Your business may be small but are you significant online?
With a 150% mobile penetration rate and over 80% of the population that are active on the internet, having an online presence is crucial for your business in Singapore. However you may be debating whether you need a dedicated website and it is a difficult decision – maintenance cost can easily creep on and relevant content and layout require constant attention and resources.
Here are four reasons why every small business should have a dedicated website:
1) Build Credibility
Humans are visual creatures and businesses with professional-looking websites do give positive first impressions. In fact, Stanford University Persuasive Technology Lab found that around 50% of your visitors assess your website based on superficial aspects alone.
Here’s a scenario: imagine visitors visiting your closed store and they are interested in your operating hours. How do you think they would feel if they see:
a) A crumpled piece of paper with operating times scribbled on, taped on the outside of your door
b) A card with operating times and your shop logo printed on, taped inside the window
With a), your visitor may even question the information source! The same principle applies to your website – it should act as a legitimate source to display important information. Treat your site like your brick-and-mortar store.
2) Understanding Who Visits Your Site
As your business grows, you want to be able to reach out to your new and existing customers for marketing needs. Your most supportive customers are happy to leave behind testimonials along with their contact and you may instinctively store them in an Excel spreadsheet… until the task becomes unmanageable as your database grows. This is a process that you will want to automate before precious time is consumed by menial data entry and management.
One way to easily grow your database is to integrate customised forms for your website visitors to fill in. The data is automatically stored in a consistent format and it is easy for you to quickly reach out to your entire base. If you have more customer data, you can analyse their profiles and provide more targeted and persuasive content or products.
3) Customers Are All Different So Tailor Your Content
One main perk of having an online presence is that anyone anywhere can learn about your business without ever stepping out of their house. As the owner, you can operate with minimal overheads because the site is ‘self-manned’ with relevant content displayed and if it’s an e-commerce site, your ‘store’ is always open. (As an unintended bonus, an untrained part-time staff can use it for reference too!)
How then, can you leave a great impression on these online visitors whom you may never meet? A unique site experience is one of the easiest ways! When you have your own website, you can create a bespoke experience that stands out among millions of online websites. A well-designed website is a more reliable ‘spokesperson’ for your business compared to the damage an inexperienced hire may cause.
4) The Facebook Page Is Not Enough
What started off as ‘just a website’ can easily balloon into a mammoth project overnight so perhaps, you’re happy with just a Facebook page for now.
There is one little thing you can do regardless – purchase a unique site name or domain name and configure it to redirect the visitor to your Facebook page. Having your unique company website on your marketing collaterals conveys credibility and you don’t have to manage an additional platform that may not add value to your business at this point in time.
Convinced? Kick off your website project now by purchasing a unique domain name (For this August only, pay just S$5.35 to own your own .sg domain) and start building!
Next month, we will share more specific web design tips from our in-house lead designer, Marlon Masanque.