The New Playing Field
Unfortunately, we can’t talk about finances and business without mentioning COVID-19, as it has had a global impact on the way business is done. With many businesses having employee’s working from home and people connecting globally via the internet more than ever before, the shift to utilizing efficient and convenient online technologies has accelerated at an incredible rate. Companies are allowing their employees to work from home even after the pandemic is over as they’ve found efficiency in doing so, such as not having to pay for building space they thought was critical to how business was done.
This has also caused a lot of companies that weren’t relying heavily on their online presence to put their marketing dollars into their websites and online marketing strategies. With studies showing that more than 2 in 3 individuals visit a service providers website as part of their decision-making process, the push to get online and the competition has increased many times over.
This means that if you’re doing business and you haven’t taken the step to get your online presence such as your website where it should be, you’re letting the competition get a significant leg up on you.
The upside to this is once you make this investment, your website will do your selling for you 24/7/365. The important part is to do it the right way. As we talk about extensively at JBMD Creations for website design in Michigan, a website is more than just looking pretty. It is there to generate more sales for your business and there is a method to doing that.
A lot of business owners aren’t aware of this potential advantage of website design. It is still a common misconception that you just need a page and domain on the internet with your services and contact information, and that hopefully it looks semi-decent, so you look good yourself. There is an enormous power to having the right headlines, the right pictures, fast loading times and the right layout so visitors get the information that helps them build the most amount of trust in your business as possible and to know the exact steps to take to get ahold of you. You want the user experience to be as smooth and resistance free as possible.
We’re literally talking about the experience the visitor has when they land on the website. What they feel, what is bolded, large, and highlighted so it catches their attention first. How the pictures you have, the ones you’ve chosen as your best representation of your business, makes them feel. If you aren’t putting effort into a basic fundamental of business, they may wonder what else isn’t up to par. In 2007 it was well established that the quality of how the website looked wasn’t important, they were just there to gather information. That era is long gone and in 2021 website design is about making the visitor feel blown away by what they see on your website.
Websites Are Your Number One Marketing Asset
The beauty of starting your website out the right way is that your results are measurable. There are endless possibilities for tracking visitors from using Google Analytics to see where they came from (Google, Bing, social media, direct visits) and see what Google Search keywords they used to get there. This makes it easy to target more of that type of content on your website to attract even more of what is already working best, as well as pump up those keywords to rank higher in the search engines with search engine optimization in Grand Rapids. There is even the ability to put a separate phone number on your website and track how many calls the website itself brings in vs other marketing efforts!
If you keep a close working relationship with your marketing team and your website, you have hard data on what the money you’re putting into it is doing for you. You can intelligently decide where you should spend your hard-earned money online to generate even more revenue for your business. This takes a lot of the guessing games out of marketing as you might if you did something with traditional marketing such as buying a billboard or taking an ad out in a phone book. You can get a guesstimation on how many people heard of you there, but it’s impossible to measure exactly what’s going on. With exact data metrics, you can measure exact return on investments and adjust accordingly. You put ‘X’ dollars here, and ‘Y’ dollars comes out.
If you want to make intelligent business decisions with your marketing dollars, having a website gives you an ultimate control and data center to know exactly where they’d be most well spent.
Websites > Social Media Pages
Every business owner most likely has a Facebook page, and even other social media accounts such as Twitter and LinkedIn. While this truly is fundamental to a solid online presence, these platforms don’t give you an opportunity to stand out above the competition. You can’t impress with a professional design; you can’t choose what the visitor sees on every part of the website. Has an incredible review given by a highly respected and successful customer or business in your industry? That should be front and center on the front page of your website. The trust that generates for your website visitors cannot be understated. On Facebook, this isn’t entirely possible.
With a website you completely control the narrative and user experience. You want to put your absolute best foot forward and have all the most important information and impressive features be the first thing the visitor and potential customer sees to make the best first impression so they know to choose you over the competition. With social media, whatever pictures or posts you put up most recently show up, and your best content gets pushed down further and further over time.
The price of being overshadowed by your competition is a lot more expensive than the cost of a website. The unfortunate thing we commonly see is that a business pays a lot for their website and what is delivered just isn’t as impressive as they were told it would be and doesn’t represent their business how they feel it should be represented. The digital marketing space can be the wild west at times, and we’ve found that doing quality work, being responsive, and listening to the customers vision is a win-win for everyone. Referral business is the best kind of lead a business can receive and we find putting 110% into our relationships and our projects is the best way to grow together with our customers.