A few days ago, I was wondering about the importance of website and how many businesses do not have one. Depending on what report you look at anywhere from 44% to 51% of small businesses do not have a website. When I saw this statistic for the first time, I could not believe it. As I called a list of local dental offices, I quickly found out that most of them do not have a website.
Now I understand these statistics may actually be true. I was shocked. It made me think I should write an article on why having a website is important for your business if you want to get new customers, or even just keep your existing ones. This article summarizes all the reasons that came to me as I wrote. I am sure there are more reasons why having a website is necessary for business, but these are main ones that stick out to me.
Here are 8 great reasons why having a website is important.
Why Are Websites Important? 93% Of Business Purchase Decisions Start With A Search Engine Search of Websites
To gain new customers, you need to understand where your prospects go when they are looking to find suppliers, research suppliers and make a purchase. In today’s world the place where most people in most markets go is to the internet, specifically a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. These search engines are the big three (in that order) and account for over 90% of allsearches. Google is by far the biggest with about 6 of every 10 searches.
Importance of Website: With 93% of business decisions starting with a search engine search that means if you do not have a website, you are only selling to 7% of your market. That is right, you are reducing the potential size of your business by 93%. I would suggest that the same statistic for consumer purchases is lower but still very high, especially for larger ticket items. The larger the item, the more research and shopping people will do. My guess is probably 40-50% of consumer purchases start with an online search.
Why Is a Website Important? It Shows Your Professionalism
Another reason why a website is important for your business is that there is a large portion of the market that will not even consider you as an option when they are looking to buy, if you do not have one. I know personally if I am dealing with a supplier I am looking to purchase from, and they do not even have a website I pretty much write them off as an option and my view of that company is diminished. It gives me the impression that it is a company that is very poorly managed.
With this viewpoint why would I want to purchase from a company like this? Based on my experience most people think similar to myself. There are some people that do not hold this same thought, but I would guess that probably 80% of people have bad opinions of companies that do not have websites.
Having a website is important as it is an extremely low cost per impression marketing vehicle. Depending on the quality of the website designer you choose and the complexity of your site it will usually cost between $1,000 and $10,000. The more professional and customized, the higher the cost. For example using a professional company that does custom websites like ‘Surrey Web Design Services’ website packages start at as low as $999/-. The only other additional costs in addition to the website design is the website hosting, which is very inexpensive.
Let’s assume that you spend $4,000 on the design of a website, to be conservative, and see how it compares to other marketing methods on a cost per 1,000 impression. If you are not familiar with what an impression is you can find a definition on our small business marketing dictionary. For this example, I am also going to assume that the website gets 1,000 visits a month and that the average viewer views 3.5 pages each visit. This equates to 42,000 pages views a year and should be easily attainable for almost any website. Based on this assumption if you include the upfront cost of designing the website and look to amortize it over 5 years the cost per impression is high.
Taking this approach, the total cost for the five years is $10,000.00 plus $83.40 a year for five years for a total of $10,417.00. During this time frame your impressions from your website would be 42,000 times five or 210,000. This would work out to $48.01 per 1,000 impressions. This is not cheap but here is where it gets good. After this initial investment, the ongoing costs are extremely low for those 42,000 impressions every year. In this example they work out to $1.98 because the cost is only $83.40 for those 42.000 impressions.
Having a website, next to Facebook Ads, is the most cost-effective marketing method when looking at cost per 1,000 impressions. Your website will be much more effective though than Facebook Ads because people see your website they are actively engaged in learning about your company. Having people actively engaged on your website for multiple minutes at a time will result in many more leads and sales than a small Facebook Ad as most often people don’t even notice Facebook Ads.
Why Is a Website Important for Your Business? It Will Give You a Positive ROI
Another great reason as to why having a website is important is that is will give you a positive ROI. If we use the same example from the paragraph above for the first five years of having a website your costs will be $10,417.00. How many sales do you need to generate to pay this back? If you are in a business-to-business market my guess is that you may only need one sale to make your website investment worthwhile. If one sale is not enough, it is probably only a handful. The chances of your website generating more than a handful of customers over the course of five years is almost guaranteed given websites are about the #3 source of new customers for the average small business.
Even if you are in a business to consumer market how much in sales would you need, to make the website investment worthwhile….$25,000 maybe? Generating $25,000 over the course of 5 years from a website is peanuts. Do the math, but I am sure when you look at the numbers, they will prove for themselves that it is worthwhile investing in a website.
Why Is It Important to Have a Website? It Gives You Lasting Value
The great part about a website is that once you invest in it, you have it forever and it continues to work for your forever. What other advertising methods are there that once you pay for it once, it continues to work for your business for ever? Not many.
When you pay for a newspaper ad you get that one ad and any benefit that one ad generates but after that ad it is done. That money you spent on the newspaper ad is gone and you can never get it back. If you do not get a return on investment from it, you never can. The same is true for Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Linkedin Ads, a Yellow Pages listing, magazine ads etc. Whereas with a website, if you don’t make a positive ROI in the first year, no worries because you have from now until the end of time to get a return on your investment.
Why Is It Important to Have a Website for Your Business? It Gives You Opportunities Abroad
By getting a website it makes it possible for anyone in the world to find your business. If you have a product that can be easily sold online, you can dramatically increase your customer base by selling online. To learn more about how to do this, read my article Expand Customer Base by Selling Online. Or maybe you cannot sell your services online but by having a website you can gain customers that are outside the geographic reach of your marketing efforts.
Here is a great story that illustrates this. About 6 months ago I got a call from a man in Calgary interested in my services. I could have never generated a lead from someone in Calgary with any of my current marketing methods, except for my website. This example illustrates how having a website opens the doors for your business to a much larger geographic area……the entire world.
Why Is Website Important? It’s an Easily Accessible Data Center
Another great reason why a website is important is that it can also act as a data center for your own employees, customers, and your prospects. A great example of this is my customer Gold Roast. They provide office coffee & warm beverage services, coffee, tea & espresso machine repairs, and sell coffee, tea, and espresso machines. Basically, anything with coffee, tea, or espresso they do it. How they utilize their website as a data center is, they provide their customers with logins to their complete product catalog. This allows customers to easily find any product they want and place an order for them. It also makes it easy for customers to find replacement products if they want to change the coffee or tea products they order.
For Gold Roast it saves them money by not having to print out paper catalogs, they never need to reprint catalogs when pricing changes, it saves them time by never having to send the customer the catalog or updates to the catalog (hard copy or digital copies) and it increases orders as it makes it much easier for customers to place an order. This is just one example but there are many ways a website can be used as a data center to save labor hours and costs.
Having lots of relevant information on your website is not only a great resource for your customers, but it will also help you rank higher in Google search results.
Why Is Website Important for Business? It Provides Self Service Customer Support
Another advantage of having a website is that it can improve your customer support and as a result improve your overall customer service. A website can do this if you post support Q&As on your website or create a forum where users can ask each other questions about your product and other users can answer these questions. These answers to common problems or questions are then available on the internet if other customers search in a search engine for a solution to this problem.
You can also direct customers to these online documented resources so that they can solve the problem themselves. This can make things much faster for your customers and make your customer support department more efficient. Not all products or services can benefit from a troubleshooting forum, but I would argue all products could benefit from a Q&A page for commonly asked questions as well as a forum where customers can post any questions, comments, or feedback they have about a product.
Need a Website for Your Business? ‘Surrey Web Design Services’ Can Help
If you do not already have a website for your business, I would highly encourage you to have one created. If you have technical skills, creating your own can be a very cost-effective option. If you like that kind of thing, as I do, it can be a very fun and rewarding experience. If you do not have those types of skills ’Surrey Web Design Services’ can build you a customized website that is optimized and will get you the results you want. You will enjoy the great benefits of a modern website that is properly optimized to rank higher in search engines and get you found by your customers. Your website will be designed to give you a better chance of converting your website visitors into leads and sales. It will become your best business asset online. Learn more about this great service or contact us to discuss this great option.