Getting customers is the most important part of any business. That goes without saying.
Will a website help you get more though?
In this comprehensive guide, we will go over why the answer is
As well as tell you all of our reasons why, and what you can do in the long-term to make sure your website keeps bringing you new customers, day after day.
Why will a website help me get customers?
There are many ways that having a website will bring you more customers:
- Most people search for a place before visiting
- Having a website helps you get found on maps
- Most people look for reviews before buying a product
- The ability to research a product makes customers more likely to purchase that product
- Customers who search for you, come to you
Customers search for a place before visiting
In the modern-day and age, people use online searches more than ever.
These searches could be for anything from how-tos to reviews of their local businesses.
A recent study by SEO Tribunal actually found that 97% of people found out more about a business online than anywhere else.
This means reviews, hours of operation, products, and more.
Whether you’re online or not there will always be reviews of your business, and Google’s best guess as to everything else.
Wouldn’t it be better if you could have one central place that your customers could look and find all of that information?
That is what a website can do for your business.
It allows your customers to find one spot with all of the information they’re looking for, from the most reliable source out there. You.
Having a website helps your customers find you on maps
If you operate a brick-and-mortar store there are no better means of online traffic than maps.
When people search for your store or even anything your store sells Google opens a map in the search results, showing all of the nearest stores.
After this, 76% of people visited a store that they found, located within 5 miles (8 km)!
Getting on this list can happen by chance, but more likely than not it will take a lot of work, and a well laid out website to get there.
We have personally helped some of our clients get on this list.
One of the top things that set them apart from the competition?
Having a website helps let Google know who you are, what you sell, and where you located.
Most people look for reviews before buying a product
In 2019, a study found that 93% of customers look for reviews of the business before visiting.
That’s a lot of customers looking for feedback on your business.
Having a website gives them somewhere to find all of those reviews.
Rather than expecting them to click around from site to site, Google, to Facebook, to Yelp, they can simply click onto your website and see them all.
This also has the added benefit of you being able to control the experience.
Note: This is not saying to modify reviews and only show good ones. Never do that as it makes you look shady and untrustworthy.
If you want them to be shown some products on the page, maybe you want to give them a newsletter sign up.
All of that can be done when you control the experience.
Customer research leads to customer purchases
Customers love to research.
They love research so much in fact, that a whopping 46% of all searches are for local content according to this study.
This is why it is more important now than ever before that you have a website.
Having a website gives you multiple ways to be found in these searches.
It allows you to offer people searching for your products and offers exactly what they’re looking for.
It also helps Google establish who you are, and what you offer.
A well-run, informative website can be a life-saver for customer research.
Customers who search for you, come to you
When searching for local businesses customers are usually pleased with what they find.
This causes an enormous 88% of people who search for your business to visit or call within 24 hours!
That is a lot of potential customers who need to find your website!
If you have a website for these lucky searchers to come across that makes you all the more likely to make a sale.
Having a website will give you the place for this information to be found by visitors and get a hold of you.
Going through your website search you may come across Google MyBusiness.
Many people believe this is a replacement to a website, when in fact it works better in conjunction with a website.
For a full breakdown, and how to learn how having both a Google MyBusiness and a website can help your business check out our article here.
What Do I Have to do With My Website to Keep Getting Customers?
Once you have a website and begin to get found by your customers everything changes.
Maintaining and keeping a website relevant for your customers requires a couple of critical things:
- Hours of Operation
- Contact Information
- Products (if possible)
- Fresh Content
- Social Media Links
Mobile-Friendly Website for Customers
Over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile users! (Source)
And it has been that way since 2017, so I wouldn’t expect it to change any time soon.
In addition to that, 61% of visitors are more likely to contact a business if their site is mobile-friendly.
This makes sense.
With more traffic than ever coming from mobile devices, your website has no excuse to not be optimized for viewing on a phone.
Making sure your site is mobile-friendly makes your customers happier, and more likely to visit you in person.
Hours of Operation
Letting your customers know when you’re open and when they can come in is one of the most important parts of a website.
At least when it comes to brick-and-mortar stores.
Your hours may change, especially for holidays, family emergencies, any number of things.
Changing the hours of operation on your website and making sure they’re always correct is important.
Keeping these up to date ensures that you have no customers who show up, only to be disappointed.
After all, a disappointed customer is not a customer much longer.
According to KoMarketing, once a visitor is on a companies homepage, 64% want to see their contact information.
Making this information easily accessible and obvious to the visitor makes them more likely to use it.
Contact information can include your address (if you have one), your phone, email, even a contact form!
It could even include links to all of your social media (see later in this article).
Some websites choose to offer live chat as an option. Not sure if this is right for you? Check out our article about “Do I need live chat on my website?“
Leave as many ways as you can think of for your visitor to get a hold of you.
After all, you wouldn’t want a customer to love what they see and then have no way of telling you!
Products (or services)
If you have products that you sell, why would you not showcase them online?
One of the top five factors that affect customers buying decisions is the products and services available.
So make sure you have not only all of your products available on your website, but that you keep that list up to date.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do stock amounts or list every single variety of every single product you offer, but you should give your visitors at least a basic understanding of what you sell.
Knowing what you sell helps visitors to your site turn into customers, as they establish that you’re the store for them.
With that said, there are some forms of business that may not lend themselves to a “product list”.
Perhaps you offer a wide range of things, and it’s all based on customers’ needs.
Think, a handyman (or handywoman).
Many handymen offer fixes on almost everything in your house.
That would be an absolutely gigantic list if you were to list everything you offer!
Maybe you don’t want to limit yourself to a simple list of products, and instead adapt your offerings on a case-by-case basis.
That is fine!
Just make sure that you leave at least a brief description of who you are, and your area of specialty.
After all, if you fix people houses you don’t want to be getting calls to build websites (we’re much better at that 😉)
Fresh Content for customers is needed
A stale, old, not updated website is just that. Stale, old, and not updated.
Don’t let your website start falling out of search results and getting hard to navigate by letting it sit stationary.
This website didn’t age very well did it? Don’t leave your website to the same fate. Keep it updated
You need to consistently update and tweaking your website.
Google rewards websites which it sees as “fresh”.
This could mean changing the content on your home page as you begin offering new products.
It could mean starting with article writing, to consistently add new content, as well as showcase your love and passion for what you do.
It could even be as simple as changing the pictures on your site to new ones, or different ones showing different products.
The sky is the limit when it comes to keeping your site updated!
Just make sure to do it, and do it consistently to stay relevant to your customers, and relevant to Google
Reviews are pivotal to every website and every business, online and brick-and-mortar.
In fact, 97% of people read reviews of local businesses before visiting.
That is 97% of your customer base who have made their opinion about you before ever seeing you or your store.
Reviews get even more important if you’re trying to target younger consumers.
Of people aged between 18 and 34, nearly 91% of them value reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
That means having reviews prominent on your site, and continuously updated is key.
Showing reviews of your business will help these people that are searching for them anyway, find them easily.
It also gives you the opportunity to showcase your most glowing reviews.
No one expects that when you have tens, or even hundreds of reviews, for you to showcase them all.
Use the opportunity of putting reviews on your website to show the ones that make you the proudest.
That makes you smile when you read them.
Highlight those reviews on your site and show it as proof of where you’re going, the service you provide and offer it as proof of what customers can expect when they visit you in person.
Reviews can get complicated, and there’s a lot they can do to help, and a lot they can do to hurt you.
Managing them can seem overwhelming, asking fo them can seem scary, and a bad one can suck.
For everything about how to manage reviews, good and bad, check out this post.
Social Media Links
Having social media links on your site accomplishes two things.
First, it allows your website visitors to find yet another channel to contact you on so that they can get a hold of you whatever way works best.
Second, it adds a level of credibility to your site. Especially when those social media channels are consistently active.
Adding this credibility and variety can help your visitors know what you offer and trust your site more than competitors who don’t use social media.
With that said, don’t go overboard.
We’ve all visited those sites where the entire bottom bar is social media as they link to their 100 profiles across every social media site known to man, and you don’t want to be that person.
Keep it simple. Pick a couple of key social media sites that you want to draw people’s attention to and advertise those.
If you’re an online store, maybe you’ll pick Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re a lawn care company may be Instagram would be a better choice.
For restaurants, Yelp may be included in your list. Every industry is different for their needs and what works best.
Whatever your choice is, stick to it, keep the social media accounts active and keep the links up to date on your website.
So can I use my website to get customers?
In short, yes.
Whether you currently have a website now or are thinking about getting one in the future it will definitely help you get customers.
Maintaining and building your website using the features we outlined is sure to help you get found online, get found in-person, and ultimately bring more customers into your store.
So get started today with getting online!