Not so long ago, the brick-and-mortar setup was the name of the game for the brands. However, that has changed significantly in the last couple of decades.
With the advent of the digital revolution, brands have no choice but to follow their customers. They have to make a digital footprint of their brand in the minds of the people.
The first step of that ladder is building a website for business. Without a doubt, it is a bare minimum for a business and the first step in understanding digital marketing for business.
But why is that?
No matter the stronghold you or your brand possess on the social media platforms, it is important to understand that it is still not your platform.
You might be having millions of ardent followers on your social media pages. However, they are still not your followers but that of the social media platform.
Tomorrow, your account may get banned, or reach for your content goes down, or maybe the platform ceases to exist. In that case, you’re at risk of losing thousands of your brand’s followers.
If that was your game plan, let me be honest and tell you that you’re losing the game.
The best solution in any scenario is that you have your own platform, which happens to be your business website.
This does not mean that you move out from the social media platforms.
Remember that your platform is the central hub in that structure. On the other hand, your social media channel is a supporting part of that system.
Ideally, you should send traffic from these social media platforms to your website.
When your audience visits your website, you should capture their details in exchange for an offer. This way, you have their details and can contact them through email, which produces tremendous results. Check out why email marketing is essential for your business.
If you’re still wondering why I need a website for my business, then the following section might clear your doubts in that regard.
Importance of a Website for Business
If you are into a business and do not own a website, you might be losing many potential customers online. Knowing the importance of a website is vital to growing your business manifold.
Here are some of the benefits of a website for business, which makes it indispensable:
In today’s digital marketplace, businesses without a website are seen as less credible. Since a branded website is a bare minimum for any business, brands that don’t have one may look like they have something to hide.
Not only does your website allows you to build credibility and authority, but it also helps you set yourself apart from the competition.
Each company’s website content is unique. A website for business allows consumers to see what your brand is all about. This is where you can showcase your products and services, tell the potential customers and your consumers about your company’s vision and mission.
By helping consumers get to know your business, you are working to establish trust, which is the first step in building long-lasting customer relationships. Moreover, by providing valuable and educational content, you can build stronger relationships with consumers and encourage conversions.
- Information Exchange
Your website is a channel for the exchange of information with the customer. If your customer needs to learn about your current scenario, they can visit your platform to understand better.
These are the primary information exchanges happening on a businesses website:
- Newsletter: To update the customers about any upcoming events, important news, offers on products/services.
- Advertisements: Regarding the latest campaigns, new products/services, etc.
- Customer support: The contact form on the webpage drives inquiries or support from customers.
- Newsletter: To update the customers about any upcoming events, important news, offers on products/services.
- Driving Sales
Sales are the lifeline of every business. Improving sales ensures the health and success of your business. In terms of sales, you cannot underestimate the importance of a website for your business. By having an online presence through your website, you can reach more consumers.
But developing a website doesn’t automatically bring paying customers to your business. However, you can improve your chances of bringing in more qualified leads by opting for organic (SEO) or paid ads. But that is not all.
Since your website is accessible 24/7, you can sell your products and services around-the-clock. Moreover, you don’t even have to be actively engaging with leads because they can get the information they need from your site.
You can provide your customers with the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision. You do this with the help of your content on your site. This content servers as an additional salesperson, helping customers get the information they need and convincing them of your products or services’ benefits.
The cost of a physical store is humongous. There are many expenses involved, including infrastructure (owned or rented), furniture, electricity, maintenance, etc.
On the other hand, creating a website for your business is quite easy and cost-effective.
If you were wondering before about how much does it cost to make a small business website, the answer to that question is that it doesn’t cost much. The cost involved includes the nominal price you pay for acquiring your domain name and the hosting service. Domains are available for a price of $10 per year. Depending on your usage, many plans are available for hosting providers, starting from around $20 per year.
Thanks to the CMS platforms like WordPress, you don’t even need coding skills to build your website. You can create a simple website with little or no help. For building complex websites like an e-commerce website, you’ll need help from experts. However, the costs associated with it are minimal compared to a physical store.
- Better targeting and analysis
It is easier now than ever to understand your target audience’s behavior depending on how they spend their time on your platform.
If your customer spends more time on one page than another, it tells that something is right on that page that catches the customer’s eye. And so, you can focus on that part to deliver the best results.
On the contrary, if a page doesn’t do well (like a high bounce rate), you can make the required changes.
This way, you can analyze the various parameters and make changes. There are many tools available online, both paid and free, which do the job for you. But that is not even the best part.
You can also run retargeting ad campaigns for the people who visited your website to convert them. These are quality leads, and retargeting them increases their chances of conversion.
When you have a website for business, you are alive on the internet. You have an online presence. Moreover, your visibility knows no bounds. Anyone in the world can find you, learn about your business, and even contact you anytime from anywhere.
Another essential part of your website is your web design. Businesses must build their websites with a clean design and architecture so that customers can navigate around easily. Like a physical store, it is important to design your web page, which resonates with your brand’s message and looks good to the eye.
The above points should cover the reason why a website is important for the business. Next up, we look at how to start a website for business.
How to create a website for business
Creating a website is quite simple, and you don’t need to know coding skills to build your business website. Here are the steps you need to follow to get started.
- Acquiring a Domain name
Your domain name is your website’s address on the internet (World Wide Web). It is one of your website’s essential features that you’ll share with your customers and promote on social media. Therefore, you want it to be descriptive and easy to remember and type in.
It is advisable to keep it short and clear of abbreviations, acronyms, and numbers, to avoid confusion. Also, run it through a phone test.
You can register your domain from websites like Go Daddy, Namecheap, etc.
- Choose a Hosting provider
If your domain is the address, then the host is the land where your house (website) rests. A hosting server is where data is stored for the public to access at all times.
Depending on your budget, there are cheaper options available, like shared hosting, wherein you’ll share hosting with another website. You can also look at Dedicated hosting, which is expensive as the hosting resources are not shared but only available to your website.
There are lots of hosting providers available, including A2A hosting, WPX hosting, etc.
- Build Pages
Now that you have the domain and hosting, you need to install a CMS (Content Management System) platform. WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms available on the internet, with more than one-third of the websites running on WordPress.
After installing the CMS, you need to start building pages for your website with the content. You need to update the About us page, the second most visited page on your website after the home page. You also need to update your Contact us page.
You need to have your logo on the website. It would be best if you described what your business is all about. Place a strategic call to action button(s) to guide your customers.
- Test and Publish
Before publishing your pages and making your website live, you need to run some tests from a customer’s POV to check if everything works well.
Check each page and feature on every device (desktop, tablet, and mobile) to ensure images show up, links are correct, and the format looks smooth. This will take some time, but it is essential to avoid any complaints or embarrassments in the future.
After testing, if everything looks right, it’s time to publish.
Now that your website is live, you should share it on your social media platforms. Put the link to your website on your social media. This will bring some of your social media traffic to your website. Also, place the links to your social media on your website so that people can follow you there.
If you have the emails of your customers, you can run email marketing campaigns for your business. Always remember, the money is in the list.
It is essential to update your website frequently with blog posts, new products, offers, and company news to keep visitors returning to the site.
Also, make sure that your website and plugin are up to date to avoid any chances of hacking.
Following are some of the frequently asked questions regarding a website.
What website builder is best?
The best tool for one business isn’t necessarily the best for everyone. It all depends on your needs when building a website. Depending on the various characteristics like affordability, ease of use, etc., some of the best website builders are:
- Self-hosted WordPress
- Site builder
Which website is best for business?
There are no right or wrong answers here. It depends on your depends on the nature and purpose of your business. An e-commerce website will be quite different compared to a static website. So, it depends on what features you’re looking at.
How can I create my own website for free?
It is possible to create a website for free, but there are a few things you need to know beforehand. These include:
- You can’t use your own domain as this reduces credibility.
- Your website is full of ads you can’t control. These reduce the user experience.
- You don’t have full control over your website.
- Your website may not look very professional.
Even though options are available, it is not advisable to create a free website for your business. If you’re serious about it, invest in your website.
It’s no longer feasible to run a brick-and-mortar business without a web presence. Consumers turn to the internet for everything, from product research to location and operating hours.
Even a simple, well-designed website can give you an edge in your field. If you have products to sell, your site can open up new markets and expand your business cheaply and easily. That means that you have the opportunity to show leads and customers what sets your business apart from the rest through customized content.
Do you want to stay ahead of your competition? Think it this way: If they have a website and you don’t, then you just lost a customer because they don’t even know about your existence.
So, a website for the business is a no-brainer. It’s the first thing you should be doing on your digital front.