"So, why do you want a website for your small business?"
"Well, my competitors have one and I just need to have something there."
"Have you thought about how a new website might improve your business?"
"No, not really. How can having a website help my business?"
Gone are the days when having a website (any website) made you stand out from your competitors. Being able to search for a business and find a valuable, easy to use website is fast becoming an expected norm for potential customers who are looking for your product or service. Every business will use their website a little differently, but let's discuss some of the key ways that having a professionally designed and developed website can help your small business to grow.
If you're a small business, chances are that you have other businesses competing within the same market. Business owners know that one of the ways to attract as many customers as possible is to have a well established identity and brand that people recognise and relate to when thinking of their product or service. For instance, if I say "Fast Food" you might instantly think of "McDonalds", and if I say "Airline" you might think "Qantas" before anything else. As well as being a great way to highlight your business's branding material (logo, colours etc) a small business website is also a powerful tool for helping potential customers to get to know your business and what working with you is going to be like. Helping potential customers to begin building a relationship with your business will go a long way to keeping your business top of mind when they are ready to make a buying decision.
Professional web design is the perfect tool to strengthen your business profile. By providing information about your business, it's history and the people they'll be dealing with you're already beginning to build trust between the business and its clientele. Combining this with a strong identity and branding will help to establish your business as the most credible and reliable option for a potential customer when they are ready to act.
Typically, a high priority goal for a Darwin small business website is to generate enquiries from potential customers. This is why establishing a strong identity, profile and providing valuable information on your website is so important. Beyond that, the website should make it as easy as possible for potential customers to take that next step and contact your business. This is where a Call To Action (CTA) is so important. A CTA is the what a small business website is trying to have your website visitors engage in. A website can have multiple Calls to Action, here are a few:
- Phone number
- Street address
- Contact form
- Check out process for purchasing a product online
If your website has provided the right information, is easy to use and has built enough trust a strong, and clear, Call To Action is the next step a potential customer will take.
A small business website can also help to improve the efficiency of day-to-day tasks. For instance, if you find that your staff are constantly answering the same set of questions from customers it makes sense to provide answers to those questions, usually in a "Frequently Asked Questions" section on the website. Not only will this save your staff time, it will also enhance customer trust by providing valuable information. Of course, each business works a little differently and their website will be able to improve workflows in ways that suit how an individual business is run.
Taking customer support into account when designing and structuring a small business website is a great way to provide valuable, and useful, information to answer client questions while not placing strain on business resources (such as extra staff etc). For most small businesses providing support might be as simple as having a well structured and regularly updated "Frequently Asked Questions" section on the website, and/or the ability to complete a support form that sends their questions the correct staff member for follow up. Whatever scale of support your business website provides it is important that it is kept up to date with useful information and that there is always a way to contact your business directly to speak with a real person.
We've explored a few of the ways that having a professionally designed and developed website can help a Darwin small business. With people now utilising the web to search for, and qualify, businesses before contacting them it is clear that a website is one of the most powerful marketing tools that your business can harness to build trust, attract new customers and maintain relationships with existing clients.