The benefits of a website to your business
I was recently in a meeting with a prospective client and he said something that surprised me. He didn’t think there was any value in a website. After the meeting, I was driving back to the office wondering how something so obviously beneficial as a well built website could seemingly not have any value to a business owner, and that’s when it hit me. They have never seen what a well built website can do for a business.
A quick story on this. Several years ago I was training for a half-marathon, and needed a new pair of shoes. I had just moved to the area so I searched for “Running Shoes” + Daytona to see what businesses were around that could sell me a good pair of shoes that were suited to long distance running, my stride, etc. The nearest result I got was 30 miles away in Palm Coast. I wasn’t happy about it, but I drove up there and bought my shoes. Later on, I happened to drive by a store 3/4 of a mile from my house that was exactly what I was looking for. By then, I was in need of another pair of shoes and so I bought them there. They were very nice and helpful, so I asked them if they had a website, and they said something sort of dismissively along the lines of: “Yeah, we have a guy for that.” I can’t be sure, but I think this is probably an example of a business that didn’t see the value in a website because whoever built their site, did a disservice to them by not building it so that it will rank well in search engines. And as a result, it has very little value.
What are the benefits to having a well built website for your business? Here a few:
If you are local business, and your site is Search Engine Optimized, Search Engines WANT to rank your business near the top!
Why? Because the relevance of the results a search engine serves up determine whether or not someone will use it next time they perform a search. The more searches a search engine gets, the better it is for their business. So if you are a local business that provides a particular service, the search engines WANT to rank you in searches performed in your area. It’s good for their bottom line. The trick is a site must be well designed, and well coded for search engines to find it. We know how to do this. We do it for local businesses all the time. All of our clients here in Daytona Beach (the ones that we’ve built websites for anyway) have seen increased traffic from search engines. As proof, here are a few screenshots of clients’ traffic to their site compared to the previous year:
The orange line in the chart above shows the previous year’s traffic, the blue line, the following year’s. The green numbers show the percentage of increase in traffic (214% for the middle one, wow!). It’s worth noting that the site that shows a 44.36% increase over 2013, had their new site go live in 2010. That means that four years after launch it is still increasing traffic by nearly 50% over the previous year. The best part about this is most of this traffic is FREE. It’s either organic search traffic or direct links to the site.
A well built site creates another way for your clients to reach you
Traffic is nice, but what every business owner wants is a phone call, and ultimately, a sale. This is another great thing about a well built site. It gives your customers another way to contact your business–through a click-able phone number or an online form. I was recently talking to a client about adding a new field to their web site’s contact form, when they shared an interesting piece of information. Aside from the new sales leads their contact form generates for them, they also receive form fills from existing customers, people who have purchased from them before, and may even have a sales rep assigned to them. Who knows why, but a contact is a contact, why not have as many ways as possible for your customers to reach you. As mentioned above, another good way is to make the phone numbers on your site click-able on smart phones, so a potential customer is just a single tap away from calling you.
Your website is often your first exposure to your client
Think about what’s important when you are meeting with a customer for the first time. You should be knowledgeable, professional, well spoken, and have a neat, professional appearance. Now think about what you do when you’re considering making a purchase, you probably spend at least some time on the internet looking for businesses in your area that can fill your needs. You read about their services, you read reviews if possible. This is how your website can be a valuable sales tool for your business, prospective buyers can find out about your business through testimonials, researching the areas of your site that are relevant to their needs, and generally just getting to know you and your business through your website. The more familiar a person is with your brand, the higher the recognition will be the next time they see it.
It’s easy to change!
Are you having a sale? Maybe you just started carrying a new product line, or offering a new service. Your website can be edited immediately. No waiting for the next ad cycle or publication, you can put the info in front of prospective customers immediately.
How’s that for a start?
And those are just the high level advantages. There are also opportunities to do A/B testing, exploring your Analytics for information as to your customer’s behavior (when are they most likely to fill out your form, for instance), etc. If you’re interested in hearing more about it, call us, we’d be happy to sit down and discuss how we can help your company’s website work harder for your you!
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