By Ross Volmer, X8 Marketing
The question that we are going to answer in this piece is “What is a Website and Why Do You Need One?” There are several common misconceptions made by small business owners around what a website entails, what it does, and what it actually provides for you. So, first of all, what is a website?
A website is essentially an interactive slideshow presentation about your business that is stored on a computer or a hard drive, and it’s open to the internet so that people can come learn about your business whenever they want. The primary purposes of a website are to establish credibility, to inform and educate potential customers about your team or your products or services, to direct those potential customers to where they can purchase your products or services, and ultimately to either convert those potential customers into paying customers or to get them to submit their information to you.
In the current day and age, credibility is king. People judge a book by its cover and first impressions are crucial. Whether we like it or not, the first thing people see is the first thing that they’re going to react to. Within three to five seconds, people typically decide whether they’re going to do business with you. A very important question to ponder as a business owner is “what does your book cover look like?”
We’ve seen that statistically speaking, 70-80 percent of consumers research a company online before making their first purchase with them. When someone researches you online, what if they don’t like what they see? What if they’ve seen something negative that is either on another website, or a review board like Yelp or Angie’s List, or what if they don’t see anything at all? Are they going to assume that you’re just not legit? Or that you’ve closed or gone out of business, or that you don’t exist? Or, maybe worst case, that you’re a scam? What if they can’t validate that you do what you say you do?
What if you’re a plumber and somebody – maybe one of your networking partners – referred somebody to you to handle a leaky faucet and they don’t find a website? They may think that you only do commercial plumbing, or only residential plumbing or maybe you can’t fit their needs. People only know what you tell them, so it’s very important to have a website out there so that you have some control over what people see when they look for information about you or your business.
A website allows you to establish credibility and to demonstrate that you’re an expert in the field. It also gives you an opportunity to show your work. No matter what kind of business you’re in, it’s very, very important to show that you have experience in what you do. A picture is always worth a thousand words and a video is worth even more. Through a well-designed website, you can show your customers what you do and how you do it, help them understand how your business works, how your service or your product works, and how that’s going to benefit them.
A website also helps you to establish customer expectations. We’ve all dealt with unrealistic customer expectations when it comes to our products or services, so it’s a good idea to grease the wheels and give them an idea of what they should expect before they reach out to you.
When people visit your site, you get to control what they see using your own language, your imagery and your ideas, instead of whatever they may find elsewhere. There may be disinformation on other sites, posts or articles about you. People may be misinformed about you, or they may even have a negative opinion of you based on something they heard, so it’s very, very important for you to control your own destiny when they get to your site and they’re learning a bit more about you.
It’s also very important to have a professional email attached to your website. If you go to our website, it’s x8it.net or x8webdesign.com or x8marketing.com – they all forward in. We have professional email established to our team’s addresses so that people know that they’re getting an official email from a professional associated with our business.
Your website acts as a home base and a foundation for all your marketing efforts, both online and offline. If you’re passing out business cards or speaking with customers directly, it’s great to have a home base that you can always send people back to so they can gather more information, see some examples, or interact with your business in some other way. If you have any questions about websites, please feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.