Today a website is a necessity if you are going to be taken seriously by potential customers, competitors and your industry.

whyyourbusinessneedsawebsite

[tweetthis]70% of the UK's population now has access to an internet connection – that's a big business opportunity you'll be missing out on if you don't have a web presence[/tweetthis]

If you have a business, you should have a website.

Every business should have an online presence Even if you're not online, your customers are and they're now craving more information, searching online prior to making a purchase; adding a step to the buying process. See how this “Zero Moment of Truth” has turned traditional marketing on its head:

If you get your website right it will be the best tool you have for promoting your business. Your website will essentially become an online shop-window, accessible to customers all over the world.

[tweetthis]Your website may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. [/tweetthis]

Here's just a snapshot of some of the benefits a website can bring:

1. Open all hours

Even if it's 2 am or Christmas Day the internet never closes.  Your business is, therefore, open all the time, without any extra effort from you.  If you have an online store you customers can buy what they want, when they want.  You can even utilise a booking tool that lets customers schedule their own appointment or booking with you, essentially giving your businesses a 24/7 receptionist.

2. Cost effective way to start up

If you're starting out the costs of putting together a website will be cheaper than buying or renting premises

3. Showcase your products or services

No matter what type of business you’re in, a website is a great place to showcase your work. By including a portfolio or image gallery, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your business unique.

a website can save time 4. Save time

Providing information to your customers takes time, whether it’s on the phone, face-to-face, in a brochure, or in emails. With an online catalogue, you can provide lots of information about your products and services. Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time.

5. Expand your market

Having a web presence will open your business up to new markets outside your local area, giving people from across the world the chance to browse your products or services.

6.  Greater opportunity for customer engagement

With a website you increase your opportunities to communicate your customers; use surveys, questionnaires and feedback forms on your website to do market research and find out exactly what your customers' want or need.   You can also improve your customer service with features such as FAQ page to answer all your customers' questions or newsletter articles to keep them up-to-date. Even if you're not online your customers are and potentially discussing you via social media. You can harness the power of  social media to get your most loyal customers to do your online marketing for you. They can make recommendations and share their experiences.

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin ccPhoto Credit

At a very minimum, your business' website needs to list your address and opening hours.  But if you really want your website to bring you business, it shouldn't just be a placeholder or a brochure. Your site must actively engage visitors by including interesting content and you must update the site regularly with new information to keep coming back. That's why blogs can be an ideal addition.

After you have a web site you need to initiate a regular e marketing campaign so that you can keep in touch with your customer and continue to drive interest to your website. Give them an incentive to stay involved with you such as a coupon or special events.

At Purple Dog, we can help you choose the right options for promoting your business online.  Get in touch with us for friendly, no obligation advice.

If you already have a website, what benefits have you found it's brought to your business? Share any tips below:

About Rebecca

Rebecca is passionate about helping others choose the right options for promoting their business or club online. Her constantly curious and problem solving nature make her able to learn new skills quickly. Yet as a qualified Secondary School teacher make her empathetic and able to pass on these skills to empower others trying to find their way in the online world.