First of all, let’s look at why your business would NOT need a website. The flippant answer is that either you have far too many customers already, or you are already making more money than you need, or your ideal customers have no access to the internet – Eskimos, maybe? There are certainly not many people on the planet who no longer have access to the internet in some form or other.
However, in the context we are talking about, when the question arises as to whether or not your business needs a website it is more about whether you ONLY need a landing page for a particular product. One could certainly argue that a landing page is still a website. However, there are some major differences between what a landing page does and what a website does.
A landing page is normally specific to one product and is really just a sales page for that product. It may go into who you are as the provider of that product or service, certainly will go into aspects of social proof, testimonials, and, of course, most importantly, identifying who this is for and how this product or service will solve the pain points those customers are looking to solve. All these things should be found on a regular website too, but a website will go a little further and will talk about a wider range of issues and solutions than just the one product.
If you are just selling one product to an online audience, then a landing page may well be all you need. It will be optimized for search and you can drive traffic to it with Google or Facebook ads.
However, if your business offers a range of solutions, products or services, or you are an artist, or are teaching something, or coaching clients etc, then you will want a website that covers the wider view of who you are and what you have to offer.
The most important thing to remember is that your website isn’t there for you – it is there for your customers. If you don’t have a website then customers cannot find you. You can advertise in Yellow Pages, but who uses Yellow Pages anymore?
There are a lot of customer focused reasons why you should have a website –
1) Like I just stated – if potential customers are looking for your solution/s you provide, the chances are that they are looking for them by searching on Google (95% of internet searches are done via Google).
2) You can bet your competition is on already the web – if they cannot find you then they will go somewhere else – is that what you want?
3) You can provide a LOT of information about you and your solutions on a website – far more than you could ever provide in a Yellow Pages ad or any traditional media – and for a very little cost. Not only that, you can very easily update that information whenever you need to.
4) Although a lot of people will go to your website because you send them there, you can also reach a lot of people through those searches we talked about above. If your audience is worldwide then you will be competing with a lot of other people offering the same solutions and it can be hard to get on that important first Google page without spending a lot of money. However, if you are looking for a local audience you can get to the top of a local search very easily and cheaply.
5) If you have information-based products, or even physical products, a website will allow people to buy those directly via the internet from your site – no commission to someone else, no middleman.
6) Credibility – people want to know that you are a professional and have knowledge and experience in solving the problem they have. A professional looking website can set you apart from someone who either does not have a website, or who has a crappy looking website. Would you do business with someone who doesn’t even have a website?
7) A big part of your website function is in dealing with customer service – they may want to find out more, they may want to contact you about an issue with something they have bought from you. A website gives you a home base and point of contact for potential and actual customers alike.
8) One of the most important functions a website can do is provide an opportunity to build your email list through some kind of free offer. Your email address is the number one component in a good lead generation system as the people who subscribe are obviously interested in what you have to offer (warm lead), but you can now reach them directly via their inbox at any time.
9) Pre-qualify prospects – a well constructed website should lead a prospect to the information they are looking for and educate them on the benefits of that product or service. Having self-educated themselves via your website, it they then contact you after that then they are already three-quarters sold – half the work has been done for you. If, having self-educated themselves on your website they decide that this is not what they are looking for, then they won’t be wasting your time contacting you with questions. Its a win-win for you either way.
10) Marketing is a numbers game. You try to make as many of your ideal customers as possible aware that you have a solution for them. Say you reach 1000 ideal customers – out of that 1000 maybe 200-300 will check out your website – 40-60 will optin for your free offer – 8 – 12 of those may go on to buy your product or service. When you know what the ratio is then you can reverse engineer that number so you know how many “views” on your website you need to be getting, and can therefore run your ads accordingly. That way you can predict how many customers you are likely to get on an ongoing basis.
I’m sure you can think of other reasons why a website for your business is a good idea, but I think the ten I have provided here should be more than enough to convince you. Deciding what platform to use and how much to spend on creating that website are tackled in other blog posts in this series.
If you are looking to create a website for your business, or have a website and want to make sure it is a lead magnet for your business, not a lead loser, you might be interested in our upcoming Time Traders Club LAB Workshop on Thursday Sept 21 – check out the details here – http://timetradersclub.com/website-lead-magnet-or-lead-loser/