More than marketing
OK, so a website doesn’t weigh anything. That doesn’t change the fact that your website is much more than just a marketing tool.
Your website’s worth to your business will be as unique as your business. Let’s dive in to the what your website does for your business.
Here’s a summary video — the post continues below:
the 7 things… plus a couple
1. Legitimize your business
You can run a business from a Facebook page or a LinkedIn account, but your website is yours, and it won’t change when the platform changes.
There is a perception that a business needs a website to be a legitimate business. A website has a permanence that social media platforms just don’t.
2. Extend your brand
Your website should be one more place that your brand is consistent. Yes, this means logo, colors, and fonts consistent with your social media and print. But this also means your customer’s experience.
If you have a service, the vibe and values that you present as a service professional should be reflected on your website.
This might be as simple as “I’m not a stuffy CPA, and my website should reflect that.”
You have the power to make your users’ experience with your website a sample of the great experience they will have with your business.
Even something as simple as a slow website makes people wonder – if the website quality isn’t good, what’s the product like?
It’s worth taking time to make your website reflect you. You’ll get more people who want what you offer, and the people who aren’t your people will move on.
3. Market for you 24/7
This really is part of extending your brand. Your website can tell your story to anyone who finds your site. With social media, it’s a bit more that people see the latest news.
The story of your business may be harder to see in that environment.
On your website, you can guide people through your story in the way it makes sense. Your site can collect email addresses, allow you to chat with your customers, let your customers download information, and many other tasks.
How much are these leads worth to your business?
4. Keep leads warm
Your blog posts and other content can help you provide information to your leads. Since it usually takes multiple times of reaching out to someone before they become a customer, the content you post on a website can help keep that process going.
Your content can be the basis of an email newsletter or other way of engaging with your community that keeps you relevant and connected.
5. Serve as an online secretary
Business hours, location, reminders that your business has moved locations, and other updates are all easier to see on a website. You can keep them front and center easily so that people can find them.
Social media has some constant information, but most of it is not immediately displayed.The nature of social media posts is current news, and that usually means newest post first.
Important information can get buried on social media, while your site helps make sure your customers can get in touch and find you when they need to.
6. Serve as a hub
Links to your store, your community, your social media – your website can be the stable place that links all of the pieces of your online presence together.
Social media platforms can change their rules at any time. Even website builder platforms are somewhat harder to migrate from if you should choose to do that.
A WordPress website can be moved wherever you like, whenever you decide.
7. Give you authority
Your website posts can give people enough information for free that they see you as a valuable resource. And you don’t have to have a book on a library shelf to do it!
When you become a resource for your industry or niche , that’s a powerful relationship.
8. Bonus — Create a community
Part of the draw of a website is the interaction, comments, community. Whether it is a membership site for information, a course, a forum, or a blog with comments, your website can bring people together.
Since your business is only as good as your relationships, this part of your site is critical.
9. Bonus — Sell your products
Your website, of course, can be your store. Or an extension of your store.
You can sell products, services, and any combination you can think of. Your website, of course, can bring in direct revenue.
It supports your relationships
The point of all of these items is to point out that the value of a website. Not just any ol’ website, but a well-designed, optimized, easy to use website offers so much more than just a selling platform or a business card.
When you put the effort in, your website can be a valuable assistant and resource for your customers, clients, or audience.
It takes effort to maintain (here’s why that’s critical) but it’s worth it.
And good relationships mean good business
Maybe your site just allows people to find you on a map. Maybe it contains the whole archive of ten thousand blog posts for people to binge-read while they are waiting at the doctor’s office.
Your site could be a membership site, a forum, a matchmaking site for your industry, or simply an extension of your brand. There are many different configurations of websites, and most are unique to the business itself.
What is it worth to you to have a perpetual business card, online secretary, online library, marketing tool, brand extension and store? The answer will be as unique as your business, but it is worth investing some time to think about it.
If you’d like to talk about your website, get some help with maintenance, or just have a question, head to the contact page and let me know!