7 Reasons Why You Need a Website

Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Computer Keyboard

Yes, “the web” has been around for a while now, but there are many businesses and service providers that do not have a web presence. I frequently speak to people who could benefit from having a website, even a 1-4 page “brochure” site, and yet they either do not think they need a website, or do not know how a website would benefit them.

There are MANY ways that a website may be beneficial to you, and these 7 are really just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are 7 reasons why your business, service, or organization can benefit from a website.

#1 – Websites allow you to become visible

When was the last time you used the yellow pages (the one that is in book form and is probably sitting on top of your fridge collecting dust)? Most of us now walk over to the computer/iPhone/xBox or other “connected” gadgets we have and find the phone number or address we are looking for. Better yet, we can get the directions and hours of operation all in less then 5 minutes.

If someone “Googled” your name or your business name, would they find you and/or a way to get in contact with you?

Having a website makes you visible to a large and growing population of people who research online. This demographic is fairly quickly changing. At one point, this active audience was mostly “young people”, but a surprising number of “baby boomers” are now getting comfortable doing research and shopping online.

#2 – Having a website can save you money

Having a website allows you to provide the information your current or potential clients are looking for. Prior to having an informative website, these people may have had to call or physically come to your place of business to find this information.

Whether it is your address, list of insurance plans you work with, frequently asked questions about your product or service, etc – websites allow you to provide  information in a manner that does not directly involve your time. This means there is more time you can spend actually doing business or providing your services. More time = More money.

#3 – Having a website allows you to have a professional email address

Nothing screams “I am not a professional” quite link handing out a Hotmail (Aol, Yahoo, Gmail, etc) email address to potential clients or customers. In my opinion, one of the best “side-effects” of having a website is that it allows you to have a domain name specific email address. sally@SalliesServices.com is always a better option than salliesServices09@hotmail.com.

#4 – A website allows you to reach a Global Audience

This reason may seem to only apply to those of you with a business, but there are aspects of this reason that apply to everyone.

Having a website for your business allows your product to reach audiences that is not limited to a specific geographical region. If you are an organization/non-profit that relies on donations, having a website allows for potential investors that would have never known your organization existed otherwise.

Case in point: I recently worked with a local Maine shoe company to make their online ecommerce site more professional, consistent, and optimized for search engines. Since this project began, they started to see steady sales in Alaska and some foreign countries. This would have never happened if this store did not have an online presence.

#5 – A Website/Web Presence allows you to become known as an expert

Having a web presence allows you to be known as a “Thought Leader” in your area of expertise. Granted, this usually takes more time and effort then just a static website, but a website is the place to start. You can use your web presence to become known and respected outside of your local networking circle. The more your name/product/service is known, the more growth you can expect.

#6 – A Website allows you to be seen as professional and legitimate.

This is a bit of a double-edged sword. A well thought out, designed, and developed website and web presence can help people realize that you, your services, or products is legit and professional. This can be the difference between a potential client or customer taking the next step with you, or continuing their search and working with one of your competitors.

However, having a half-done (amateur) website that looks unprofessional can have the exact opposite effect. It is better to not have a website at all, than it is to have one that does not show you and your services in the best manner possible.

#7 – Websites are a fairly inexpensive form of advertisement.

This argument can open the proverbial “can of worms”.

With the right set-up in place, having a website can be the best “inexpensive” advertisement you can have. Once you move past the start-up costs (which will always vary greatly depending on your needs), the cost of maintaining your website is fairly small. This is especially true when you consider the cost of more traditional forms of advertisement you may already be using.

Inclusion in search engine listings is free (and if your site is optimized for search engines, this can bring in a great deal of traffic). Depending on the content of your site, you may also receive free inbound links (links from other sites to yours) – inbound links, search engines, and any online marketing you do are all ways of generating traffic to your website and increasing awareness of your business, service, or organization.

What Now?

If you are another designer/developer, what are some other reasons you have used to explain why people need websites?

If you are a Small Business Owner, Service Provider, Organization – what are your thoughts? Do you have specific questions about how a website can help you? Leave a comment or contact me and I would be glad to discuss them with you.

Image Credits: TURKattheZOO on Flickr

This entry was posted on Monday, March 22nd, 2010 and is filed under Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

29 Responses to “7 Reasons Why You Need a Website”

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