Why your business needs a website

You see them everywhere – on billboards, on everyone’s business cards, even on the sides of delivery vans. What are they? Website addresses! It’s almost as if you can’t do business without one.

But it’s like your mother used to tell you: just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to. For your website to have maximum impact, you have to be clear on what you expect it to do for your business.

Three ways your business benefits from a well-written website

While every business is unique, many use websites in similar ways. Before you engage a copywriter (like me) and a web designer to develop your business’s website, take a few
minutes to write down what you want a website to do for your business.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

A great website boosts your visibility and credibility. For a relatively small up-front investment (compared to hard-copy marketing materials or advertising), a well-designed and well-written website immediately communicates a high level of professionalism. But a cheap hack job of a website makes you look amateurish and can actually drive away business.

If you want your website to attract new business, it pays to plan your website carefully with the help of skilled professionals, including copywriters and web designers. It’s a good investment.

A great website gets you more referrals. If you’re got one or more referral sources – ideally, people in related businesses who see your target market on a regular basis – you may be reaping the benefits of high-level networking. But how accurately do they really represent your business?

Give those referral sources a comprehensive go-to place to refer serious prospects for more information (after they’ve praised you profusely, of course). Make your referral source’s job easier, and you’ll get more referral business.

A great website shortens the sales cycle. How many times have you spoken to a sales prospect and been asked, “Have you got any materials you can send me on that?”

Yes, sometimes it’s a stall tactic. But often it’s the start of the presentation phase of the sales cycle. Having work samples, white papers, testimonials, and other tangible results of your work available online keeps you from having to snail mail these materials out.
(And with postage rates going up periodically, putting up your website now will save you even more money!)

Just give those prospects a link to the relevant pages on yourwebsite. That way, you can follow up with them within a day or two while their interest is still high (and their memory hasn’t faded).

And who knows? If your website is well-written enough, maybe you’ll hear those magic words during your follow-up call: “When can you start?”

Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of benefits from a great website. And you’ll no doubt come up with ideas that are unique to your own business.

But careful planning up front will help ensure your new website is a hard-working piece of your overall marketing plan, not a haphazard waste of your precious marketing dollars.

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