"Why do I need a website?" - Here is 10 reasons why...

18 replies
I was browsing the offline forum and I came across a couple of threads talking about why a business would need a website. I want to list some ideas to help those who hear this question and don't know how to answer it when they approach a business without a website.

You need a website...

1. To be found.
This is the first and main reason of having a website. While doing a local search for a product/service, if I can't find you online, chances are I will not even know that you exist, hence I will visit some other business with a website.

More and more people are starting to use the internet for finding a local business and if you are not there, you will not be found.

2. To get more customers.
As I said above, in today's world people are not simply going out and looking for products and services as they were doing 20 years ago. Now, they do some research on the web, check information, read reviews etc. to decide on a business to buy things or to work with. Those who don't have a website will miss these customers.

3. To beat the offline competition.
In my country, we have a very large number of smaller businesses and they are densely located. It is not uncommon to see five of the same type of business on the same street in a 300m range and I am not talking about the city centers. Although this introduces competition and provides diversity for the consumers, it is clear that most of them will never be able to grow their businesses and they will be at the same point 20 years from now just like they were 20 years ago.

Now, what would I do to grow my business if I was one of those five businesses (same niche) on the same street? Since the number of people passing through that street will be always the same for all that businesses, I would try creating another path to my place, in this case an online path. I would create an online presence, starting with a website, and start engaging with my customers through a channel that other businesses are not using.

In the last couple of years, I have been seeing more of such businesses placing a website address on their signboards and believe me if you were to see their place and what their business is, even you, as a marketer, would say that "they really don't need a website because they are so small and their business can gain nothing from a website". But they are getting a website because they want to stand out of the crowd and beat the competition. They are definitely doing the right thing.

4. To beat the online competition.
As much as there is offline competition, there is also online competition for any type of business. The ones who started early to invest into the online world are now getting the results. Some businesses might think that listing their business on a hundred directories, or having a Facebook page, or having some reviews on Google Places will be enough to market their business. This is a big misassumption.

When I search for a product/service, I always eliminate businesses with no websites. Because I know that I can find more info on a website than a listing or profile page. Not every customer may think the way I think but I guess the majority will do.

5. To look like a real business.
People want to see and touch things before they buy it. Before they go to a store, they search the internet to collect some ideas. When you present yourself via a website and provide visible, readable info about yourself they will know you are real and you exist there.

6. To look professional.
We all know that a domain name costs less than $10 a year, you can get hosting for $5 a month and you can create a decent site with a free template in a couple of hours. However, people on the street, the customers, have no idea about this and they probably think that having a website is something expensive. So, when they see a business with a website they think that this is a professional business and they are taking things seriously.

7. To provide info about your products and services.
People spend more time on the internet checking information about products and services than visiting businesses and asking them face to face. With a website, you can display all the important information about your business and products/services and you can update or change that info anytime you want.

8. To use time effectively.
While your customers are visiting your website and learning more about you, you will not be spending any of your precious time. When a customer finds your website on the internet and checks the details about your service, he/she will either move to another business or will come to you. Either case, the total amount of time you will need to spend on that person will be a lot less. Because if that person moves to another business, it will cost you zero time and if that person comes to you, he/she will already have learned the basics from your website.

9. To connect with your customers.
There are a lot of things you can do on your site to connect and interact with your customers. A blog, a forum, a newsletter, videos, polls and so on. The more channels you use, the more you will get connected to your customers. By doing so, you can educate them and you can show that you care about them.

10. To market your business even more.
Although what you will be doing is basically marketing your business, your website should be what you are really advertising so that people will visit it again and again to get updates about new products and services. You can advertise your site in a lot of ways including Google Adwords.

I hope this will give you some ideas and help you answer your clients' questions in a better way.
#reasons #why do i need a website
  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    This is a much needed thread! Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author bhuff85
    Great post!

    Another reason I'd like to add to the list why business owners should have a website - to keep them in control.

    Relying on other web properties (i.e. a Facebook page) may seem well and fine now, but what happens if they are gone tomorrow? Just like that, your web presence is eliminated and there is nothing you can do about it.

    Other web properties should be used to enhance your presence and help build your brand, but definitely shouldn't be the only methods used. You would be surprised at how many business owners don't realize that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edman15
    Well explained. My all business information available in my website that make me more professional.
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  • Profile picture of the author panduari
    great post, thanks Nail Yener
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  • Profile picture of the author TimGreen1
    Hey thanks for this, I will definitely take note.
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    • Profile picture of the author fauche65
      We have had this on our website for over 4 years:

      10 Reasons Why Every Business MUST Have a Website

      How often do you catch yourself saying, "No, I don't have a website: I've been meaning to", or "I don't need a website, my business is doing just fine without it"?

      Did you know that 84% of all households that have a computer admit to doing research and comparisons of products and services online before making purchases? No?

      Now you do!

      If you've ever thought about how your business could benefit from a website but still haven't made the leap online...here are 10 essential reasons why EVERY Business absolutely has to have a website!

      1. Your business prospects assume you have one. These days consumers expect businesses that are serious about doing business are showcasing themselves on the web. A website is a convenient, often interactive source of product information, business hours, contact information and more. A website demonstrates credibility and builds trust between you and your prospects.

      2. Your competition hopes you don't have one. In a tight market a website really makes a difference. Think about it: When a prospect has the choice between your one-dimensional yellow page ad and a website that allows them to compare products, services, rates, customers, features, and everything else you have tyo offer, who are they more likely to choose? A website attracts online shoppers that are increasingly tuning out offline media- a market that you could be leaving entirely to your competitors if you don't have one.

      3. Improve your professional image. Even if you're a one-man shop, a small office of three, or a company of 100+ employees, a website can make you look like a large, professional operation.

      4. Generate Sales leads. A website can be an excellent source of your own exclusive leads. And we're not just talking about people who check out your site and give you a call. When your website is enhanced with a great internet marketing solution, online shoppers will want to contact you and give you their information. Make sure that your products and services are front and center.

      5. Expand your market. Don't limit your market to your local region, your city/town, your state/province, or even your Country. A website is integral to reaching the widest possible audience. It doesn't matter where your prospects live anymore. You can communicate with them instantly via the Internet, with your website serving as a virtual office complete with proposals, brochures, product spec sheets, applications, etc.

      6. Less phone time educating prospects. A lot of a company's time can be spent on the phone, going over product and service information with business prospects. A website that provides prospects with the proper information means the less time you have to spend educating, and the closer your prospects will be to buying when you talk to them.

      7. 24/7 office. When you have a website, you never has to shut down for lunch breaks, evenings or weekends. Online shoppers do their searching at all hours of the day. If you've got a website, prospects can view important company information whenever they want.

      8. Save paperwork. A website lets prospects browse company information immediately, when their interest is highest. Plus, downloadable brochures and collateral are the fastest way to get information in a prospect's hands.

      9. It sells for you. One of the most convenient features of a fully interactive website is that your prospects can find your information/services/products 24-7. They can do their market research, and make a decision to contact you immediately to make a purchase, if not purchase an item or service directly off your website. No human interaction needed.

      10. It's affordable. A great website doesn't cost an arm and a leg anymore. You can get a website that integrates tons of features that your customers and prospects will love. If your website makes you just one extra sale a month it pays for itself.

      The bottom line: If you want an easier, faster way for you and your customers to send and receive information, then you've got to get a website.
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      • Profile picture of the author fauche65
        The above post also goes well with this one:

        Top 10 Reasons You Need a Web Design Company Today

        If you are designing your website, you may be spending lots of time uploading content, images, and web pages. You likely already appreciate how difficult it is to build a great website. If you want a website because you want to express your creativity, spending weeks on your site may be fine. However, if you want your website to go live because you have a message to share or a business to promote, you need to hire a web design company today because:

        1. A web design company can lend you credibility. Having a professionally designed website shows that you are a professional, and not just some fly by night entity. Customers who see a professionally built website are more likely to believe that you will deliver on your promises.

        2. A web design company can provide you with professionalism. No one wants to do business with a company that is slack, unprofessional, and has poor customer service. However, a badly designed website shows a lack of professionalism and may convince potential customers that you care as little about them as you care about your company. With a great website, customers may be more confident that you have an image to uphold and will act accordingly.

        3. A web design company can mean added security for your visitors. If you have a poorly designed website, why should customers believe that you have taken any pains with security or their online safety?

        4. A web design company can mean a better looking website. Professionals know what looks fabulous. Designing your website yourself or taking it to the professionals is a little like the difference between letting your Aunt Mildred decorate your home with crochet kitties or letting a professional interior designer redo your living space - which result do you think will make a better impression?

        5. A web design company can mean better content. Web professionals hire professional copywriters, artists, and even photographers so that every aspect of your website is superlative.

        6. A web design company can lead to more traffic. Many firms today offer marketing services that ensure that your shiny new website gets plenty of traffic.

        7. A web design company can mean better search engine rankings. Design firms can optimize your website so that your website appears near the top of search engine listings.

        8. A web design company can save you money. Every minute that you are putting into your website is time you are not spending on making a profit. When you hire a design firm, you go on making money while the website is built.

        9. A web design company can mean less downtime. If you try to design your site yourself, broken links, mysteriously disappearing navigation bars and blank pages may plague your site, making it unusable. A professional company tests and retests your site and even finds you a reliable host to ensure that you don't lose any time due to a non-functioning site.

        If you are looking for a quality web design company that will mean more return visitors and more profits, turn to Ciplex today. California-based Ciplex places equal weight on beauty and functionality, so you get a great looking website that really gets you results.
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        • Profile picture of the author fauche65
          And last, but certainly not least:

          Correctly Setting your Web Design and Internet Marketing Budget

          I would like to thank Ian Lurie for some of these. The remainder of them, I have developed over the years of dealing with people that have seriously unrealistic expectations of what technology, and the time it takes to set it up and use it, really cost.

          Designing your online presence
          1. If you want a site built by a single untrained individual who 'learned how to use Dreamweaver', expect to spend less than $2000. Also, expect to build a new site within 3 months.
          2. Just because you found someone that can use a template on Joomla, Drupal, or Xoops, don't assume they know anything about web design.
          3. If you want a site built by a 5-10 person, boutique-style agency, expect to spend, at an absolute minimum, $10,000. These are experts, and they deserve to be paid as experts.
          4. If you find a 5-10 person, boutique-style agency that'll build you a site for $2000 or less, expect something that looks like they had a sneezing fit during the design phase.
          5. If you're spending $250,000 to build your product and get it to market, don't tell me you can't spend $15,000 to give it a decent web site, unless you want to watch my eyes bug out like I've been suddenly depressurized.
          6. E-Commerce is not just adding a "buy now" button to your site and sending people to PayPal.
          7. Databases are not "Plug and Play". A lot of thought, planning and work go into function, design, reporting, etc.
          8. Reliable hosting costs more than $9.95 a month.
          9. All dedicated servers ARE NOT equal.

          Internet Marketing
          1. If you're building a new site, expect to spend 2X that amount again in the year after the site launches. Unless you want it to sit there, all alone, with no traffic.
          2. Paying for a listing in the Online Yellow Pages IS NOT Internet Marketing. You might as well have a bonfire with your money.
          3. If you expect to get a #1 ranking on Google for $99, you're insane.
          4. If you hire a smart individual with a proven track record to optimize your site for search engines, expect to pay at least $5000, one time. Unless they're your friend, or they're willing to work hourly.
          5. If you hire a big agency with all sorts of fancy tools, an army of copywriters and other expertise for search engine optimization, expect to pay, at an absolute minimum, $50,000 for a one-year engagement.
          6. If you want to double your sales this year, you are going to have to pay more than $1000 to do it.

          We are sure you've heard the old addage - "You get what you pay for". Well it also applies to all of the services we provide. Pay for quality, you won't regret it.
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  • If anyone even has to ask themselves if I need a website they're in the wrong industry lol. This is 2012 and everyone is on Google, if you're not showing up there you're just losing out on some money, simple as that.
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    • Profile picture of the author fauche65
      Originally Posted by TheBacklinkProdigy View Post

      If anyone even has to ask themselves if I need a website they're in the wrong industry lol. This is 2012 and everyone is on Google, if you're not showing up there you're just losing out on some money, simple as that.
      But you will be astonished at how many companies don't. And what's worse, is if you have a site that hasn't been updated since 2005. I found 4 today already.
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  • Profile picture of the author Puta
    All great reasons. It amazes me at how many offlines businesses can't see the value in going online.
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  • Profile picture of the author henry Argueta
    thanks for the post..
    but im not sure telling a business that they need a website to look like a real business is a good idea is it?
    lol i mean wouldnt they get offended?
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    • Profile picture of the author fauche65
      Originally Posted by henry Argueta View Post

      thanks for the post..
      but im not sure telling a business that they need a website to look like a real business is a good idea is it?
      lol i mean wouldnt they get offended?
      Don't tell them. Show them. Show them a business in the same industry with a great website, and how that website draws more customers. You will not need to sell anything.

      When I am consulting with a client, I have 4 sites that I show every one of them. It's a before and after. I usually close 50-60% of them after that initial consult. The rest, I usually cannot work with because of price constraints.
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  • Profile picture of the author EnzoBlaque
    Good points.

    Regardless of whether you operate in the Offline space or not, when it comes down to it you are still an internet marketer..

    an internet marketer without his own website - very contradictory
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Another reason to have one is to not "miss" potential customers.

    Many bsuinesses close in the evening hours, because they dont get enough biz to justify paying a staff all night, and so they risk losing that one sale here or there that DOES come through in the eve...

    Having a website enables their business to stay open after hours for those potential customers.

    It also enables therm to provide updated info about special deals to their current customers... making it easier for them to create spikes when they have sales and things... because, particularly if they have an optin form for visitors, when they are having a sale they will always know how to reach their market all in one shot.

    There are many more benefits than mere "traffic".

    Thats why this thread is important, so people will have someplace to go beyond the "traffic" selling point.... its important because you will not be able to produce a ton of traffic for every customer.... I gave the example before but try blowing up a catfish house in Dover Arkansas with search engine traffic....aint gonna happen, but that guy still wants a website.

    You have to have more than one reason for them to buy in your arsenal.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
      Originally Posted by bhuff85 View Post

      Another reason I'd like to add to the list why business owners should have a website - to keep them in control.
      That's a good point, thanks for bringing it up. I wouldn't invest all my money and effort on third party sites/pages/profiles where I have no full control and nobody can be sure they will be around 5 years from now.

      Originally Posted by fauche65 View Post

      We have had this on our website for over 4 years
      Thanks for adding your points.

      Originally Posted by TheBacklinkProdigy View Post

      If anyone even has to ask themselves if I need a website they're in the wrong industry lol. This is 2012 and everyone is on Google, if you're not showing up there you're just losing out on some money, simple as that.
      Originally Posted by Puta View Post

      All great reasons. It amazes me at how many offlines businesses can't see the value in going online.
      What seems so simple to us may not seem as simple to business owners. That's why we still hear this question and I tried to give some reasons to those who need some justification.

      Originally Posted by EnzoBlaque View Post

      an internet marketer without his own website - very contradictory
      I am not sure if you are addressing me but yes I have my own sites both in IM niche and other niches.

      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Another reason to have one is to not "miss" potential customers.
      Good one John, thanks for adding.
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  • Profile picture of the author alfid
    This is what I really need. This is a great list of the purposes of a website. It is worthy of many thanks-one by me at least. LOL
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