The increased digitalization that the world was seeing over the last five years has been further accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc since 2020. People have been forced to stay indoors and many traditional brick-and-mortar businesses have had to shut their shops for a long time resulting in monumental business losses.
One of the major realizations that most businesses have had during this time is the importance of a website for maintaining business continuity. In other words, they have understood that they should back up their offline sales with an online business.
As a result, millions of businesses that were skeptical of setting up an online shop till now have turned to digital marketing willingly.
Since staying at home and working from home has become quite a trend nowadays (albeit forced, in a way) and going outside to crowded places like markets is still very risky, people have understood the convenience of online shopping and embraced it in a big way.
If you want to catch their attention, you need to get a website built for your business.
Still, thinking about whether to go for a website or not?
The importance of a website can never be overemphasized
Let us now look at the importance of a website, and the advantages you can get by having one.
(If you already have a website, you can skip this post and read about 12 Powerful Ways To Generate Traffic To Your Website)
1. Get access to more customers:
According to the latest reports from HubSpot, about 4.6 billion users access the Internet from around the world every day to look for products and services that they need.
If you have a website, you will have the chance to get noticed by them and they can eventually become your customers.
Imagine not being restricted anymore to the limited geographical reach that your physical stores can have. If you can deliver your products across your city, country, or globally you can exponentially grow your business.
The world can become your playground, quite literally.
2. Get a competitive edge
This is an amazingly simple but powerful concept that I am sure every business owner understands.
If your competitors are selling online and you are not, then soon your business will become crippled and irrelevant. To survive the cut-throat competition, you need to take your business online by building a website.
Over the years many people have seen a website as a vanity factor. However, now they have realized the importance of a website clearly, and view it as a necessity.
Companies that understood the importance of a website early and had an online presence already got a definite edge over the others when the coronavirus pandemic struck suddenly at the beginning of 2020.
While companies following the traditional model of doing business from physical stores saw an immediate dip in sales, the ones with a strong online presence could withstand the shock steadfastly.
Though the offline sales dropped, their online sales helped them to sustain through these troubled times.
3. Build credibility and trust
Nowadays people go online every time they want to find products and services that they need. They also look for information about companies like yours. If they do not find your website, then they may think that you are a small-time player not worth considering.
Naturally, this results in a huge loss of brand equity as well as sales.
When you build a website, you will put all the relevant information about your company, team, products, services, and contact details in it for anyone to find.
This will go a long way in building the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand and people will feel more comfortable in becoming your customers.
4. You can create powerful marketing campaigns
Once you have built the website, you will have to use various digital marketing tactics to attract your potential customers to it.
Having a website makes digital marketing a lot easier.
You can create powerful campaigns around every page on your website which matters. You can do Search Engine Optimization of the whole website, run Pay Per Click Ads, or send Emails that drive people to various important pages on the site.
If you do not have a website, your options will be limited to only a few digital marketing techniques like Social Media Marketing. This will severely limit your reach and the options for marketing that you have.
5. You will have full control over your website
Another problem you may face with Social Media Marketing is that all the social media networks have their rules and policies which keep changing frequently and sometimes randomly. If you knowingly or unknowingly violate some policy of a social network, your business page or profile may get banned
On top of this, it is possible that someday there may be a change in the laws of your country which will restrict your ability to market your business on certain social networks.
Take the example of this is how TikTok got banned in India overnight. The creators and businesses who were depending on TikTok for their marketing lost their entire following and were forced to move to other platforms and start again from nothing.
These incidents can have a huge negative impact on your business.
The website, on the other hand, is always going to be your property. If you keep on paying for the domain and the hosting, you will have full control over the contents of the website and other assets like email lists, reviews, ratings, etc.
You will not have to worry about losing your website suddenly. So, you will be able to take a long-term view of how to market it and grow its credibility, traffic, and sales sustainably.
6. The website will act as your salesman 24/7
We all know that most physical stores remain open only for a certain part of the day. Unless you run an essential service like a pharmacy, people will have to visit your store within those specific business hours to buy from you.
This, as you can understand, can act as a limiting factor for growing your sales.
A website on the other hand is accessible 24/7. People can even visit the website on the date of the night while you were sleeping and purchase the products and services that you offer.
This is the biggest benefit of having a website or an online store.
Whether you have a single store or run a chain of retail stores you must understand the importance of a website and consider having a website to boost your sales from now on.
What are the types of websites you can build?
1. eCommerce website
The importance of a website for generating online sales is growing every day. The type of website that enables you to sell your products online is called an eCommerce store.
In other words, an eCommerce website is an online store like Amazon from where people can buy products and services.
You can build your online store on popular platforms like Shopify or WordPress (with an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce, BigCommerce Easy Digital Downloads, etc.) You will also have to integrate a payment gateway with it to enable online purchases.
You can also get a custom-coded website built on Magento, Drupal, etc. You can contact a reliable website development company to discuss the options.
2. Business website
If you are selling products that cannot be sold via eCommerce, then you can build a business website.
The business website can be used to provide information about your company and its products and service. People can contact you by filling up a form, sending emails, or calling on the phone number provided on the website.
3. Personal website/blog
A personal website or blog is built for the professional branding of individuals. These provide an excellent way to showcase your knowledge, creativity, and even the research that you have been doing.
If you have good knowledge about any subject, then you can write blog posts or articles on it and post them on your blog for your followers to read.
4. Portfolio website
A portfolio website is a type of personal website created by professionals and freelancers who want to tell visitors about the services that they offer and showcase their past work.
The main reason behind building a portfolio website is to establish credibility as a professional and for getting future projects.
5. Affiliate website
Affiliate websites are created with the view of earning passive income by promoting products and services manufactured and sold by others.
These websites have become quite a rage in recent times and there are thousands of affiliate websites currently that have been created by exceptionally talented individuals and even companies.
Affiliate websites recommend products from a particular website like Amazon to their readers. When the readers buy the products from Amazon after reading those reviews, the affiliate website receives a small commission from Amazon.
Apart from Amazon, there are many other online marketplaces and individual sellers who depend on affiliates for generating a large part of their sales.
Though affiliate marketing is not at all easy, it can give you sustainable income if you put in the right and uninterrupted efforts towards developing it continuously.
Cost of building a website
So now that you have understood the importance of a website, you would want to get one built.
There are two things that you will need to build a website:
- Domain name: the URL that your website will have (like https://https://www.inovaticus.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Digital-Marketing-Blog-1.png.in)
- Hosting: this is the server space that you will need to buy to host the files, images, videos, etc. of the website.
Domain names do not generally cost much, and you can easily find one at below $15. However, there are various types of web hosting plans available. The cost will depend on the type of hosting that you will choose.
You can get a good understanding of the types of hosting available from this article by QuickSprout
It’s now time to build the website
I hope that by now you have understood the importance of a website clearly. One thing to remember is that it is not only companies that need websites anymore. Even if you are an individual, you can build a website to advance your career or build a source of passive income.
If you want to be at the top of your game in the future, consider building a website for your business or personal use. It will surely prove to be a game-changer for your business and give you sustainable benefits over a long period.