What’s the value of a website?
Here’s the thing: It’s the 21st century. We all know we need a website (if you don’t, you really need to keep reading), but we don’t all know why. Before you roll your eyes and click that back button, hear me out: “Because everyone’s online” isn’t an answer. Your website isn’t just about being online; it’s a tool to serve your business, and it’s as strategically (and financially) essential to your business as investing in research and development, a storefront or office space. What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, we’re about to break it down like the Beastie Boys in their heyday!
1. It makes a memorable first impression
Today, your website is your Yellow Pages entry; consumers aren’t flipping pages, they’re scrolling search engines. In fact, 72% of consumers turn to the Web when they’re good and ready to buy.[i] So, your website better do a damn good job of making a memorable first impression because
there’s a lot riding on it.
2. It’s an opportunity to outperform the competition
Here’s the thing: If a user visits a site that’s more aesthetic than yours, you’ve lost them. 75% of consumers admit to judging a company’s credibility based on its website design and 66% would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain.[ii] So your site can be your competitive advantage.
3. It builds trust (and brand loyalty)
Your website can (ahem, should) be a platform for free content and valuable information. After all, users are scrolling your site searching for something, so give them what they want: Anticipate their concerns, answer their questions, ease their minds, and you’ll earn their trust as a credible expert in your field (which will pay off later).
4. It gets them to take the first step
Your website should have one, clear call to action. If you do your job right, users will do theirs: take that action, that first step into your sales funnel.
But, get this: 70% of small business websites lack a clear call to action on their homepage.[iii] And their lost leads are your opportunities.
5. It makes them want to meet you
If you’re a service provider, your website is the middleman between your customer and you. It’s selling you in your sleep, singing your praises Singin’ in the Rain style and teasing your users with just enough information they want more. Enter, the meet-and-greet: where you can work your Gene Kelly charm, and turn that lead into a client.
6. It gets them to open their wallets
If you’re selling a product, the end game is a sale. You pay enough for design, development and hosting, your website should be working for you like a virtual sales associate who always knows what to say and never has to don a uniform, thank you very much.
7. It gives you invaluable insights
Ever want to know the lifetime value of a customer? The Web just made it a hell of a lot easier. With today’s tracking and analytics technology, your website can be leveraged to track your customers, from their first experience with your brand, all the way to sale and post-purchase.
At its heart, your website should embody your brand personality and values like Robert De Niro embodies every character ever: flawlessly. If your site is an extension of the experience users can expect in person, you’re setting yourself up for raving fans and brand advocates, which opens the doors to 5-star reviews, word of mouth referrals, sponsorships and, you guessed it, conversions. And business is way better when people are paying.