When you're busy building up your startup business, a website may not be at the forefront of your mind. There are so many other processes and financial details to plan that it's easy to forget about your online presence.
And yet that online presence can be crucial to your initial and sustained success, and in more ways than you’d think. Here are 5 definite reasons your startup needs a website.
1. You Can Impress Investors
First, the success of your startup likely depends on an initial investment of funds from outside sources. That investment may come from a bank or private investors, or even a crowdfunding initiative. Regardless of its source, a website helps you secure these funds.
Any potential investor, whether they contribute $10 or $10,000, wants assurance that their money will be put to good use. Without a website, they rely on your word to ensure that's the case. A good online presence, however, shows them the beginnings of how you will attract visitors and customers.
Building a website before approaching investors also implies that you have a specific plan for business development and growth already in place.
2. You Can Spread The Word
In today's digital age, nothing is more important to raise awareness of your brand than your online presence. Most people still begin their daily Internet experience with a search engine, while also spending plenty of leisure time on social media every day. Your audience is online for multiple hours every day, and a website ensures they find you when a need for your product or service arises.
Think about it from your audience's perspective: You just discovered that you have a problem that needs to be solved. You go to Google for the solution and find a product that is perfect to solve those needs. If that product's website did not exist, you would have found an alternative and brought your business elsewhere. That website ensured you learned about the company.
So now imagine this scenario playing out for your buyer personas. Do you want them to go to your competitors because they can’t find you online? We didn’t think so!
3. You Can Build A Brand Image
Websites are also crucial branding tools. They give your startup the freedom to position itself in the marketplace, using design and text that matches the public image you try to convey. Think Dollar Shave Club, a former startup propelling itself into brand stardom through irreverent, no-BS messages and videos on its website.
As a startup, your brand image is crucial to success. Depending on your industry, you will compete with larger, more established brands for your audience's attention, and breaking through without evoking a very specific image in your audience's mind is difficult. A website helps you position yourself in the minds of your potential customers.
4. You Can Focus Your Marketing
The implications of a website go beyond its core functionalities. In fact, your website will begin to act as an online hub for all of your digital marketing efforts. Your social media posts will begin to link to it, as will your ads, and search engine optimization ensures that your website will be found.
In a way, then, your website helps you focus and center your digital marketing efforts. Acting as a central hub, it establishes your brand identity and functions as a digital front door for your business. Without it, any other digital efforts will be unfocused and less successful.
5. You Can Increase Your Sales
Finally, let's not forget about arguably the most important goal your startup has: growing its revenue through sales. Perhaps not surprisingly at this point, your website can help in this aspect as well. If you offer your product online, your website turns into an additional opportunity for users to become customers or subscribers.
But even if your product does not lend itself to e-commerce, your website directly helps your sales efforts. Taking the inbound marketing approach, you can focus on turning your visitors into leads, which means you have their contact information for direct sales contact. Either way, your website will play a core part in increasing your sales.