendoza, from Jewelry Sales & Design, decided to terminate using his decade-old website with multiple pages and opted for a simple landing page, hosted by Yelp.com. He said the company cut their paid promotion expenses from around $20,000 annually to one-time $3,000 landing page package and had the money back in a couple of months, as the new page had thousands of hits and delivered hundreds of calls.
Avoiding Spending Too Much on Web Development Services
When we talk of small businesses online, we often talk about developer start-ups. The best way for them to gain an audience is hosting their projects on GitHub, where they can easily collaborate with bigger companies and sell ideas, services or ready code. For instance, there’re a lot of projects on GitHub, offering a valuable improvement of the SSL protection (secure data storage, messaging and sessions) for mobile and desktop software as mobile and desktop app development is steadily growing in popularity.
Another popular kind of small online businesses is the reseller hosting. Many entrepreneurs enter this path, yet their budgets are too tight and they cannot afford full-scale web development services. Such companies opt for a place on free hosting boards, where they can deploy their offers and try to find their first customers.
Many small businesses like cafés or pizzerias (and many larger ones) advertise through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr, etc. It’s a free and efficient channel of promotion if done right.
As you can see, there are ways to promote without investing heavily into a web presence. However, having your own website is much more beneficial, and here are 7 reasons why your business should eventually move to owning a website:
1. Full Design Control
Your company may change or adjust the range of products you provide, pricing policy (holiday discounts, etc.) or even company structure, which you need to reflect on your page. Owning a website allows much more detailed customizations, as compared to using a landing page.
2. Increasing Brand Awareness
Having a website allows adding a favicon to the page, creating RSS-feed to keep your audience tuned on latest updates, using comments to gather valuable customer feedback and replying to it, posting links to your site at forums and blogs. Many additional tools allow increasing brand awareness and customer pool.
3. Saving Money on Advertising
Instead of paying for expensive offline and online ads, you can invest into SEO-promotion of your own page, which brings lasting results, as the funds you spend to promote your own page are the funds well spent. However, please do not mistake paid traffic Rudy Mendoza mentioned with investment into high-quality content, responsive website design, market trends analysis and well-thought special offers.
4. Saving Time on Asking Questions
Whenever your customers need to know something about your business, having a contact form, a live chat, an option to comment or a phone number is a step towards them, which increases a possibility of sealing the deal.
5. Confirming Your Credibility
Everybody understands that building a professional website involves some serious investment, which most likely means the company is not going to disappear the next day, so the customers are more prone to order from you.
6. Referral Programs and Discounts
Having your own page allows implementing a referral program or issuing discounts to your customers through the billing system. This is a feature free ad boards and social network groups cannot provide.
7. Your Website Works 247
Ticket system allows accepting and invoicing orders even if you aren’t in the office, meaning that the website can earn money while you sleep.
As you can see, while your business may do well without owning a website, having one greatly increases your chances of success. What is your opinion on this? Do you have some story or personal experience to tell? Please, share in the comments below!