Sunday, October 11, 2015

The importance of a good website

Did you know that surveys have found between 50 – 60% of businesses do not have their own website (this is apart from a basic entry on a local shopping website, or websites like TrueLocal).

The importance of a good website

The 2 things you need to stay in business are to attract new customers and keep them coming back.

(a)   How do you attract new customers?

Apart from hanging your ‘shingle’ outside your premises, advertising what you do or sell for people walking past your door, the best way to connect with new customers is through digital marketing and social networks. I am talking about websites and Facebook.

How does that help? The busy person on the go wants to find a local business for a service or to buy something. It may be a cup of coffee, a birthday gift or financial advice. Almost anything. What’s that person going to do? He/she is going to Google “Coffee in Burwood” or “Giftshop in Camberwell”. If your business doesn’t have a website, there will be a half dozen other businesses in the locality that do, and those are the ones the customer will go to.

Did you know that within the Boroondara area there are approx. 65,000 homes? Based on average home turnover[1], that’s approx. 90 families coming into the area every week – maybe 200 individuals every week – and you want to attract them to your business as a new customer.

(b)   Why is a website important?

As you can see, a new customer will connect with your business via a website. Your website can not only show what products you sell but any other services you provide, hours of opening and phone number, an email link for enquiries and much more. It can also be extended to include links to your business Facebook page, or to other social media for your business such as Twitter etc. People on the go, using mobile and tablet devices, may be looking for a meal, so they want to see a Menu. The possibilities to inform potential customers about what you do are endless.

And why can’t this be achieved with a free entry on a local shopping website or TrueLocal? For one thing, I have rarely seen an entry in one of those websites that is up to date, and certainly none of them have the eye-catching appeal and information necessary to drive new customers to your business.

And the good news is that websites can be designed and built from only $395. It’s not like the old days when you had to fork out ‘000 of $$$. The most comprehensive websites that are ‘responsive’ to mobile and tablet devices, with shopping cart compatibility, can cost as little as $995.

‘Responsive Websites’ really are at the cutting edge of website design. Previously, websites were made to fit a standard size screen – a PC or laptop. But since the explosion of mobile and tablet devices, consumers are more likely than ever to go online without ever using a PC or laptop, and with the huge amount of devices, all with varying dimensions, how do you ensure your website looks amazing on all of them?

‘Responsive Websites’, as the name suggests, “respond” to the device they are being viewed on, and change their dimensions to give the best browsing experience possible, keeping your website looking amazing at every size, including on mobiles and tablet devices.

You also can update your own website easily without needing programming skills using a CMS (Content Management System) that is included with all websites for free. The CMS allows you to update a whole page, part of a page or add text and photos within minutes. Your changes go live instantly, and it costs nothing extra to do so.

(c)   How do you retain existing customers?

Once we have a customer, how do we get them to come back? Apart from the obvious areas such as top quality service, brand loyalty and reputation, a great user experience and so forth, there are also ways of using social media to keep customers informed about what is happening in your business that is new and of interest to them.

Social media marketing is the best and easiest way to promote your business. Today, everyone likes to use different social media like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Twitter etc. These are the ideal sites for social media marketing that not only offer a quick way to reach an audience but also enhance your business sales.

Facebook is your business ‘story’ – what you are doing, your latest projects, maybe a current sales promotion and more. You can connect directly with existing customers that are ‘following’ you on Facebook to deliver the latest promotions or service deals immediately they are available. And this helps to build brand loyalty so that customers keep coming back.

Social media is one of the easiest ways to connect with your customers, and the best thing about it is that it can be setup for free and linked to your website easily. Websites achieve this with a Facebook icon and link to your Facebook page, normally on your Home page.

(d)   In conclusion?

Go ahead and Google your business and see what is returned in the search results. Then compare the results for your business directory entry on TrueLocal or Yellow Pages etc., to the results of your local competition that does have an amazing website. Once you see the differences, the time for action is NOW!

If you don’t have a website, contact me today for some great rebates on developing a website for your business, using a national website design company based here in Melbourne, and start to see the benefits immediately.

My services are provided on a voluntary basis as part of the Business Boroondara Network, free of charge, and with no obligation.

[1] Annual Housing turnover, on average, is around 7 per cent of the housing stock – RBA Bulletin June quarter 2010


  1. The importance of a good website cannot be overstated.

    1. Thanks Nicki. It's good to know your new website is paying dividends.

  2. Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!Thanks
    john faraday