We at CloudZen Designs like to imagine that most people know a website is pretty much the minimum item business owners should invest in when they decide to begin curating a digital space. And claiming ownership of a digital space isn’t really an option anymore… which is why we’re sometimes dumbfounded that businesses don’t have a website or aren’t utilizing its maximum potential. Learn what benefits you can get from having a website. Hint: There’s one big one that should make your ears perk!

Your website should be working for you

But what do I mean by that? It’s just a digital property; what can you really expect from it?

Your website is so much more than a digital property with your name on it. A website, properly set up, should do a number of things.

Aesthetically, it should:

  • Accurately convey your brand. When people visit your site, they should be greeted with colors, wording, design, and information that represents who you are and what you do. Branding is more than just picking the correct colors or the most appealing logo. Branding is all about creating a consistent experience that the customer can easily call to mind when they need to purchase a product you sell or invest in services you provide.

Your website should functionally:

  • Provide you with regular referrals.
  • Collect leads.
  • Provide your customers with an easy browsing and shopping experience.
  • Fully and correctly describe what you do, how you do it, and whom you do it for.
  • Be designed to increase your SEO.

Why? Because websites are a marketing device.

I went to a craft fair recently. It was amazing–artists from all over the state gathered to show off their wares. And this wasn’t just folks making grade-school crafts (though that’s lovely). We’re talking professional artisans hand-carving all kinds of intricate items, painters, photographers, even one person who paints durable rugs. Oh, and the potters. And the soap makers.

I digress.

I collected a stack of business cards half an inch thick in an effort to keep track of which artists I ran into that I’d like to purchase from in the future. But when I got home, I found something really disturbing: a significant portion of the cards had no website listed, just a generic email address. I’m going to be honest–my initial reaction was something along the lines of damn it.

First of all, carefully consider what you put on your business card. No one should look at it and have to try to figure out what you do. It should be obvious.

Second, one of your goals as a business owner should be to make the decision to purchase as easy as possible–especially for purchases that use disposable income, like art or crafts. A website benefits business owners in this niche, especially a beautiful website that draws visitors in and makes them want to stay awhile. Good marketing, after all, isn’t about hard selling, but about creating relationships with your customers that make them feel good about doing business with you–and a website can do a lot of that legwork for you. If you don’t even have a website? Say goodbye to a number of lost customers.

The biggest benefit to a website? A good website converts–which means it makes you more money.

One of the many website benefits you should be receiving is more customers. They may make a purchase because your online store is so good. They may sign up for a newsletter and engage with your business later, hopefully, multiple times. They may call for consulting or come visit your storefront.

If your website isn’t converting, it’s likely because it’s not set up to drive business. If it’s not set up to drive business and make money, you are losing money. It’s that simple, and it’s that serious. Because of all the available benefits of a website, whatever you spent to have your website built should be an investment, not an output that pays nothing in return.

CloudZen Designs can design a website, but we can also set up a newsletter opt-in, optimize online shopping, and ensure your site matches your business goals and your overall brand. We can even work with you to achieve higher SEO rankings.

Remember: a website is a marketing tool. It’s an extension of your business’ physical property, an extension of your sales force, and extension of your brand. A good website should convert visitors to customers, which will increase profitability.

For another take on why businesses need a website, check out this post from Constant Contact.