How many potential customers are you losing because you don’t have a website? How many are moving on to competitors because your small business website looks more at home in the 1990s?
While these questions are impossible to quantify, they are possible rectify.
Recent research by the domain registrar GoDaddy showed 59 percent of Australian small businesses still don’t have a proper website. Forty-four percent of businesses surveyed believed their business was too small to justify investing in a website, and the vast majority of businesses surveyed said they use social media sites to communicate with customers.
Despite websites having a higher barrier for entry than a social media account, there are number of compelling reasons to make the investment. According to the same survey, 61 per cent of business owners said their websites had a significant impact on their businesses, contributing up to 25 per cent growth.
Here are five other reasons you need a business website:
- Another marketing avenue: A company website is another place where you can showcase your goods and services. The more, the merrier.
- Credibility: When a customer is appraising your business, they may believe your operation is less reputable if they cannot find a corresponding website.
- Misunderstanding: You may be missing out on customers who believe you are out of business if they cannot find a website or if it appears outdated.
- Security: Some customers feel more comfortable shopping for goods or services through a secure company website instead of external services.
- Data: Not having a website, or not having one properly optimised for collecting customer information, means you’re missing out on valuable data that you can use to boost sales.
For those who do have a website, but have not updated it in some time, here are the key characteristics consumers look for in a strong, modern company website:
- Purpose and user experience: Make sure your company website reflects the point of your business. If you’re selling a good or a service, make sure that this is immediately clear on your homepage, and that your goods and services are clearly showcased, explained, and easy to find. Also ensure your customers’ experience when navigating the website is simple and intuitive.
- Domain: Make sure you have a professional, easy to remember domain name.
- Security: If customers are given the ability to log in and can make purchases directly from your site, make sure your customers’ data is secure via features like password protection and encryption.
- Reliability: Include important sections such as “Contact Us”, “About Us”, and “Terms and Conditions” pages. Customers may look for these sections to determine your reliability.
- Data collection: Don’t forget to include a system for collecting customer email addresses and other information that will help you target them for repeat sales, special offers, or to adjust your products based on your customer’s interests.