6] Why do you need a website for your business?
The truth is you don't NEED a website, just like your brand, it's all about perception so what does it say about your business if you have a website, or don't? Let's break it down…
No website –
• You're a small business who's careful about where you spend your money, you're not going to spend it on unnecessary accessories unless it serves a purpose
• You may choose to use a different platform to reach your internet audience – many small businesses use a Facebook page instead and that's just fine
Yes, website –
• The main perception shows your business is legitimate, this helps engender trust, customers feel a sense of assurance when searching for you online that they find a website link attached to your search result
• Depending on your business size and aspirations for growth a website is a good idea and there are platforms out there that are really easy to sign up to (and potentially free) – wix.com is affordable and even free (if you don't mind a lengthy url that won't be your business name and push notifications on the user viewing your site)
So when considering a website for your business, just like everything, it needs to have a purpose and ultimately help bring in revenue. You don't need to have an online shop but driving traffic to your website allows curious customers to look into what you do before they're ready to commit to spending their money with you. Or make it easy for potential customers to contact you by having your phone number and email address available in case they lost that business card you gave out at a networking event.
Depending on the product you sell or service provided, a website could cut through the admin, if you have a booking system this can be set up online to link with your calendar and even send you email notifications thereby reducing a lot of the manual work you may be doing. Within certain web platforms, you can even create email marketing (similar to Mailchimp) and track results.
Whatever you decide to do, if you do go for a website there are a few considerations to bear in mind:
• Update your website often, this shows Google that it's not an abandoned website and this will be reflected in your SEO rankings – it could be as simple as blogging every month/week or changing images. A good one is to change your landing page each season. All this enhances user experience and helps you to be found on Google
• Home is obsolete – we have been conditioned by trends that have evolved over time and users now have an understanding that to get back HOME or the landing page, they click on the logo in the header. This also declutters your menu so as not to overwhelm the user with too much choice
• Think like an OCD coder – coders understand the importance of being neat and really, really organised, like an obsession – links and sub-links are your best friend when thinking about content. Consider all the different ways people try finding information online and make it as simple as possible, it keeps their interest and is respectful of the users time and energy. If we use a cafe as an example, instead of having separate links in your menu bar for FOOD | DRINKS | CAKES | HOT DRINKS | LUNCH | BREAKFAST – consolidate it all under one category: MENU > then create a dropdown menu with meals: LUNCH | BREAKFAST | DESSERTS and repeat relevant information across the menus (like drinks and hot drinks)
There's so much more to know about the benefits and considerations of having a website for your business, feel free to send specific questions for me to help you with or join my Facebook Group East Anglia Small Business Branding where we can all help each other to succeed. I'd also love to hear from you about anything to do with questions and you can find me at 07525 246 734 or firstname.lastname@example.org