No one can disagree that in today’s web-oriented world, having a website is a ‘must’ for every business regardless of its size. This statement is underpinned by multiple surveys about users’ purchasing behaviours, statistics concerning the evolution of online shopping, marketing and sales researches. In 2017, a survey conducted by the E-commerce Foundation showed that 88% of US consumers were doing internet exploration before buying in the store. Also, 75% of Internet users used devices with different screen sizes for their online purchases. These insights are showing that consumers have already adopted a robust omnichannel approach to their purchasing habits and websites are at the heart of these changes.
Although there is strong evidence of the vital importance of owning a website, the research conducted by the Clutch research firm in 2018 has produced some surprising evidence, shown in the infographic below.
The rest of the article will look at the multi-level contribution and the positive impact that website can offer to any company.
Through the following paragraphs, we will try to show you some of the beneficial effects, that a website can produce in different areas and departments of a business.
The website is the point of reference for the online presence of any business. It serves every aspect of a marketing initiative or campaign. The corporate site is the place that marketers want to lead and finally convert users, driving them through any marketing channel from social media and blogging to PPC and SEO. It is the point that eventually everything will be done, business awareness, lead nurturing and conversions. The overall purpose/goal of the site is to become the place that the entire content of a business lives and users who reach it, should be able to find any kind of information or possible help they want from a business.
The primary objective of each business is the continuous increase in revenue and profits. A website can undoubtedly play a key role in this. Having a site is a good way for any company to reach out to a broader audience, but this is not a guarantee for better profits. Maximising profits requires – qualified leads. However, it is not impossible, as the company can support the lead generation process of the site by applying the right search engine optimisation and developing the right content.
Except for increasing sales opportunities through a more extensive targeting, a website can also enhance the selling abilities of a company in two ways:
– Availability: The site enables the company to engage and inform users about its unique value proposition on a 24/7 basis, offering ongoing and uninterrupted interaction.
– Convenience: The customer always appreciates the companies/vendors who make their lives easy. Creating a site through which users can quickly and easily complete their work can maximise conversions and profits.
– Expansion Abroad: In the unified marketspace, a company under the right conditions has the opportunity to expand beyond the boundaries of its physic market and a site is the vehicle for this expansion.
Not following the market’s norm of a website’s ownership, a company transmits a sense of mistrust to consumers. Through this absence, it is possible for customers to form the belief that the products or services offered are not worth enough. Also, the company loses potential leads and customers, as it is absent from the first stage (awareness) of the buyers’ journey.
Also, an intuitive and helpful website that explains the mission, values and proposition of the brand’s products/services strengthens consumer confidence. On site placement of reviews and testimonials, is also a very effective way to increase confidence levels and conversion rates. Finally, a website on its own is useless. Content is always the king and creating unique, useful and personalised content for visitors is the ultimate way for a company to increase the overall loyalty and credibility and therefore retention rates and profits.
One of the essential elements, making websites valuable assets for businesses, is the opportunity to collect vast amounts of data either from unique visitors or from loyal customers. The information derived from this data can be used in any potential area, from web design improvement and marketing/sales campaigns to NPD (new product development process). Data collection is the most valuable service a site has to offer to a company, as acquired intelligence allows the company to maximise the effectiveness of its actions and gain a competitive advantage.
Now that we have analysed the positive impact a site may have on an enterprise, we will shortly describe the key areas that can guarantee its effectiveness and success in the following areas. So of course, we promise to look at these areas in more detail in later articles.
– Selecting the right CMS (Content Management System): There is a wide variety of website building services and software to choose from.
– UX Design: A website has to offer an uninterrupted and useful experience to the users. UX is the key element that defines a site’s success.
– UX Research: It is crucial for a company to know the expectations, needs and demands of its audience to proceed with an effective UX design.
– Content: A website without the right content is useless. Each company has to create useful and unique content that will meet the needs of its targeted audience. It is essential to be consistent with the selected tone and voice of the brand.
– Storytelling: It belongs to the broader content marketing domain. Using multiple channels and tools like videos, images and so on, it is vital for brands to communicate their stories, values and missions to their audience. Of course, storytelling is not constrained on the website, but as we said before the site is the referencing point of every marketing/advertising effort.
– Data: Running a site is a continuous process. Measuring and analysing its effectiveness and how users interact with it and with a brand as a whole is vital. Businesses can use a plethora of plugin, online and offline analytical tools for these purposes. Google Analytics and Google’s Search Console are two of the most important.
Through this article, we saw how a website can help different parts of a business and how it can help a business grow. We also presented the key requirements for its success. Each company must make its decisions about ownership of a website, but in our minds, there is no doubt that running a site is a must.