Why you need a website according to Business New Zealand.
A website can be your shop window, retail outlet, information centre and marketing tool. It is available 24 hours a day to customers around the world. No business, whether you are part-time, self-employed, a start-up or you have a large staff, can afford to be without a digital presence.
Think about why you want a website. To keep costs down, your site should only do what you need it to. Ask yourself if your business is:
- local or national
- national or international
- in retail or a service provider?
Also, think about the people you are selling to. Ask yourself:
- Who are my ideal customers?
- What will customers want from my website — to make contact, find out more about products or services, buy something?
The answers will help you work out what you want your website for, including:
- marketing your products or services
- generating sales leads
- selling products or services
- telling people outside your area or country about you and your business.
Having an up-to-date website is essential for modern businesses. Did you know?
- 75% of users judge the credibility of a business based on the design of its website, according to research from Stanford.
- As of January 2018, around three-quarters of people in New Zealand aged between 16 and 64 had recently searched for a product or service to buy online, according to Statista, The Statistics Portal.
- Consumers feel that companies with brand-specific email addresses are more likely to be professional, credible, responsible, and trustworthy, research by Colmar Brunton shows.
- The majority of internet searches come from mobile devices, even if a desktop device is available, according to Google.
Your first website doesn’t need to be expensive. If you’re self-employed or a small business, you may only need a simple, clear and attractive homepage to start with. Several online services offer free and low-cost templates ideal for a site with just a few pages of information and images.
As you grow, you’ll want your website to grow too. When it’s time to build a new site, eg one that can take orders or requests for quotes, get a professional developer and designer involved. Before they start work, be clear about what you need the site to do and how much you can spend.
Whatever the size of your site, there are rules it pays to follow. Your customers and search engines will thank you for it.
Keep all information up to date.
- Add new content regularly to keep the site fresh — search engines like Google rank sites better that do this.
- Make content useful — not everything should be an advertisement for your business.
- Use good quality images of what you do and sell — avoid generic stock photos.
- Keep words to a minimum and use them wisely — it may be worth paying a professional writer.
Last but not least, put important information — like your contact details — in an obvious place.
If you offer after-hours services, eg for plumbing emergencies or IT support, include a call-out number on your homepage.