Company Website - Necessity or Extravagance?
It is often difficult for a small company to justify the costs of website design, SEO or maintenance. There are all sorts of arguments that can be levied against spending money on a website. Some of these are for example that a lot of B2B purchase decisions are not really made through vendors found on the internet, but through face-to-face contact, sales reps or existing vendor-supplier relationships as well as the ubiquitous 'network'.
However, there are actually some very compelling reasons for all companies, no matter what their size, to spend attention on their website and keeping it alive, fully responsive across all devices and up-to-date.
Having a website is actually not something that's 'nice-to-have' or a 'luxury', or even just case of 'having a presence' or keeping up with the proverbial Jones's. In today's fast-moving and every-changing online world, it is an absolute necessity.
Let's look at some good reasons why a company, should have a website:
1. Building trust
This is a very good reason for a company to have a website. Your website in this case forms part of your branding in the first place, and through the content and imagery that you publish on the site, conveys a certain message with regards to who you are and what services you offer. If you don't have a website, or if your website is badly designed, your potential customers will definitely have doubts about your standing, stature and trustworthiness. After all, which company these days do NOT have a website?2. Generating leads
We have already said that most vendor selection decisions are not based on directly finding a supplier on the Internet, however, you can be certain that the people responsible for vendor selection (especially when looking into new products) might do a quick Google search to look at potential suppliers. If you don't show up on a Google search but your competitor does, you can guess what will probably happen. Your competitor(s) may end up getting all the business.3. Improve your services
You can use your website to improve your services. Use the interactive mechanisms on your website to run surveys and get feedback. Find out what your customers are thinking or if they have special requirements that you could easily supply. By staying in touch with your clients and interacting with them you can greatly improve the quality of your service and the overall customer satisfaction. Not to mention selling more products or services.4. Advertise your services and products
If you are looking for cost effective advertising, look no further than a website that is well designed. It can convey much more information than print advertising, such as a company brochure. Also, the information that you publish online can always be kept fresh and up-to-date without costing an arm and a leg. Considering the costs of print advertising, and compare this with the costs of online advertising and running a website and using the power of social media, there is no comparison.5. Improve your communication
Communicate with your existing and potential clients through your website by making use of mailing lists and newsletters and social media. You can notify clients of new product releases, special offers and general news of the company. All of these contribute to building relationships and generating more business from existing clients.
Yes, it is sometimes difficult to justify the ROI of a corporate website, since it is more difficult to directly track the relationship between website design costs and customer conversions, but really - can your company afford to be without one?
If you want to gain more customers and improve your bottom line it is absolutely essential to have a website.