Why Have a Website?

The number of internet users is growing every day. Let’s rephrase that, the internet users are growing by every second. As of January 2018, there are over 3.8 billion internet users according to Internetlivestats.com. Around 40% of the world population is “connected” to the digital world. In 1995, it was less than 1%. In North America, as of today, over 80%+ of users have internet connections (closer to 90% in the US). That means that at least four out of every five customers that walk in the door for any and every business is using the internet. Not having a presence online nowadays is akin to not having a logo or a business card. The internet has truly revolutionized the way we think, live our lives, and do business. Here are key reasons why it is important to have a website

1. First impressions

According to AdWeek.com; 81% of shoppers conduct research online before they make a purchase. That statistic is very consistent with the one we shared above. What one can derive with these two simple yet powerful statistics is that of the people who have access to the internet, use it to conduct research online before they buy. Not too shocking, but it makes sense and has powerful implications in the world we do business today. Again, what this means is that four out five customers get to know about a company well before they walk through the front door. Customers have become well informed on navigating on the internet and who they will conduct business with. The preliminary research phase of the buying pattern has become second nature to shoppers. Customers now online, finding solutions out there for their problems or needs and wants, review product options available and the businesses that sell them. They will then narrow down their search to a select few that offer what they like and most importantly if they like what they see online about that business. The first impression they get from the company, the value proposition, the branding, the logo, the state the website is in – all within seconds and a couple of clicks. This process has become so automatic and easy to use because of search engines and smartphone technology. If a business does not have a presence online (i.e. no website), then that business is being neglected (if not outright ignored) as part of the consideration when being researched by a customer who is looking to shop. These businesses are losing sales by not investing in something that is so basic now, yet a very important requirement and point of entry in any industry. Not only losing money but credibility in the industry at the same time. By having a website, you tell your customers you are serious about their business with you. Another key point to emphasize is that it can be even more damaging to your business if it has a website, but has a poorly functioning or designed website. Websites that are slow to load, crash, old, too basic or not functioning properly will give the impression that this business does not care about its customers to put up a functioning well-designed website that can help in their purchasing decision. So, it’s safe to say that when it comes to having a website, first impressions count. Makes yours count.

2. Help people (and customers) find you easier

Google is the biggest search engine in the world and utilized by the majority of the market (80%+ according to searchenginejournal.com). Before they look for a product or a solution, they try to see what is out there by typing it up on Google. The highest ranking sites get most of the attention of the users. However, if the customer needs to refine and find a local business, then Google helps with that too. Having a website that is search engine optimized puts any business at an advantage, as it allows Google (the world’s biggest search engine) to do the work for you. Properly developed, maintained and hosted website will allow you to rank higher in the areas your customers are searching. Well designed websites work by helpings customers who are looking for you, find you. If the business website is not optimized for the search engines where people look to research online first, then that business is losing the opportunity and with it – growth. Let the search engines do the work, in bridging the customers to you by, having a website that makes it easier for Google to find your business and thereby the customer to find you.

3. Define yourself first

Why is it so important to define yourself and be active online (or at the least have a presence via a website if not active)? Because if you do not define you, others will define you and you will lose control of your reputation in the digital world that has a direct impact on the real world. Google search “bots” are already looking to capture any and every business out there. Google makes money by being the best place for where anyone can find what they are looking for, thereby allowing them to become a reliable source for any kind of research. By helping their users find what they want (which is 80% of the users who have access to the internet), it makes money by providing businesses very specialized, complex, advanced (algorithms and all) to promote and market their businesses in a subtle way. So it is in Google’s interest to help find you (even if you do not have a website), and connect the consumer to you. If you do not have a presence online, the Gods at Google will allow the customers to define you. One bad experience, a negative post will mean severe consequences for your business in the future. Don’t let that happen – define yourself first. Do not let the users of search engines define you without having your say first.

Closing Thoughts…

The internet is here to stay. The number of people using the internet grows by the second. The world has become more connected, smaller, and most importantly, smarter because of the internet. Most people research online before they make any kind of purchase. Having a website has become a basic necessity for today’s world. It allows all to find each other faster. It allows us to define ourselves first before others use limited information to brand our reputation in the digital world. First impressions of a business are established online, well before a customer has had a chance to connect with you in person or walk through the front door. Make your first impressions count; contact us today and see what we can do to grow your business!