Does a Startup Really Need a Website?

Does a Startup Really Need a Website?

When looking at the list of things you need to do when launching your startup, where does building a website come into the plan? For many entrepreneurs, it’s on the bottom of their list of priorities, if it's on it at all. This is a classic—and costly—mistake.

A website is a must-have for any business, regardless of its size or niche. But why? How does building a web presence help a company that's yet to establish itself with customers?

We're glad you asked! We've dedicated this blog post to explaining the most critical ways a website can help your startup. So even if you think you've made up your mind, check out our list. By the end, you'll see how vital a website can be for your business.

1. Increased Visibility

Over 4 billion people used the internet regularly in 2021, and the number continues to grow. With so many people spending time online, it's become the primary public-facing image of many businesses, big and small. So why should your startup be any different?

If you wait to build your website until after your product or service has come to market, you'll do yourself a major disservice. On the other hand, establishing a web presence early helps promote your brand, build hype for new products or service offerings, and gather customer data ahead of launch to establish a following and build your email list. With the help of search engine optimization (SEO) and other elements of digital marketing, you can increase the odds of potential customers finding your business and following your progress.

Without a website, your reach is significantly limited. People will only be able to find you through your physical office (if you have one), word of mouth, and whichever forms of traditional advertising you invest in. This not only limits your reach in terms of marketing, it limits your perceived credibility, as over ¼ of consumers do not trust brands that do not have their own website. With the shift to brands’ digital presence being increasingly more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no putting the cork back in the bottle. 

Your online presence is your brand. Your website is your best marketing tool.

2. Establish Your Identity

Companies spend a lot of time and money building their branding. However, the image they create of themselves goes well beyond logos and trademarks, focusing instead on messaging that clicks with their target customers. Every element of a company's visual identity plays a role in establishing your brand.

Your startup's website is an excellent place to showcase your branding. Everything—from the colors you choose, to the images you feature, and the language you use— communicates with your audience, and it needs to speak their language. 

This may seem like a daunting task for a startup without prior web design experience to take upon themselves — it is. 

Successful branding and web design relies heavily on delegating creative work to creative professionals. Hiring an expert website designer to build your brand site is a crucial element to making the most of your marketing dollars, and is ultimately the most important investment you will make for your business’ early trajectory and your long-term success.

3. A Professional Look

Let's say that, hypothetically, word has spread about your startup. Some enthusiastic customers have started singing your praises, and more people are looking for your company's presence online. What impression do they get if they're unable to find your website?

A website is the first thing most customers look for when they hear about a new company, product, or service. Even if you have other accessible platforms for customers, the lack of a website is bound to raise concerns. Not having a website could mean different things to different customers, but it suggests an unprofessional attitude at the end of the day.

Despite what some web design agencies may suggest, you can create a professional website without breaking the bank. Affordable web design can still bring you a professional-looking website with all the functionality you need. And with simple hosting solutions like WordPress being very accessible, there's no excuse not to build a company website in 2022.

4. Make Sales Anytime

The end goal of any business is to land more sales, but startups have much more to focus on just to stay afloat. As you spend your working hours building the company in other ways, less time is available to convert customers and increase revenue through less time-intensive means. 

Automating your most routine tasks and streamlining your path-to-purchase frees up time and labor-spend for innovation and brand growth. When it comes to increasing sales metrics and boosting conversions (CRO), having a professionally designed website that can be your best salesperson and grow with you is a must, especially for a startup.

Your website can effortlessly make sales and gather customer data for you around the clock. With immediate accessibility, you have a much easier time balancing your company's responsibilities regardless of your personal availability. 

Adding a storefront to your company website can be done in a matter of minutes. In addition, you can customize services like Shopify to fit your site's theme and branding. It's never been easier to create an online store, and if your startup chooses not to, you're leaving money on the table.

5. Build Your Relationships

People want to feel like they have a connection with the companies they patronize. Whether they're customers or investors, they'll feel more motivated to engage with your startup if they feel the relationship isn't one-sided. A website allows you to cultivate these relationships despite hurdles like geographic restrictions.

Websites offer a direct link between you and visitors through phone numbers, email addresses, and social media profiles. But developing meaningful relationships goes beyond direct communication. All of the content on your website projects an image that visitors can connect with.

Perhaps the most powerful tool to build relationships between customers and your brand is through regularly updated content. Maintaining a blog, for example, gives visitors a reason to visit even when they don't want to make a purchase. Use content updates to showcase what your brand represents and how it may align with your customers.

You Don’t Have to Be A Website Designer. We Can Help.

At Stoute Web Solutions, we do not sell marketing. We promote growth. Most agencies prioritize foosball tables and downtown views over results and action.

We are not that agency.

Sure, we like to have fun. And we do! But we never put our Ping-Pong skills ahead of the people who keep us in business: our clients.

Our decisions impact thousands of businesses around the world. More importantly, there are real people counting on us to grow their business. We’ve been providing a wide range of services to clients from different sectors, which include Website Design & Development, Website Hosting, AdWords Management, SEO, and PPC Campaign Management right here in Portland.

It is a responsibility and a privilege we take seriously.

Find out how we can be an advocate for your business.

Author

Paul Stoute

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