& What Does A Website Actually Do?
A website is one of (if not the most) important piece of digital real estate you will ever own. Yet, so many business founders do not understand what a website can actually do for you and your business. Think of your website as your very own digital home. It's an online space you own that can introduce your brand to your target consumers, and provide them with more product insights than anywhere else online.
In fact, a SurveyMonkey survey found that although 26% of consumers don't trust companies without a website, 45% of small businesses still don't have one. Better yet, more brands than not have websites that are outdated, unprofessional, slow-loading, and not mobile-friendly. These problems risk making your brand look suspicious and untrustworthy.
The truth is, a website is your online profile, and there isn't a consumer today that will trust a business without one. Here's what you need to know about getting started.
Websites are more than your first impression
More often than not, you only have about 3-7 seconds to make a solid impression on consumers. A perfectly designed and well-informed website is the key to giving the right first impression to your target audience online. It is not the only thing a website can do for you, though. It can also be a great place for you to direct your social media followers, persuade visitors, get across what you do, what you can offer, and why you're different.
This is important because consumers prioritise companies that share the same values as them, and your website can assure them that you do. In fact, Small Biz Trends reports that 71% of consumers prefer buying from companies aligned with their values. This is especially true for 50% of Generation Xers and 62% of the Millennial generation. For this reason, your website should fully represent you, your brand, your values, your personality, your tone of voice, your messaging, and your services & products, etc.
This way, your viewers can easily compare you against others more effectively — chances are your competitors (close or far) have a website. If you don't have one, you've already lost the comparison.
Think of your website as a warm welcome to the right audience
It can be a challenge figuring out what a website is supposed to do when you first begin your website designing journey. However, the most important advice you can receive early on is to think of it as a warm welcome to your audience. It's much like your storefront for the online platform — it needs to be inviting, attractive, and personalised to resonate with the right people. It can be all too easy to spend your time trying to appeal to everyone, but you must remember — only your target audience will be interested in your offer, so you only need to appeal to them.
So essentially, you want to make it a beautiful space that feels welcoming, warm, and inviting — and above all else — attracts and resonates with the right kind of visitors (i.e., your audience).
What your website must have to be successful
You now know how important it is for your website to be warm and inviting and represent your brand, but there are more tips to keep in mind for success. After all, these elements are important for keeping visitors on your page and converting them into customers. If you rewind just a bit, you'll need to recognise that you will also have to implement a good strategy for attracting visitors to your website, to begin with.
This includes getting more familiar with:
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) — most people go to search engines like Google to find products and services. In fact, Brafton reports that 89% of consumers use search engines for purchase decisions. This means that your website design and content should appeal to SEO to allow your brand to rank at the top during these queries.
- Mobile-friendly formats and structures — another important element is being mobile-friendly. Did you know that 57% of internet users say they won't recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile? This means you can lose out on those precious referrals that come with loyalty by slacking in mobile-friendly opportunities.
Social media call-to-action (CTA) — finally, direct your social media followers to your website to learn more about who your brand is and what it stands for. This way, they have a social platform for interacting and bonding with your brand and another professional platform for learning more.
From there, you can then focus on getting your visitors to behave a certain way… know they are in the right place... and you can solve their problems with your products or services.
A website helps you show up in Google search results
It is so important for Google to be able to find you easily. This is especially true since more than 3.5 billion searches per day are attributed to Google, meaning that your audience is actively looking to search engines for solutions to their problem — ideally you. A website, in particular, helps Google understand you, so it can better match your website to your future clients and customer search queries.
The biggest key to appearing in a Google search is to get your visitors to spend quality time on your website — click around & browse your multiple pages (go on an information search), read your blog, engage with your content, interact with your website features, complete your quiz, add to cart, sign up, download, fill in a form, etc.
The longer they stay on your site and journey through it, the better your visitor's experience will be and the better you will do on Google overall.
What you can do to get started
There are 3 categories a business founder falls under. Depending on where that is, there are some preferred ways to get started with your website. Here's what you can do, depending on what category relates to you:
I'm a little bit tech-savvy
If you're a business founder who is a little tech-savvy and bold enough to do it on your own, we have two great options for you moving forward. It can be a challenge taking on a new area of marketing that involves so much special care and attention to be successful. Fortunately, you can get started by learning more about DIY-ing your website by attending our self-paced workshops and reading our blog on choosing the best website platform.
I am not tech-savvy
If you're not tech-savvy and you cannot afford to pay a professional to build your site from scratch, there is an option for you, too. Making a new website doesn't have to be out of the helm of affordability, and it isn't when you take advantage of using our Website Workshops in combination with our Workshop Helping Hands services. Basically, we can help guide you on the easy tasks (the things you can do yourself), while you leave the complicated tech and strategy to us (your helping hands).
I do not have the spare time to DIY my website
For business founders who don't have the time to DIY their websites, there's always an option for you too. If you need a professional to do it all (including write your copy), view our done-for-you-website builds. Here, Marketing Your Brand can build your website from the ground up while you focus on more important operational matters.