In the early days of business, a website may be seen as a luxury or be an afterthought. Rather than implementing this valuable business tool immediately it is thought that the webpage is only needed after the business has more customers or a larger marketing budget. This thinking is counterproductive.
This is 2022, and nearly everything is now done online. Whether they are buying a new product or service or simply conducting research, the consumer journey is very different now versus even a few years ago. It is common for a customer to gather information online before contacting a human. If your business is missing a website, it could also be missing out on all these potential customers.
No matter what type of business you are in, a website is not an expendable part of your messaging and communication. No matter how skillfully you use your social media pages or how many customers you are bringing in with just a Google directory listing, you still need to invest in a website. Here is why.
Why Invest in your Website
Social media and Google directory listings are a vital first step in SEO practices. They help in getting the word out about your business, but most people also want to see your website when they search for your brand or products.
If you don’t have a website, or if your website is too basic as a source of information or sales channel, it is an immediate red flag to potential customers. In the worst case they could feel that your business might not be legitimate or that it is not successful.
Unless you are primarily a local company with a storefront, your website is the primary interaction customers will have with your business. The site not only needs to look good, but also needs to work. Websites can do all the following important things for a business:
- Selling products
- Educating customers and potential customers
- Customer care outside storefront hours
- Company branding
Important Steps before Investing
Even if you have your own web development expert in-house, there is still a cost to building and maintaining a website. And it is critical to understand these costs as part of the planning process. Before you can start getting a website built, you should do some research into how you want your site to look, contact a site builder who can create that look, and in partnership with your web designer, determine a reasonable budget for the site.
A quality website probably isn’t as expensive as you might believe. In fact, Enlighten Designs has been creating websites for its clients for years. These can range from small businesses with a few employees to large multinational companies. And Enlighten can work within your budget to create a website you will love.
Here are some steps to take once you have made a basic plan about your requirements.
There are several initial planning steps to consider. The first and most important is to identify your brand’s unique value proposition (UVP) if you haven’t already done so. The UVP is what makes your company different from any other brand, and what your brand has to offer customers that no other brand can, that is, your Unique Selling Point (USP). Your website should clearly incorporate your branding and communicate your USP to visitors.
It is also important to learn about your users and their needs. Who is your target audience online? What problems will your product(s) be looking to solve in people’s lives? What are the concerns and desires of your target audience? You will want to make sure your site has the answers to these questions or a way to get to them.
The third item on this list is to consider the content your site will need. If you plan to offer a blog or other informational resources on your site, you may need to have a Content Management System (CMS) or another way to add content on an ongoing basis.
It is important to know what you need before you start building the site, because some decisions cannot be easily reversed once site construction begins.
ROI from your Website