Websites are practical things. You build one with a specific goal in mind, and then you fine-tune it to get you to that goal as soon as possible. You want to sell to people online? Build an online store, optimize it for organic traffic, and pay for some ads for traffic boosts. You want to generate leads online? Create a website with compelling copy and visuals and a lead-capturing form. Perform optimization tweaks continuously.
But just because they’re practical, it doesn’t mean that website don’t provide your business with other benefits. Some are unintended. Others are unexpected. Some are still relatively unknown. But they’re there, and you might as well know a couple you get just by having a website in 2019.
- An Asset that Never Stops Working
Let’s start with something really obvious — the fact that your website is always there. Even when you and your employees go home, your website stays alert and ready to perform whatever tasks you built and optimized it for.
Sure, your website will not always be up, as even the best web host cannot promise 100% uptime. But it is an asset that does its job independent of you and your involvement. Add to that the fact that you can run conversational bots on your website that are getting incredibly good at mimicking humans, and your customers will know you’re there for them 24/7, 52 weeks a year.
So there won’t be lots of street cred that will go your business’ way just for having a website, but that’s fine. Digital credibility is just as valid, and probably significantly more important for your business. The fact that you have a website will help you get it.
People will check your business online before engaging it in the analog world. People who find you online will judge the credibility of your business by how well your website looks. If you have a real working website that shows signs of being alive, it will help increase your business’ credibility both offline and online.
- Good Will from Google
It’s been a while since people realized that, if they want to use the internet for business purposes, Google is kind of unavoidable. It’s the most-used search engine in the world, and it leverages the most powerful digital marketing toolset. There’s a huge industry around how to use Google for your business.
Best of it all is that Google actually works well for local businesses, too. So even if you only want to have more people physically come into your store, having a website and letting Google index it can be of tremendous help. Still, don’t forget to put your business on Google Maps and create it a page, because that’s the way to get the most out of your website and Google.
- Control Over Your Brand
So there’s not much you can do to stop the online spread of rumors, for example. Everyone has an opinion, and a variety of platforms for voicing them is readily available. There’s no chance you’ll be able to control what’s being said about your business online.
That being said, you should still have one central location that will be your business’ or brand’s official online asset. Think of it as a place where people can go to get the official version of your brand, the way you want to showcase it.
- You’re Not Falling Behind
If you’re being honest, you have to admit that at least some of the business decisions you make are inspired, if not forced, by your competitors. That’s why we love competition: it helps us stay on our toes, and it keeps us looking ahead and innovating. And if we stop doing it for a second, we start falling behind.
The very fact that you have a website is a good sign you’re running with the pack when it comes to your online presence. If you take good care of your website and optimize it regularly, you might even be ahead of the pack. But don’t forget that, if you’re not doing something great no one else is doing, or if you’re not doing what others are but better, you’re stagnating. And in the business world, that’s the same as falling behind.