But...Do I Really Need a Website?
As always, we ask that you think about your own personal experiences when reading our recommendations, but this time it is even more important. As you read this, we encourage you to think about all the different ways you interact with a business or brand. Do you look at their social profiles? Do you read their Google reviews? Do you look at their website? How do you find a business that you don't already have exposure to? Where do you search for them? Do you use your peer groups? Do you search on social media? Do you search on Google? Maybe you rely on more traditional advertising to find new brands such as billboards, radio commercials, or television/streaming commercials.
97% of consumers search for local businesses online before deciding to purchase goods or services (Safari Digital). With social media being the new way to reach audiences, we often get asked, "do I really need a website?" We understand where this question comes from; with so much emphasis put on reviews and social media profiles, what is the point of the website? Great question!
Lets first tackle the experience from the client's perspective.
Websites provide a difference experience than your business' social page. Websites give the potential customer a more comprehensive look at what you do, who you are, the goal of your business, and how you could be an asset to them. Social pages are more of a conversation with your customers while your website is informational.
The most important pages on your website are the Home page, the About page, Product or Services page, and the Contact page. Depending on the type of business, you may also want a blog page, a virtual storefront, FAQs, reviews/client highlights, etc.
Of course, there are best practices to designing and building a website, but that's for another conversation.
Right now, we want to focus on WHY you should have a website. Let's break down what each page provides.
The Home Page - This is the first impression of your business to potential customers/clients. It is important to remember this is the first step of the journey, not the final destination.
About Page - This page is where you would include a brief company history, the mission or vision statement, team biographies, and perhaps even a few impactful client testimonials.
Product/Services Page - These are the services or products you provide along with an overview of each.
Contact Page - This is where you outline how customers can reach you, schedule an appointment, book a meeting, etc.
Now, how do clients find you and interact with you?
Think now about how you interact with the brands and businesses you use. How did you find them? How many different touchpoints were there before making the decision to work with them? Did you do research? Where did you research? Think about your own customer journey.
A few examples, from business we have used before (both personally & professionally) -
AC Repair - Googled “HVAC Repair Near Me;” Reviewed Website (do they offer the service I need?); went back to Google and Searched “[company Name] Reviews;” Went to Facebook and asked my network and local groups if anyone had used them and what their experience was; went back to the website and contacted them.
Tax Accountant - Friend told us about her tax guy; Googled the business; No Website (red flag); Business Photos and Location (yellow flag); Read Reviews; Did additional research on other accountants in the area.
Massage Therapist - Referral from Chiropractor; Googled (became VERY confused, because Google Maps said one thing, Facebook ranking said another thing, and Groupon ranking said a different thing); Clicked on each (Facebook, Groupon, Google Maps); Facebook is the “right” one; read through the business page, information, pricing, etc.; Called For an appointment (only because of the referral) .
When we talk about advertising, we say that a brand touches a potential customer 7 times before making a purchasing decision - why wouldn't one of those 7 times be with your website? Why wouldn't you want a site dedicated just to telling people about your business, your team, and the services/products you offer?
About 56% of customers expect to find the most accurate information on the company's website (Linchpin). If you don't have a website, or your website is out of date with incorrect information, half of those potential customers are going to continue their search to one of your competitors. That's money directly out of your pocket.
The morale of the story is...Yes, your business needs a website. No, it does not have to be overly elaborate. Yes, it does need to outline: who, what, where, why, for your potential customers/clients. Yes, you need a website even if you are not currently utilizing pay-per-click advertising.
We encourage you to take things you like from websites you found easy to navigate and informative and incorporate those aspects into your website.
If you have questions about your website or other “optional” aspects of your digital presence, please don't hesitate to reach out to us - we are here to help!