I saw something the other day about a father explaining to his kids that he was older than Google, and their minds were blown. It’s crazy to me some days that I work in a career (building websites) that didn’t exist when I was born and was such a new, foreign concept when I was little.
But this all really just shows how fast marketing has changed over the last 30 years. When the internet became prevalent, companies raced to build “cool” websites to represent their businesses. It was cost-prohibitive for some smaller companies, but they did their best with the tools they had at hand. And a few companies out there tried to provide lower cost options. I distinctly remember when Facebook launched their business pages that some believed it signaled the “death of the small business website”.
Obviously those predictions were wrong. It’s become a pretty accepted fact that the first few things you need when you launch your new business are a name, logo, and a website.
A Website Lends Credibility & Builds Trust
Think about how you shop. Someone recommends a new vendor, store, or even restaurant. The first couple things you’re going to do is to look up that vendor on social media and find their website. Whether you search for their site through Facebook, Google, or maaaybe Bing, you’ll want to find something. After all, the first thing a website shows is that the business owner has invested some time and resources into their business; that they’re not a fly-by-night company you’ll have to worry about whether they’ll take your money and run without doing the work.
What gets a lot of new business owners stopped is worrying that their website isn’t perfect. The thing is, the average user tends to be a little forgiving. Most people will understand that you might be a smaller, newer business and look past the fact that your website isn’t flashy. The average user just wants a few things to be accurate – your hours, your address and phone number, and your contact form. As long as your website is easy to navigate and they can get a hold of you to ask further questions, most of those prospects will be fine. (You do want to ensure your site looks great on a phone and other devices, though, since over 50% of Google’s searches are done on a mobile device now.)
Your Website is Where All Your Marketing Leads
This is really the key though. Yes, your website is what everyone thinks to look up first when they’re looking for you specifically, but what about those you’re trying to catch their attention and sell from a more cold lead?
You go to a networking event and pass out business cards, introducing yourself and your specialty in a nice elevator pitch. What do you have on those cards so they can learn more about you? Your website.
You pass out flyers for an event you’re throwing, hang them in local coffee shops, etc. Where do they find more information about the event and how to buy tickets? Your website.
You run a Facebook Ads campaign, targeted at an audience that fits your target demographic. Where do you send them to view your products and services? Your website. And then, you retarget those website visitors once they’ve visited, to then again get them to your website.
Anymore, your website is that cornerstone, that foundational piece of all your marketing. It, its subpages and landing pages are where you send all of your leads. It helps to automate your processes, saving precious time in your business and delivering those better, more qualified leads. It helps to tell your brand story, showcasing how you’re unique in your industry and answer the big question of what problem you solve.
But most importantly, your website is really that start and end point as someone researches your business. Whether your buyer is coming to your site as a warm referral, they met you in person, or they’re a colder lead coming from digital ads, they’ll find out the most about you from your website. Ensure that you’re not skimping out for long here, because having a website that communicates you and your business well will only aid in helping it grow.
Your website won’t necessarily drive those sales on its own; there’s definitely still work to do to build SEO, social trust, and traffic. However, having that piece built correctly, with those components that build the trust in your business, and communicates your brand story and unique offerings will help you build the best way possible off of your other marketing efforts.
Not sure if your website has all the components your business needs in its foundation? Let’s chat and see how we can help your business be prepared.