There are a lot of websites in the world. Literally millions. Millions of millions. Everyone has a website–from your local shoe repair shop to a colleague’s photography side hustle and your Aunt’s driveway flower stand, if you have a business, you should have a website… right?
We’ll answer that in a moment but the fact is it’s easy to get caught up in the expectation that creating a website for your business is good for business. Over half of the world’s population uses the internet every day so having a website seems like a smart idea, even if you’re not exactly sure how it will help your small-town psychology clinic. This is where we need to pause and take stock of why you are building a website.
Back to the question: is it true that building a website good for business? The answer is a resounding and all-caps YES… if you do it with purpose.
Building a website without a purpose, or a goal in mind and a strategy in hand means that it probably won’t get built to help you in the ways you need or would like it to. Would you build a house without knowing exactly what you need?
Building a website means figuring out WHY you should care about having a website, what the purpose of your website should be, and how websites are being used by others in your industry to further their business goals.
Establishing Brand Credibility
Your website is your resume. Even if you’re an online shop selling products, your website should be scrutinized by you, the employer, as if it were the resume of a potential employee. This is because the general public will make decisions, daily, about whether to conduct their business with you based on what they see and experience on your website.
Put your best foot(er) forward and establish brand credibility by making sure that you are empowering every website visitor to become a customer. You’ve thought about their interests, what they need to purchase products or book your services, the story that will entice them, and the brand vision and mission that will motivate them to engage. Oversights in clarity, guidance, expectations, usability, and personal style and vision can bounce your potential customers right off the page before you even have a chance to ask if it’s something you said.
Establishing trust, transparency, engagement and interest in your website and online can help your brand gain credibility and awareness–both key factors in motivating a consumer to make a purchase. Skeptical? Keep reading…
You might be wondering what motivates consumers to shop online but the bigger question might be: what motivates consumers to shop offline? These days, it can be much easier to purchase an item online and have it shipped quickly and directly to your door, rather than driving around town to several different suppliers burning fuel and looking for that one item that doesn’t seem to be on any shelves. Who wants to navigate more Wal-Mart sized parking lots than they need to when they can stay inside and at a click of a button be done with their shopping? Hint: this is a rhetorical question.
Generating revenue, especially for e-commerce sites, is where you’ll see potentially huge ROI from your website build. But you can’t shrug your shoulders with, “good enough,” if your cart glitches, the credit card payment functionality requires an engineering degree to successfully take payment, or the shipping costs are twice as much as a big-box competitor’s online shop. These are barriers to generating revenue, just like out of stock items in brick-and-mortar locations, and it’s your job to minimize the impact of a potential loss in sales. Optimizing user-friendly functionality, user experience, and customer service will go a long way to ensuring that your website is hustling and acting as your best employee, 24/7.
Even if you aren’t selling and shipping products from your site, every website in existence should have one focused and specific call-to-action that is geared at generating leads. Whether it’s contact information or a booking calendar, your business requires new business and the only way to get new business is to ask your audience how you can help them. It’s really that simple. If your website isn’t clearly defining to visitors what you are offering and how they can attain your services, you’ll find that a lack of clarity and confusion will drain visitors faster than it can gain them.
Our Point Is…
Understanding the end purpose will determine the means in which you execute your vision and create a website for your business. Remember not to look for shortcuts or quick fixes, or choose deals and promos over your priorities. Cheaper doesn’t mean better, and if you choose the free DIY website builders be prepared for far more labour then you will ever anticipate. The more complex your website is in terms of functional requirements, e-commerce options, and/or SEO, the more time and effort will be required to ensure that your website users get what they need and enjoy the time they spend on your site. Otherwise, they’ll move to a competitor’s website or a site that offers a smoother, clearer and better-branded user experience.
As one customer told us when they approached us to help them rebuild their DIY website project, “The bitterness of poor quality lasts longer than the sweetness of cheap price.”
Don’t be bitter! Be ready to give people what they need by investing in your online business tool, your website, so that it is actively establishing brand credibility, generating revenue and bringing you new and returning customers while you’re busy focusing your efforts offline.
Questions about website development or our digital marketing services and rates? Let’s chat about what you need to help define your website’s purpose. Contact us at Alpha Strategy.