It’s my business to create websites for companies. So you might think that I’m convinced that every company needs a modern, stylish and responsive website, right? Until recently you would’ve been correct, but something happened that made me re-think this.
Shortly after I started my business I was in a café I frequent a lot and because they don’t have a website I saw an opportunity to promote my business. Just before going to talk to the owner I started an imaginary sales talk. It was then that I realised that I wasn’t really sure that they actually needed a website. Their business seems to run quite well. There are always some customers and you can find them easily via Google Maps. So yes, why should they spend money on a website? I couldn’t really think of a convincing answer.
So I decided it was necessary to think about this question a bit more before trying approach another possible client. This helped me to come to the following conclusion: First and foremost a website has to serve a business. This means that it has to provide value to current customers and help to attract new customers. So the best way to figure out if your company needs a website is to think about how it can help to achieve these two goals.
How can a website help you to attract new customers?
You can achieve this by providing valuable information and building trust. Most potential customers that land on your website want to find out certain information about your business. If you provide it to them in a concise and clear manner you’ll already have done a lot in convincing them to choose you. A lot of companies make the mistake of not showing relevant information about their business on their website. Many gym websites, for example, don’t show the timetables of their classes or their prices. Since most of the people wanting to join a gym will look exactly for that information not putting it on a website somehow defeats the whole purpose of having a website.
Providing valuable information is just one side of the story though. If this information cannot be found easily and is displayed in an unclear way it won’t help the customer. So besides containing the right information the website needs to display it in a proper way. It needs to communicate trust and it does so by looking professional. This means it has to look good on all devices, from mobile phones to tablets and of course on bigger screens as well. In this sense it’s like with a house. If a house looks run down e.g. has graffitis all over it and broken windows you’ll probably think twice before entering it. The same goes for your website.
Other ways of building trust are:
- Displaying customer testimonials
- Having high quality text and pictures
- Having a proper domain name (www.yourbusiness.com)
- Having an security certificate (SSL)
- Having a blog where you write about relevant topics
How can a website provide value to existing customers?
Many of the points discussed in the previous section of how to attract new customers are also valid and will also provide value for existing customers. A blog for example is a great tool to attract new clients but also to provide value for existing customers. Use a blog to write about your company’s expertise and relevant topics.
Many times it will heavily depend on what kind of product or services you offer on how to provide additional value for your customers. Take companies that sell their products online for example. A very valuable offer is to have your package tracked while it is being delivered or to have the possibility to have your package delivered to a pickup station. All these services are examples of how you can add value to your service.
Another way to provide value is to promote special offers or new products. Customers that already bought your service or your product are likely to be interested. This promoting can be done more efficiently with the use of mailing-lists where you can assure to reach customers instead of relying on them to visit your websites.
So there you have it. If you find that a website can add value to your business – by gaining new clients or keeping existing ones – it actually makes sense for your business to have a website.
The next step then is to get a website for your company. But what’s the best way to do it? You have many options to choose from. Create it by yourself, go to an Agency or work with a freelancer like me. Every option has its pros and its cons. In the next blog we will look at all those options and I will try to help you decide which one is best for you and your business.