Why You Should Invest In Your Website
If you’re starting a new business, you might be wondering if spending all that time and money on a custom website is worth it. Between buying a domain name, obtaining web hosting services, and creating a custom template, website costs can add up—and that’s before investing in SEO and paid search campaigns to get your website found.
For the non-tech-savvy, establishing a business website can be overwhelming and feel like it’s not worth the effort. It’s tempting to slap your logo on a free, pre-made WordPress template with just a handful of pages and call it a day.
But investing in a custom, high-quality website (as well as the marketing to get it seen) can do wonders for your business. Here’s why we think it’s worth it to invest in your website—and some input from a marketing expert.
Why You Should Invest in a Custom Website
Make a Good First Impression
Consumers increasingly turn to the internet to learn more about virtually everything they see and hear. It’s likely that their first action upon hearing about your business will be to Google it and see what they can learn through both your website and third-party reviews.
Because this digital-first approach is so prevalent, it’s essential for even offline businesses to maintain a modern and appealing website. “Searchers will judge you quickly based on your website,” says Wesley Ward, VP of Marketing at Hausera, an online kitchen and bath company. “An outdated or nonexistent website may cause them to find you untrustworthy or illegitimate.”
Provide Detailed Information
The more vague your website is, the less likely it is that prospective customers will decide to trust you over a competitor. By building out a detailed and robust website with pages dedicated to each product or service that you offer, you can draw in new customers by telling them exactly what they can expect from you.
A detailed website can be a resource for your employees just as much as for your customers. If you offer a lot of products or services, or recently released something new, adding all of that information to your website can serve as a reference point for employees as they assist customers and understand this new piece of your business.
Attract Customers Outside of Business Hours
Most businesses aren’t open in-person 24/7, but the internet is. When you have a high-quality and well-functioning website, you can make sales and generate leads any day, any time. A good website will work for you when you’re resting, sleeping, or yes, working yourself to continue to find new customers. When considering the opportunity cost of developing a new website for your business, it’s vital to factor in the results you’ll see from extended hours and reach.
Stay Up to Date
With a solid website, you can make sure your customers have new and important information about your business as soon as you know it. This can include new products, important sales, and things like store closures or schedule changes.
Here, REI shows both sale information and a store closure update due to COVID-19:
As mentioned earlier, nearly everyone these days checks a website before checking anywhere else. By always having the newest information about your business live on a website, you are proving once again to your customers that you are trustworthy and reliable.
Curate Your Brand Image
A website plays a huge part in cultivating a brand image and relaying your business message. Here, you can build pages to talk about your business origins, vision, and mission, in addition to incorporating those values throughout other pages on the site.
Your brand voice can also shine through on a business website, whether that’s through the images you use, the style of your product or service descriptions, or even the color palette you select. This all works together to create a specific brand image that can attract particular audiences or demographics to your store in a way that other avenues can’t.
Simply Chocolate’s website is a great example of strong branding:
Their bold, unique layout immediately conveys that they are doing something different than other chocolate makers. How could your website convey what you are doing differently?
Why You Should Invest in a Blog
Become an Authority in Your Field
Through the power of digital marketing, you can take your small or localized business to a broader audience. By creating a business blog with custom content posted at regular intervals, you can demonstrate that you are an authority in your niche, which increases your business visibility while also providing another reason for your customers to trust you.
Play the Long Game in Attracting Customers
It often takes more than one site visit to get customers to make a purchase, as consumers increasingly compare shops and need to be persuaded that a certain product is best. That’s where blog content comes in.
“By creating blog content that subtly shows how prospective customers could use our products, we can slowly entice them to make a purchase over several visits,” says Ward. Blogs also provide a non-commercial entry point to a website: if someone is starting to think about redoing their bathroom, landing on a Hausera blog about bathroom upgrades provides a less sales-y introduction to the company. When they’re ready to make a purchase, there’s already a foundation of trust with the site.
When It’s Time to Invest in a Website Redesign
Maybe you were ahead of the game when you were just starting out, and you invested the time and resources to build a robust website that’s served you well. But could it be time for a website overhaul and redesign?
Website redesigns often come hand-in-hand, with an overall business rebrand, so if you’re starting to move your business in a new direction, now it might be the time to tackle both projects. Here are a few other reasons it might be time to invest in a website redesign:
- Your site looks outdated and old compared to competitors
- You have an old and clunky website host or content management system
- You’re adding a new product line or offering a new service
- A previously significant part of your business is obsolete or no longer offered
- You merged with another business
Of course, you can also embark on a website redesign just because it feels like the right time to do so. Be careful not to fall into the habit of just redesigning because you’re bored: if you redesign too often, you won’t be able to maintain recognition and trust among your loyal customers.
Having a website is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to wrap your head around why it’s important to make it a significant part of your business. Websites are a crucial tool for building trust, recognition, and authority in your customer base, and they are a valuable source of information for customers and employees alike. Investing in your website now will pay off in dozens of ways in the future, so don’t hesitate to invest in that new site today.