In recent years, many new businesses rely on social media networks to build their online presence. In 2021, it’s predicted that 91.9 percent of companies use social media for marketing purposes.
Also, social media has become a marketplace of its own. For instance, a clothing line business owner would open an Instagram page where they will post photos of their products, along with their details. An interested party only needs to send a private message to place an order, send the payment, and then receive their items through the mail.
But in a highly competitive e-commerce industry, relying on social media alone isn’t enough. A business also needs a website. But not every business has one.
One of the reasons is cost. While a website is not too expensive, a business still needs to invest money into buying a domain for its website and design. Also, for small business owners, building a website can be difficult and take time if they don’t have experience. They can hire someone to do it, but that means spending more on the website.
There are free website builders with drag-and-drop elements that they can use. Though it will take some time to build a site, in which case a small business would rather continue using its social media accounts.
Despite these reasons, a business should still build a website based on its benefits.
Boost Online Visibility
Social media alone won’t build a business’s online presence. If properly optimized, a website can help the business rank well in search results. This gives businesses more visibility to their target market so that they can attract customers.
Say a B2B company that provides IT services and assistance made a website. It will include blog posts about topics related to the company’s products. For example, there can be a post about the importance of network security measures such as Fortinet’s hybrid firewall in data protection. The B2B company will use related keywords to increase its chance of appearing on the first page of related search results.
A website can make a business appear more credible. A 2015 survey found that 84% of consumers trust businesses with websites.
Customers will see the business as “serious” since it has invested in a website. Also, with a website domain, the business can also have email hosting. Having an email with the business name, instead of the generic “gmail.com” or “yahoo.com,” will give the business a more trustworthy image.
Improve Brand Identity
A website can serve as the information central hub of a business. The website will consist of its story, goals, mission and vision statements, and other information for consumers to get to know the business. It can provide details about its previous and current clients or customers, which can further add credibility to the business.
And with all these pieces of information, the business can improve its brand identity. Through the website, the target market will understand what the business is about and whether it aligns with its values. If done correctly, the website will help the business become more memorable.
A website is a great tool to increase sales as well. An e-commerce website is a perfect example. Customers can place their orders and pay within the website itself. This convenience will encourage customers to proceed with their transactions.
Also, every activity on the website can be tracked. A business owner will see which pages have the most visits, where customers usually stay for a long period, and so on. The owner can use this information to optimize the website and persuade visitors to proceed with orders.
For example, say a small business built an e-commerce site where they sell fountain pens, inks, and other related products. Through website trackers, the business will see which products are most visited and have the most purchases. So the business can create a new page that features the most popular products. This page can make customers keep coming back and eventually purchase something.
Increase Content for Repurposing
While a website plays a huge role in brand identity and sales, it can also help in content marketing. The contents of the website can be repurposed into social media posts that will further improve a business’s visibility online. For instance, notable passages from blog posts can be turned into a graphic to be posted on Facebook or Instagram to increase customer engagement.
Creating a website takes time and money. But in the end, it’s a worthy investment that will be very helpful in driving small businesses forward.