This is a guest post by Carmen Rodrigo, web designer for online entrepreneurs. If you’d like to pitch a guest post to us, get in touch here.


Let me ask you a question: How many businesses do you think actually have a professional website?

We’re in 2016. We’re connected 24/7. Almost 90% of American households have Internet at home. In Europe, it’s more than 8 out of 10 households.

With these facts in mind, you’d probably think most businesses have a website and an online presence.

Which is definitely the case for medium- to large-sized companies (meaning more than 10 employees). 8 out of 10 of them have a functioning website. And the number is even greater in the US.

But what about small businesses? Well, my friend, the reality for them couldn’t be more troubling…

Only half of US small businesses (with less than 10 employees) have their own webpage. In Spain, only 27.8% of Spanish small businesses actually have a website up and running. Which is shocking, considering that small businesses make up 95% of the Spanish economy.

How is this possible? I mean, everyone should know how important the Internet is…

Unfortunately, most small business owners still think that investing in a website is an unnecessary expense for their business.

But I know for a fact you’re not like most business owners.

You are aware of the importance of creating a strong online presence. Of getting in front of your clients online, offering them a great service, anytime, anyplace.

Which is why you’ve definitely thought about investing in a professional website for your product, program, or project.

Does great web design actually make a difference?

Is it worth investing in?

Can it actually help me reach more clients and boost my sales?

Yes, yes and yes! Here are 5 ways that having a well-designed website for your business helps you sell more online:

1 – Stand out.

Given what we’ve seen, the mere fact that you have a functioning website sets you apart from your competition.

Now imagine if, on top of that, you’ve actually invested in the design and quality of your product or service.

In the branding, messaging and visuals so that your ideal clients actually find you and remember you.

In 2016, the businesses that are taking time to invest in their web design and branding are actually being pioneers.

That might sound strange, I know. You’re probably thinking how the heck is it possible to be a pioneer when you know tons of people with a great website? When you know people who’ve been making a living online for a while now?

That may be true, but remember what the reality is.

Most of the people you remember are part of exactly 3 out of every 10 businesses that have made it a priority to have a website for their company.

2 – Create a memorable brand.

Your website design is more crucial than you’d think.

So let’s do an exercise and put yourself in the shoes of your customers for a moment.

You’re on holiday walking down the street and you see a restaurant that catches your eye. It’s in a great location and looks pretty cool… but it’s closed.

You pull out your mobile phone and look up their website to find out what time they open, how much a meal will cost and what type of food they offer.

You click onto their website and… uh-oh.

It’s clunky and hard to navigate on your phone. There’s a weird jingle playing in the background. A few bad quality photos here and there.

Did your perception of the restaurant just change? Has it gone from a place you’re itching to try to a place you want to run away from?

Now imagine how the story would play out if you visited their page and saw something responsive and that loaded quickly on your phone. Stunning photos that made the food look appetizing. All the information you needed about their opening hours. Even a button that allows you to make a reservation online in under a minute.

This is the same journey that your potential customers go on every time they visit your website.

3 – Consistency in your brand and business.

It’s not enough to have a good-looking brand. It’s not enough to have a good product. It’s not enough to have a catchy slogan.

As consumers, we have higher expectations. Which is why for us it’s important that a business is, above all, consistent.

And one of the ways to show this is through your website.

It’s the ideal place to strengthen your brand identity, clearly state your values, show the benefits of your product or service, and show that there’s a real person that understands every customer’s issues…

And all of this can be done strategically through your logo, your colors, your copy, your story… and through different types of visuals.

Text, photos, videos, infographics… take advantage of everything to strengthen your brand and business reputation.

4 – Become an expert.

In the Spanish-speaking world, it’s happened to Kay, Laura Ribas, Maïder Tomasena, Frank Scipion, Vilma Nuñez, Victor Martín, Laura López…

Every single one of them established their authority in their respective fields because of their websites. It may seem that everyone’s already online, that everything good idea is already being done. But the reality is only a handful of people have really tried to build up their business online.

Only a few have really invested in their webpages, bothered to care about design and usability… and are using their platforms to share their knowledge with others.

Which is why those that are able to perfectly combine these elements end up establishing themselves as experts online.

5 – Let your work speak for itself.

Admittedly, having a great website and creating valuable content consistently is a full-time job. It requires heaps of commitment, discipline, and a whole lot of passion.

Just a few years ago, all you needed to do to share your knowledge was publish a book, give a bunch of talks…

Now, anytime and anywhere you can share what you know with the whole world — all from your website.

Showing what you’re worth, what you know and what you can offer your customers has never been easier.

Despite this, there are very few people nowadays who are actually doing just that.

If you have value to give to others and you’re willing to invest your time, effort, and energy to share it, you can share it all through your website.

Now, I’m not going to give false promises. Committing to having a thriving website and online presence is hard work. You won’t be an overnight success story.

But I can promise you that it’s possible to invest in a good website that paves the way for your business success.

If you’re ready to take your website to the next level with its design, check out my definitive Checklist to launch your winning website that I put together just for you at http://carmenmrodrigo.com/.


Carmen M. Rodrigo was trained as a journalist but pursued her passion as a web designer. She helps online entrepreneurs create beautifully designed, functioning websites to gain greater visibility online. To help you get started with your online business, check out her complete checklist on how to launch your winning website.

 

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