As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you might have started thinking of whether having a website is a good idea or not.
But because of some of the misconceptions about websites, you probably think that you don’t need one yet because:-
- You already have customers.
- A website requires a lot of money and is meant for big businesses.
- You do not have the technical knowledge to understand one.
Well, what if I told you that you are missing out on 81% of potential customers that are online?
Or that you do not need technical knowledge or a lot of money to have a professionally designed website?
So is having a website worth it?
Of course, it is! Just as having a physical place for your business is important, so is having a business website.
A website acts as your online premises, it is a reflection of your business and the place where you teach your audience about your brand.
Furthermore, a website is a place where all other communications including your public relations, marketing, and social media efforts point to.
Because a website is the online reflection of your business, it has to be designed well so that it builds trust with your visitors.
Here are some interesting statistics to show you why having a website is worth it:
- 81% of people search online for products or services they’re interested in.
- In 2019, there were 31.18 million active internet users in South Africa.
- South Africans spend more than 8 hours on the internet per day and 61% of them prefer to complete tasks digitally.
- 57% of South Africans do not recommend a business if it has a poorly developed website. Now imagine how many more don’t recommend a business without a website.
Is having a website important for a South African business?
Yes, it is, and here are the reasons why:
Show on Google, Bing and Other Search Results
One of the important reasons for owning a website is the ability to show on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.
According to statista.com, google.com has an average of 567 million South African visitors a month. It has also been ranked the number one website that South Africans visit.
For that reason, having a website makes it easier for people to find your business when searching online.
While it may be true that you can show on search engines through your social media pages, the disadvantage is that you do not have much control over where you show.
But, with a website, you have that control through the use of Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation strategies.
Increase your South African customers
There are over 57 million people in South Africa and 54% of them have access to the internet. Moreover, they spend an average of 8 hours a day online. (Business Insider South Africa)
Flickerleap reported that in one month 47% of South African internet users searched for a product or service online before making a purchase.
Therefore, a website gives you the opportunity to show your business, products, or services to these people when they are searching online.
Increase your international customers
A report made by We Are Social showed that there are over 4 billion internet users worldwide and they spend more than 6 hours online every day.
Just like with South Africans, people around the world also prefer to do tasks digitally, including learning about businesses and making buying decisions.
According to WPForms people worldwide use google.com an average of 1.2 trillion times per year to search.
For that reason, a website makes it easy for you to expand your business globally and reach potential customers outside of South Africa.
24/7 access to your business
A website does not open and close according to your business hours, which means people can still be able to access it even when you are not around.
Therefore, a website makes it easy for people to find your business, learn about your brand, and see what you offer at any time of the day or night whether you are there or not.
Additionally, people who are interested in what you offer can make purchases, set appointments, or download resources without you physically having to be there to help them.
Learn more about your customers
A website enables you to track the actions of visitors through the help of analytical software.
These can track:
- When users access your website
- The device they use to access it
- Where they are located
- Their age, gender, interests and much more
Furthermore, having a website makes it easier to build a database of your customers and potential customers by giving you the opportunity to collect their emails and numbers.
With all this data you can make informed marketing decisions that let you target your audience better.
Build trust & Reputation
Imagine seeing a business without any contact information or physical address, the likelihood of trusting that business with your money would be very low.
The same goes for a business that doesn’t have a website especially in 2020.
People expect a reputable business to be online.
According to flickerleap, 94% of South African website visitors stop trusting a website when it’s cheaply designed and 57% of them won’t even recommend a business with a cheaply designed mobile website.
Judging from this, then how much more won’t they trust a business that does not have a website at all?
A website helps build a reputation for both you and your business by showing people that you know what you’re talking about.
This can be done through writing blogs, recording vlogs, making podcasts, hosting online seminars as well as making online training videos then hosting them on your website.
Exchange information with your customers
A website is a good place to educate people about your business and inform them about any changes that have happened or are going to happen in real-time.
It is also a good place to get feedback and suggestions from people in order to give them a better experience of your business.
You are able to display your working hours, contact information, the location of your business as well as videos or images of the work that you have done.
Customers are also able to rate and review your products and services, comment on images and videos that you share, and send you emails to enquire.
Furthermore, a website is also a good way to promote your social media channels.
Build your brand and business
Having a website helps build your brand by communicating what your brand is about through its design, layout, and content.
It is a place where you can connect deeper with your target audience by sharing the story of your humble beginnings, what you stand for as well as your business goals.
Moreover, it is a place to let your potential employees see what your business is about, including the kind of culture that you have and the people that already work there.
This helps grow your business by showing prospective candidates when you are hiring and enabling them to apply on your website.
There are over 100 million South Africans online searching the internet on a daily basis and they access it at any time and from any location.
Now imagine they are searching for a product or service online that you offer, and you do not have a website but your competitor does.
Then the chances are that they’re going to buy from your competitor because they will appear on search results when the people are searching and you will not.
But if you have a professional website and your competitor doesn’t then you are already ahead of them because you will be getting those online customers.
On the other hand, if both you and your competitor have websites then you are on an even playing field.
Optimising your website will be what determines the number of customers you get.
Affordable, results-driven marketing
Traditional forms of marketing such as flyers, posters, print ads, and press releases play a role in getting customers but they have two major disadvantages:
- You do not know how well they work because you cannot track the number of people that came to your business because of them.
- They can end up costing a lot of money without you being able to measure the return on investment.
But when you have a website you are able to use different online platforms to advertise as well as monitor and track the results of those advertisements.
Having a website enables you to advertise your business through platforms such as Facebook ads, google ads, Linkedin, Twitter, and many more.
These platforms allow you to target where, when, and to whom you want your ads to show.
You can also set a budget for your ads before advertising thus giving you control over how much you spend.
Additionally, these platforms along with the analytics placed on your website can help you see how your adverts are performing and give you insights into what your customers are responding to.
So with all the benefits listed above, do you still think that not having a website is not a good idea?
Having a website is worth it for your business because a large number of people are online and their purchase decisions are influenced online.
Apart from that, there are a lot of other important reasons that a website can help your business such as:
- Showing your business on search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc)
- Getting you national and international customers
- 24/7 access to your business
- Building trust and reputation
- Learning about your customers
- Exchanging information
- Building your brand and business
- Being competitive
- Getting affordable, results-driven marketing
All these, highlight the importance of having a website for your business. If you would like a professional website click here and let’s have a chat.