If you run a business, even if it’s relatively small, you may have considered having a website. There are several benefits of doing so. In this post, we’ll discuss many of these, and later I’ll talk about my experience with having a website, and my feelings on web hosting.
But for now, here are 8 benefits of having a website for your business.
Note- I tried to write this with several different types of businesses in mind; it’s possible not all of these points will specifically relate to yours, but I do think you’ll find most of these apply.
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1.) People can be directed to your site online if they search for your business.
Whether you own a diner, offer editing services, own a cleaning company, sell things online- even through a third party, own an auto shop, or whatever else your business consists of, you want to have a place to direct people to.
I guarantee you that if you are turning a profit, no matter what your business is, there are going to be people that google/search online for your business, and you want them to go to the right place.
2.) Your website can give people positive and accurate info about your business.
If you don’t have a website, but other sites online mention your business, people will be relying on indirect sources to get info about you. This could result in them finding incorrect information or negative reviews.
For example, there have been occasions where I’ve searched for medical offices that didn’t have their own sites, and I came across old addresses for previous locations or inactive phone numbers. I’ve also seen people write negative reviews on other sites for really great companies.
If you have a website, you can designate a spot on your website (such as on your home or about us page) where you list honest, positive feedback from customers/clients.
If you have areas of your business you need to improve on, do it! Then tell people (including on your site) about how you made it better! You want people to see that you’re genuine, care about their concerns, and provide quality products or services.
3.) A website can bring you a lot of potential business.
Most people who visit a business site are either current customers or potential customers. People that have never heard of your business may very well find you online, and this expands your reach and marketing. If you don’t take advantage of this you could easily lose potential business.
4.) A website provides the opportunity to persuade people to use your services/products.
Building on the last point, chances are if someone is on your site they have some interest in your business already. You can easily explain on your site what it is you do and how you are are unique- this can set you apart from your competition.
You can show practical ways your products or services have helped people or examples for how to use them, or why they should be used. You can ensure that anyone within your target audience sees the benefit of taking advantage of what you offer.
5.) People can easily find out how to contact you with a website.
You can have an easy to find contact us page on your website/site menu that shows people how to get in touch. Include any means of contact you want them to have- a physical address, email, phone, fax, online contact form, etc.
If you do have a physical location where customers can visit, it’s good to clearly display your office hours on your own website. You should also state your phone hours, and clarify if these differ from physical office hours. Why is this important? Sometimes when people are trying to choose which business to use, they will pick one that is easy to get in touch with. And you also don’t want to frustrate your current customers.
6.) You can use a blog on your business site to drive traffic to your website, which can boost your business.
If you have a website, you can add a blog to your site to increase your site traffic and pageviews. You don’t need to post articles every day, or even every week, but try to have a consistent schedule, and it’s good to post at least monthly.
If your business is local: Try to include articles with local keywords (nearby towns/cities, etc.), and you can write (or hire someone else to write) articles that involve things happening in your area. (You will want to write about things that appeal to your target audience, but these can include broader topics than just what your specific business deals with.)
If your business does not target customers in a specific region: If your company sells products online or offers services that customers can use regardless of where in the country or world they live, you have an even greater advantage with using a blog. This is because just about anyone who reads it can become a customer, whether they live near you or not. Again, displaying articles that appeal to the type of audience that would use your business is the key.
7.) You can improve relationships with existing customers and other companies that could help your business thrive.
Having a website can definitely assist your business in maintaining and growing relationships with others. Using a website to answer FAQs or to provide an easy way to contact you will help out your existing customers.
Your site can also attract other companies who may want to do business with you in a way that is mutually beneficial.
8.) You can use your site to obtain job applications if you need to hire.
Looking for employees? Your website is a great way for people to easily apply, both for you and them. And you don’t have to worry about losing paper applications. You can also easily display a message on your site when you are hiring, and show the position details and qualifications needed.
These are just some of the benefits that come from having your own website. (Trust me, there are more.)
However, you may be unsure about setting up a business website, because you may not have any experience with running your own site, and don’t want to worry about building it up and/or spending too much money. I totally get that, because I felt the same way until I found a good solution.
Before I started working at home, I debated over a few different self-employment options I could do from home. Pretty much all of them I would ideally have a website with. But..I didn’t have any know-how to create my own site, and I know basically nothing about coding.
After working at home for awhile writing articles on OTHER people’s blogs (that I could see people were actually reading), my husband and I decided I should start my own website and blog.
When I learned about web hosting, I was a little skeptical at first, but once I researched it, I ended up being comfortable with the idea. A lot of people seemed to love Bluehost, so I chose them for my hosting company. It turned out to be the ideal solution- the lowest cost with the least amount of work for me.
With Bluehost I have 24-hour support from them if I get stuck/have issues or questions. I have always had a good experience with the live chat (although sometimes there is a bit of a wait depending on when you use it,) and they even saved me money on a $79 purchase I was trying to make by explaining how I didn’t need it and gave me a free solution.
Here is what web hosting consists of: (this is my simplified explanation): you have a domain name, which is the name of your website- my domain is housegonesane.com and by using a web hosting company, your website is brought to life without you (or a costly professional) having to code, have your own servers, and have to build the website from complete scratch.
Through the webhosting company I use- Bluehost- it has WordPress available at no additional cost once you are on a web hosting plan. WordPress a great program/tool you use to basically design your site without needing to know all that coding stuff that would otherwise be necessary for those poor souls that try to build their site from scratch. (But if you are someone who has the time and coding/technological knowledge to build a website from nothing, then carry on; more power to ya! But for me, Bluehost is a LIFESAVER. 🙂
I am an affiliate for Bluehost, and if you decide to purchase a plan through my link, you can get an even lower price than their standard pricing (I think you have to get a 12-month plan at least to get this discount).
Personally I took advantage of someone else’s reduced price affiliate link and purchased a 3 year plan, because I knew in the long run it would save me money and I have heard from others that if you decide to cancel early and have future months remaining, they will reimburse you for those unused months, although I don’t plan on ever canceling.
With Bluehost, you can get your domain (website name) through them, or you could also use one you already purchased elsewhere. Personally, I decided just to get my domain with Bluehost- this made more sense for my situation and seemed less complicated.
Picking a Domain/Website Name for Your Business
If you already have a set name for your business, you should check if it’s available as a domain name. Generally it’s better to have a shorter domain name, so if your business name is really long, you may also want to check if there’s a more consolidated form of your business name you could use that’s available as a domain.
If your business name is already taken by someone else as a domain, you can check similar domains, maybe adding, taking away, or abbreviating one or more words until you find something that works.
For example, if my business was an ice cream shop called Fran’s, I can’t use frans.com because someone already owns that domain. However, fransicecream.com is available, at least at the time I’m writing this article. So just play around with the wording, and eventually you’ll find something.
You can use Bluehost’s site to check if a domain name is available — > here (click on ‘domains’ under the hosting tab at the top) and it will also offer suggestions if what you check is taken. You are not obligated to purchase a domain through Bluehost; using their domain checking tool is free, and you don’t have to proceed afterwards with buying it if you don’t want to.
There are many other places you can also buy domain names; I have no experience using anyone else’s service in this way, so if you want to get a domain name outside of Bluehost, please research other companies thoroughly before doing so to make sure they’re legit, and won’t cause you any problems.
If You Do Purchase a Web Hosting Plan Through Bluehost
First of all, let me just say, if you get web hosting, whether through Bluehost or another company, or purchase a domain name anywhere, make sure you get/pay for domain privacy. I learned the hard way on this- if you don’t have domain privacy, you will be spammed non-stop on your email and on your phone from people wanting you to buy services for your site. It would be nice if this was an automatic thing, but it’s not, and it’s absolutely worth paying for.
Once you have signed up through Bluehost, you can install WordPress, and you can use free themes available or purchase a theme (depending on how you want your site set up), and then design your site from that point, without needing to be a high-tech coder. If I can set up a site through Bluehost, trust me, you can too. And there are tons of great tutorials out there as well, including YouTube videos from Bluehost.
The great thing about Bluehost too is that your website looks professional and it’s discreet. Most people will be none the wiser that you are even using hosting for your site, unless you tell them, of course.
If you already have a business lawyer you use, they can probably help you out with this. If not, you can do your own research and write these yourself and/or find a business lawyer/expert to review it. Most people aren’t going to read these, but you still need to have necessary policies in place on your site.
A website is a priceless tool for your business. We’ve discussed some of the benefits. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive. Web hosting will save you a lot of money and Bluehost is a dependable company to use.
Personally I have seen first-hand (and not just for my own business) how instrumental a website can be for a business. It can really make you come across as more professional and trustworthy.
I hope this article was helpful for you- any questions/comments- let us know!
Note that I have discontinued writing work at home/self-employment articles as I am focusing on my other topics for now, but for more great tips, you can follow me on Pinterest at Ellie | House Gone Sane or just my Work at Home board.
Have a great day!
If you are thinking of starting an online business, or in the process of establishing…04 September, 2017