Welcome to the first installment of the X8 Marketing 5-Minute Marketing blog!

Today we’re going to answer the question, “What is a Website, and Why Do You Need One?” Oftentimes, there may be a misconception by small business owners about what a website actually entails, what it does, and what it actually provides for you. So, first of all: What is a website?

A website is like a slideshow presentation about your business, stored on a computer or a hard drive that’s open to the internet so that people can come learn about your business whenever they want.

In this video, our VP Jay discusses what a website is and why, no matter your industry, you need to have one.

The primary purposes of a website are:

  • to establish credibility for you
  • to inform potential customers about you or your products or services
  • to direct those potential customers where to purchase or where to see your products or services to learn more, and ultimately…
  • to either convert those potential customers into paying customers or, at the very minimum, begin the conversion process by having them provide you with their information

In today’s day and age, credibility is king. People judge a book by its cover. Whether we like it or not, the first thing they see is the first thing that they’re going to react to. Very quickly, within 3-5 seconds, people typically decide whether or not they’re going to do business with you. So what does your book cover look like?

We’ve seen that, statistically speaking, 70-80 percent of consumers research a company online before making a first purchase with them. And when somebody researches you online, what if they don’t like what they see? What if they’ve seen something that is either on another website, or a review board like Yelp or Angie’s List – or what if they don’t see anything at all? Are they going to assume that you’re just not legit? Or that you’ve closed or gone out of business?  Or that you don’t exist? Or, maybe the worst-case scenario – what if they determine that you’re a scam? What if they can’t validate that you actually do what they think you do?

Say you’re a plumber, and one of your networking partners referred a potential customer to you who has a leaky faucet.  Let’s say that the potential customer searches for you online and they don’t find a website. They may just determine that you can’t fit their needs and move on. People only know what you tell them, after all.  This is why it’s really important to have a website out there so that you control the narrative.

A website allows you to establish credibility.

It also lets you show visitors that you’re an expert in your field, that you actually know what you’re talking about – and gives you an opportunity to showcase your work. No matter what kind of business you’re in, showing that you have experience in what you do is important. A picture is always worth a thousand words, so it’s key to show how customers what you do and how you do it.  It’s also important to help them understand how your business works, how your service or your product works, and how what you offer is going to benefit them.

A website also helps you to establish customer expectations.

We’ve all dealt with unrealistic customer expectations when it comes to our products or services, and giving potential customer an idea of what they should expect before they even reach out to you or they speak to you either in an email or on the phone can grease the wheel a bit before you connect with them.

Why Do You Need a Website?It’s also important to understand that when people come to your website, you can control what they see. Your website is based on your terms, your imagery, and your language.  Without your own website, people may be misinformed about you or they may even have a negative opinion of you – so controlling your own destiny when they get to your site and as they’re learning a bit more about you is crucial.

It’s also very important to have a professional email attached to your website.  For example, the X8 team uses professional emails linked to an official X8 domain, which means that our clients know that they’re getting an official email from a professional associated with our business when they see something in their inbox from our team.

And don’t forget…

Your website serves as a home base and a foundation for all of your marketing efforts, both online and offline.

Even if you’re just networking or passing out business cards, or if speaking with customers directly, it’s great to have a home base that you can always send them back to.  Your website allows visitors to gather more information about you, see more examples of what you offer, learn more about you, or receive additional information from you when you’re not available.

That’s what a website is and why you need one! Regardless of the industry you’re in, you need a website.

If you don’t have a website, you can find a professional web developer in your area, or you can reach out to the X8 team.  We’ll help make sure that you put your best foot forward so that your business has a clean, professional image online, even when you’re not available.