“Why does my business need a website?”. Seriously, it’s the 21st century, why ask such a ridiculous question? But, maybe the real question to ask is “What job should a website perform.” So maybe you should think about your website as an employee. After all, you’ll invest time and money into molding it and teaching it to add value to your business. With that idea in mind, what would the job description for this position be? How would you describe the duties and responsibilities for which your website should be accountable? These are the questions we want to help you begin to answer.
1. Guide potential clients to and around your company.
In this day and age, most clients will start their purchasing journey online. In fact, 97% of folks learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. (SEO Tribunal). So it’s imperative that your company has an online presence for these searchers to find. Without a website, you’ll be invisible to these digital wanderers.
Your website should answer important questions that visitors have. For example,
- “What inspection services do you offer?”
- “Do you offer Radon inspections?”
- “Do you service my area?”
Your website (aka Guide) should also help to prequalify potential clients. Although you want to cast a wide net, you don’t want to spend valuable time answering calls from people outside your service area, or from people who are looking for a service you don’t offer.
Your home inspection website should also communicate your brand’s value. Why should a visitor to your site hire you instead of your competition? Do you offer a service that no one else in your area offers? Do you deliver your reports in a more timely manner than other home inspectors? Do you have significantly more experience than most home inspectors in your area? Your website should be able to speak to these questions and more.
2. Build credibility with potential and existing clients
As home inspectors, you have to appeal to two different audiences, clients and agents. Both groups have somewhat different needs, but what they both need from your company is the ability to trust you. A great website that communicates your brand values will go a long way in building trust with client and agents. Why? Because, as mentioned above, 97% of your clients will learn more about your company online than anywhere else. So what are they learning about your company if you’re not online?
The lack of a website can even erode trust. Some questions potential clients might ask include:
- “Does this company actually exist?”
- “Are they really professional?”
- “How do I even contact them?”
For existing clients, a website will serve to buttress the trust that you’ve already established with them. Plus, it gives existing clients an easy way to steer new clients in your direction. Why wouldn’t you want to make it easier for new clients to find you?
Plus, with a website, you’ll have a great place to gather and show off all the great reviews clients have left about your company leading to increased trust. According to BrightLocal, “Review ratings are the biggest driver of clicks in local SERPS [search engine results pages].” Not only are reviews great for potential clients prior to purchase, but they also help to reassure existing clients that they made a great choice.
Need more proof? The same study from SEO Tribunal mentioned above also found that 73% of consumers trust businesses after seeing it has positive reviews
3. 24/7 availability
A website can act as a 24/7 call center. Do you want to answer client inquiries at 3am? Probably not, but your website loves talking to folks all hours of the night and day. Make use of that. Instead of answering a text from a potential client while you’re in a crawlspace, let your website handle it.
Although a website won’t be able to answer 100% of the questions you receive it can probably answer 90% of those you would receive without a website. Take client service a step further and install a chatbot on your site, like one from Tidio. Question flows can be developed that will answer questions site visitors might have and convert those visitors into clients.
A website is also the primary location for you NAP (mmm…naps). Focus! Not that kind of NAP. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number and it’s a key factor in search rankings. Actually, the consistency of your NAP information across the locations where it appears is critical. MOZ defines NAP as “The “thumbprint” of a business online. Local search engines use NAP information found by crawling the web or received from data providers to judge the accuracy of the data in their own indexes. Consistent NAP information is essential to getting more citations and improving search engine rankings and is critical to local customer acquisition.”
Why would you make it difficult to contact your company?
4. A safe place to land for all your other marketing efforts?
A website serves as a safe landing pad where you can direct other efforts. Those efforts might include, Social Media, Email Marketing (Newsletter), Pay-Per-Click ads, Direct Mail, Business Cards, and more. Most of these marketing and advertising mediums only lend themselves to very brief content. Usually, they aren’t enough to fully describe your brand and what makes your company unique. They’re meant to drive leads somewhere else. Without a website, where do these leads end up? Typically with your competition.
A website can become the hub from which all other marketing endeavors extend. It’s home base.
5. Websites become more valuable with time.
You might be thinking, “Old websites are normally outdated, ugly, and turn clients away.” While those sentiments might be true, older websites have a few things that brand new websites don’t, in fact, can’t
Older websites normally have higher domain authority (DA) or, at least, they can authority more quickly than a new site. Domain authority is a search engine ranking score developed by MOZ. The higher the domain authority, the more likely a site is to out-rank other, lower authority sites. Why does that matter? Search Engine Journal found that 55% of search traffic goes to the top three search results.
Not only do older websites garner a higher Domain Authority, but they also have tenure. Google, the most used search engine, has been indexing that older website for years and years. This means that Google already has an established history with an older site. Meaning that Google will be more likely to recommend an older site over a newer site.
Besides, Domain Authority and Tenure, older websites also have Trust. If a website has been in existence for a long time, then Google (or other search engines) will trust the site more. The site hasn’t been abandoned and put out to pasture. Again, this trust, leads to better rankings in search results.
All of these factors mean that, like wine, as a website ages, it becomes more valuable. Heed the advice from this popular Chinese proverb “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Hopefully, if you’ve read to this point you’re convinced that having a website is a good business decision. If you have a website or you need one, we can help you “hire” or “train” the right employee. Check out our Website Services. We can’t wait to hear from you.