No matter what your industry, your online presence can have a huge influence on your company’s success. These days, e-commerce is more popular than ever, and having a website is a key part of many marketing channels -- yet, a recent survey from the Small Business Association indicates that 36% of small companies still don’t have a website.

Maybe you’ve delayed starting your brand’s website because you’re worried about the expense. Maybe the technological challenges of developing your website seem a bit overwhelming. Maybe you just aren’t sure, right now, why having a website matters.

Well, the expense is probably less than you expect, you can easily get help building your site and here’s what having a website does for your business:

Stop Being Invisible

According to statistics from Think with Google, 63% of people start their shopping process online whether they ultimately buy that way or eventually travel to a brick-and-mortar location to make their purchases. If you don’t have a website, your company is practically invisible to more than half of your potential customers.

Even if you provide a service rather than sell a product, your potential customers are an increasingly savvy lot. They want to know more about the people they’re contemplating hiring before they make that initial phone call or send an email. Your website is the very first opportunity you have to improve the customer experience and get your target audience engaged.

What if you rely primarily on local business for your sales? According to Statista, 33% of consumers look online first even when they’re searching for information about local companies. If you don’t have a website, someone else will undoubtedly get their business.

You Build Credibility for Your Business

Here’s another fact that stresses the importance of having a website: Research by YellowPages and LSA found that fully 30% of consumers won’t even consider doing business with a company that doesn’t have a website. That’s 30% of your potential market that automatically vanishes if you don’t have your website up and running.

A website reassures wary customers that your business is legitimate. A good website design, clear, concise information about your products and services, and great content that helps answer your target audience’s questions all help you gain more credibility with your potential customers and increase the trust your existing customers have in you.

Keep in mind: Trust drives consumer loyalty toward a brand. According to MarketingCharts, 82% of consumers will stick with a brand they trust, even when another brand gains prominence in the market. That means your website matters when it comes to keeping your existing customers -- not just bringing in new ones.

You Enable More Sales

Having a website that expertly showcases your products is like having a 24/7 salesforce at your disposal that will constantly help usher potential customers or clients down the conversion pipeline.

Today, consumers shop at all hours of the day and night. They don’t necessarily want to wait around until regular business hours -- when they’re busy with their own work and lives -- to find the information they need or the products they want. When you have a great website, you may find yourself walking into new orders every morning.

Even if you have a service-based business, your website is what sells those services to potential customers. Strong content and calls-to-action that encourage potential clients to contact you can be critical when it comes to new lead generation. The information on your site can also help reduce daily distractions, like all those calls from people asking about your hours or inquiring about the services or products you provide.

It Makes Collecting Payments Simple

Whether you sell products or provide a service, you need to get paid, and the less effort you have to put into collections, the better. Having a website makes collecting payments from your customers or clients much easier. This is true whether you sell products or take installment payments from your clients.

When you enable online payments, you also eliminate the need for someone to be around to personally process those payments. Your customers can pay their bill whenever they happen to be thinking about it, day or night -- which makes for an all-around better experience on their end and gets you paid faster.

It’s also possible to set up payment reminders for your customers or clients. Sometimes a gentle monthly reminder is all it takes to make sure that a customer remembers that a bill is due.

Enables Remarketing

If you want to turbocharge your marketing efforts, try “remarketing.” Remarketing is a way that you can send targeted ads and content to people who have already visited your website. This helps you create a sense of familiarity between you and your most qualified customer base -- people who have already shown an interest in the services or products you sell.

When you leverage the contacts made with your website through effective remarketing, the reminders you send your target audience can build greater awareness of your brand and nudge consumers into making a purchase or making contact.

How effective is remarketing when it comes to driving conversions? According to Wishpond, retargeting campaigns are 10 times more likely to convert a visitor into a customer or client than traditional online advertising.

It Allows Effortless Lead Captures

Getting the best return on your investment in digital marketing means giving your qualified leads an online landing point. Your website is the best landing page you can have.

When you have a website, you automatically have a link you can slip into every online discussion you have or social media post you make. Anyone interested in what you say or show online can easily click the link and learn more. That also opens the door to your remarketing efforts and helps you increase both your brand awareness and credibility.

It’s important to think of your website as part of your customer service. It’s the most effective way to get information out to your potential consumers and give existing consumers essential updates about price changes, policy changes, and product or service availability. Even if a potential lead isn’t ready to convert, just having a website link they can save means it will be easier for them to find your business days, weeks or months down the line.

Is it any wonder that 33% of small business owners surveyed by Visual Objects indicated that their website was their most successful operational channel? Maybe that’s also why 29% of business owners said that they intend to improve their websites over the coming year.

A website is no longer a luxury in today’s business world. Whatever your industry, if you want your small business to stay competitive it’s time to get started on your website.

Joe Costantino

Posted by Joe Costantino

About Joe Costantino

In 1999, Joe founded Einstein’s Eyes, providing internet marketing solutions for small to medium sized businesses throughout Dallas/Fort Worth. The company’s services include website development, e-commerce, online marketing, and content development.

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