The Purpose Of A Website For A Business & Why You Need One
The internet has been with us for almost 30 years. It’s hard to imagine life without websites, which we use to find information, buy products and services, entertain ourselves, and a whole lot more. But what is the purpose of a website for a business, exactly?
In this article, we’ll explain the main reasons for setting up a business website, and why they are essential in our digital age.
The purpose of a website
The purpose of a website changes depending on whether you’re running a product or service-based business. If you sell products, you’ll want an ecommerce website where people can find and purchase them. If you sell services, you’ll need a site that teaches people about them, and allows them to get in touch. There’s other types of business websites dedicated to information, branding, and support, but selling products or services are the main two.
Generate leads (service-based business)
The internet is by far the most popular way to find information, which makes your business website your number one marketing tool. It must include the information that people are searching for, clearly explain why your business is awesome, and provide clear call-to-actions to encourage people to get in touch. When well-designed, it can become your biggest lead generator.
When trying to find a service, people visit business websites for any of the following reasons:
- They want to learn more about a service. Does it closely match their needs? They’ll examine the services offered, what is included, and try to find answers to all of their burning questions. This information can be presented as text, imagery, and video.
- They want to find pricing. Pricing is a crucial factor when deciding whether to purchase a service, so people will always look for this. If your service isn’t suited to fixed pricing, you’ll need to make it easy for them to get a quote.
- They want to find examples of your work. If you create or alter something as part of your services, people will probably want to see examples of your work, to decide whether you’re good at what you do. This is usually kept in a portfolio page with various examples on show.
- They want social proof. We often trust what others say about a company and its services, so will seek out customer reviews and testimonials to find out what people think. If you have positive examples, they should be promoted loud and proud on your website. Industry awards should be included too.
- They want to get in touch. This is the ultimate goal for a service-based business. If your website’s content is relevant and persuasive, people may be convinced to get in touch, and become a new lead.
Sell products (product-based business)
If you run a business that sells products, your e-commerce website is probably the main place you’ll sell them. For someone looking to buy a product on your website, they will go through two key stages:
- Finding a product. Good navigation is crucial on an e-commerce website. You’ll need to include well-structured categories and brands presented in a user-friendly menu, a search bar that brings up relevant results, and a filtering system that allows people to refine their search.
- Buying the product. When a product has been found, the prospect will need to go through an easy checkout process, which includes adding the item to cart, reviewing the cart’s contents, and completing the checkout form.
An e-commerce website may also include special offers, cross-sells and upsells, reviews and website testimonials, compelling content (like blogs), newsletter subscriptions, and more. To promote this type of site, you’ll need to focus on ecommerce marketing techniques.
Provide business info
Some people may visit your site to get important business information, like your phone number, email address, business hours, or physical address. They may also want to find out more about what you actually do, scouring your “about” and “team” pages to better understand your company.
Your website is also a great place to store your various policies, which people can read if they want more information. This includes policies for shipping, returns, privacy, and terms & conditions. We actually wrote a comprehensive article on marketing privacy policies, if you’re like to read.
Provide educational info
Content marketing is the process of creating valuable and engaging content for your target audience, which can bring swarms of new visitors, improve your brand’s reputation, and encourage people to buy from you. For your website, popular content types include blogs, videos, eBooks, white papers, and webinars, which people usually find through a search engine. If the content is relevant to the user’s search, offering precious insights into the topic at hand, they might be tempted to click on whichever call-to-action you’ve planted on the page, like a quote request or newsletter subscription.
Promote the brand
A company’s brand is its identity, and a strong brand is instantly recognised and quickly recalled. Consider a big tick on a pair of shoes—pretty much everyone in the Western world would know they’re made by Nike.
A business website gives your brand an online presence and allows you to reinforce your branding with your logo, colour palette, typography, imagery style, and more. When your website’s designers stick to your brand style guide, you should end up with a site that reflects your brand perfectly and helps to cement it in people’s minds.
Your business website is also a great place for promoting your brand’s social channels, and encouraging them to subscribe to your newsletter, further boosting brand awareness.
Whether you sell products or services, your customers may need to update their account information at some point. This could be their preferred payment method, subscription type, email, physical address, and anything else liable to change. A website is a super easy way for them to update this information without needing to call you.
Role of a website—summary
The role of a website for businesses is clear: it’s a mighty promotional tool that allows you to sell products or services, provide educational information, promote your brand, and more. Having an up-to-date, beautifully-designed website allows you to attract new customers, retain existing customers, and stay ahead of the competition.