Websites play many important roles for businesses and one of the most valuable is helping them generate new customers. Here, we’ll look at the different ways a website does this and how it can benefit your company.
1. Websites help you get discovered online
The beginning of any customer-business relationship starts when the customer looks for a product or service. Today, this usually takes place online. In fact, the latest research shows that over 95% of consumers begin their search on the internet, mainly using search engines like Google or Bing.
While you don’t need a website to get discovered on a search engine (you have a chance of being found if you’re listed in an online directory, like Yell!), what consumers really want to find is your website. Directory listings give very little information about your business other than a brief overview, opening times and contact details. Internet users want more detailed information about your products and services that only a website can provide.
Only if you have a website, therefore, can you truly attract the 95% of consumers who search online. Without one, a business is merely a name and phone number on a list or, even worse, completely invisible.
2. Websites work in tandem with other marketing
If your business relies on other forms of marketing to gain new customers, such as printed ads and brochures, you can attract more new customers using these if you have a website and print the address on your promotional material.
Those that see an advert or take your printed material away with them will be able to use that website address to find out more information or get in touch online. Without this, those customers are left with making a telephone call or sending an email, something many modern consumers would prefer not to do.
3. A website makes customers more confident
With almost every business having a website these days, not having one can raise a few eyebrows. Some may be suspicious of whether a company is legitimate or a scam, others may think it’s a sign that the business is behind the times, unprofessional or low-quality. A professional website sends a clear sign to potential customers that you have a legitimate, high-quality business.
Of course, once you register the domain name for your website, you’ll also have a professional email with the same address. So, which would customers trust more: an email with a business domain name (e.g. [email protected]) or one that used a free email address (e.g. [email protected])?
With a website, therefore, customers can be more confident about using you. This is especially true when you publish trust-generating information on your site, such as company registration and VAT numbers, physical addresses and phone numbers, memberships of professional associations and testimonials from previous customers. These can all help attract new customers to your business.
4. Showcase your products and services
A website allows you to present your company and your products and services in the way you want. Your homepage shows your uniqueness and brand identity, your ‘About Us’ page helps customers get to know your history, values and ambitions, your products and services pages provide all the details customers need to know, your portfolio page illustrates all the great work you have done for your customers and your testimonials and reviews show what they think about your company.
With a website, you can provide potential customers with everything they need to make a purchasing decision and market your products and services to the highest levels. What’s more, everything is in one place, easily accessible and available 24/7.
Of course, as your company grows or changes, you can update your website as needed, changing existing pages or adding new ones, ensuring that your online marketing is always up to date – something that you can’t do quickly or cheaply with printed materials.
5. Lay the groundwork for long-term relationships
Websites are also used to help build relationships with customers right from the start of their customer journey. For example, you can publish friendly blog posts that help people find solutions (a decorator could write about the best types of paint, for example), you can add FAQs that answer customer questions, post customer reviews of the products you sell, install online chat so customers can ask pressing questions while they are still on your site. Indeed, many websites also provide useful tools for their customers to use, such as cost calculators, product finders, etc.
These are all powerful techniques used on websites to let customers know that a company understands their needs and can provide the right solutions. This helps forge relationships that increases not only the likelihood of a sale, but that the customer will remain loyal over the longer term.
6. Stay relevant
Customer experience is now the main area of competition between businesses. Consumers are prepared to pay more for a great customer experience and value it more than product or price. Increasingly, in the digital age, customers want those experiences online, primarily because this provides speed, simplicity and convenience, as well as the ability to access engaging content.
A website is a fundamental element in providing great customer experiences, enabling customers to find, learn about and purchase products and services in quick, easy and convenient ways. Having a website helps a company stay relevant to the needs of modern consumers and remain competitive with rival businesses.
Websites attract customers in a range of important ways: they help people find you, they make other forms of marketing more helpful, they help customers to develop trust, they portray your products and services in the best light, they establish long-term relationships and they make it quick, simple and convenient to buy from you. Combined, these attributes can make a website a highly powerful tool for attracting new customers and growing your business.
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