There are still people wondering whether their business really needs a website. Or they say: we do not have a business, but a not-for-profit organization: should we have a website? Definitely! I could easily come up with many reasons why you need a website:
- Promote Your Products
A website allows you to showcase your products for everyone to see. You can explain the benefits, compare it with other products, or show testimonials of happy customers that already bought the product.
- Promote Your Services
It is hard to showcase services in a store, or office. The web allows you to introduce the service, the professionals providing the service, and how several services can complement each other.
- Promote Your Organization
People buy from people. People support organizations and causes that they believe in. A website is a fantastic tool to promote an organization and build trust – that is, if you do it right… A well-developed website can convey trust and credibility, making people to buy from you, or support you.
- Promote Yourself
Whether you are a professional looking for a job, or an expert in your industry: you can show that to the whole world by having a comprehensive website. The use of an associated email address also increases perceived professionalism: a letter from someone at me-the-expert.com will certainly open more doors than an email from a hotmail account.
- Sell Your Events
Want to take it a step further? You may even want to consider selling (or pre-ordering) tickets for your events on a website. Shorter line-ups, less expenses: it sounds like a good idea to me…
- Sell Your Services
A website can be a great tool to not only promote, but also actually sell your services. You can automate many repetitive tasks, such as registration, billing, collecting and much more. Whether you are selling phone services or speaking engagements: you can effectively do it with a website.
- Sell Your Products
A few years ago, after all the dot-boms, people lost faith in e-commerce. Now e-commerce is booming. Gift moments like Christmas and Valentine’s Day show record sales numbers, and money-guzzling giants like Amazon are starting to make money. Offering a great user-experience and minding usability is the key to success.
- Improve Branding
Branding is a way to differentiate your product, service or company from its competition, and create loyalty. The content of a website, its style and tools such as newsletters allow for many ways to differentiate yourself, make the visitor feel good about you, and build loyalty. More worrisome: if you do not do this, a competitor may snatch not only your prospects sales, but also their loyalty away from you with their website! Eat, or be eaten!
- Reach A National Market
Political campaigns are just one example where websites are being used to service a National audience. Offering a National specific version of your product, such as Tylenol.ca, is another one. This allows you to offer information about specific national tax and delivery charges, or appeal to National pride.
- Reach An International Market
If you target specific International markets it may be highly effective to design dedicated websites for them. By targeting your US customers on a “,com” site while servicing your Canadian clients with a “.ca” site you are able to cater to the specific needs and expectations. It allows you to avoid confusion by separating different currencies, taxes, fees and prices onto different websites. You may even want to consider offering websites in different languages, such as a specialized “.nl” website, in Dutch, for your loyal customers in The Netherlands.
Online education can be very effective; more and more people are taking courses over the Internet. If you provide workshops, or complete courses, you may consider offering them online too.
- Update Information Quickly
Catalogs have been around for a long time, and they still prove to be successful. Newspapers are still a popular way to find out what is going on in the world. They have one major disadvantage, though: you cannot update them very quickly. A website, however, allows you to make changes almost instantly.
- Promote Your Ideas
Political campaigns are now all over the web. A website can be a powerful way to promote your ideas, and build a following of like-minded people. Or you can just write online journals (“blogs”) to ventilate some of your thoughts and concerns.
- Build A Community
Want to be perceived as a leader? Want people talking about you, or provide a platform for people to share ideas and ideologies? A website, especially with a forum or bulletinboard, can be a great help in building an online community. It may even be the cement that keeps an offline community together, because of its empowering character and 24/7 availability.