With over 2.2 billion people online, the internet has revolutionized how we find and share information. The online world is moving at a rapid pace and doesn’t show any signs of slowing. For businesses, a web presence has become a fundamental part of success. But why is a presence on the web so important? How significant is the impact of being online? We’re glad you asked.
Because people are online - If you’re looking for an audience, more customers, or people to influence, the web is where your business needs to be. With over 78% of adult Americans using the Internet and an astounding 2.2 billion people online worldwide, it’s no surprise that small businesses with websites experience an average of 39% greater revenue per year than those without websites, according to the Small Business Administration.
Being Found – The #1 go to place when someone is looking for your business is your website. People search through search engines like Google or Bing, not via Face book for fan pages.
Opportunity - A website allows for a much more robust experience for visitors than most other platforms. This means that you can be more efficient at providing visitors the information that they’re looking for, as well as the opportunity to create web applications for more value to your visitors.
Branding - Websites also allow you more control over your branding. While sites like Facebook allow some customization, it’s still inside Facebook’s shell. Companies are able to control all aspects of a design with a website.
Growth Opportunity - A website serves as a great place to refer potential investors to, to show them what your company is about, what it has achieved and what it can achieve in future.
Market Expansion - The Internet has allowed businesses to break through the geographical barriers and become accessible, virtually, from any country in the world by a potential customer that has Internet access.
Diversify Revenue Streams - A website is not just a medium for representation of your company, it is a form of media from which everybody can acquire information. You can use this media to sell advertising space to other businesses.
A recent trend has risen where businesses feature their very own directory of complimentary services, where the visitor can search for information on a business that will enhance the use of your service. The business sells complimentary businesses a listing in their directory. A good example is a catering company featuring a directory with businesses such as event co-coordinators, electronic equipment rental companies, etc
24 hours a day, 365 days of the year - No more turning customers away when its time to close shop, putting up a note saying closed for public holiday , or leaving an irritating message on your answering service specifying your trading hours tell them to visit your website for information they are looking for.
Offer Convenience - It is far more convenient for a person to research a product on the Internet than it is to get in a car, drive somewhere and look for or ask someone for information on a product. Also, a potential customer won t have to judge a call centre agent to determine whether he/she has their best interests in mind, or just wants to make a sale.
The potential customer can visit your website whenever they like in their own privacy and comfort, without the stresses and distractions that exist in the realworld.
Your website is a self-service medium for example, instead of having to wait in a long cue to pay your TV License, you can now do it electronically through the TV License website.
Add Value and Satisfaction - By offering convenience, a point of reference and that touch of individualized customer service, you ultimately add value to your offering and your customers experience a higher level of satisfaction.
Your website can add value in other ways too, by featuring tips, advice and general interest content you can entertain your customers. This will also help them remember you better.
Two-Way Communicative Marketing - Customers can quickly and easily give feedback on your product and/or marketing approach.
Cheap Market Research - You can use features on your website such as visitor polls, online surveys and your website statistics to find out what your customers like more and how they feel about certain aspects of your business to determine how you can improve your product and the way you do business.
Website statistics show you how much traffic your website receives, how the visitor got to your website and where, geographically, the visitor is from.