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Why A Website Is Essential For A Business 

Connect Hebrides Web Design - Print Advertising Is Not Web Design

Print advertising doesn't make it real !

Connect Hebrides Web Design - Why A Website Is Essential For A Business

a website makes it real !

The internet is now a fundamental of business life and the public now expects every organisation, no matter its size, to have a website. Many consumers now demand instant convenience and value, which means having an online presence is an essential for business success in an increasingly competitive global economy.

The internet has significantly changed how people make purchasing decisions. In the past consumers based these decisions on information they received from offline sources such as print media. However, that has all changed with the basic function of almost all websites now focused on how to convert poorly-informed offline shoppers into well-informed online buyers of goods and services.


Making a purchase online is easier, quicker, and more convenient than through traditional offline methods. This translates into a higher percentage of online users who are more likely to commit to either a purchase or a service via a website.


Discerning consumers now investigate extensively online prior to making a purchasing decision. Research has shown that 81% of online shoppers want to get as much comparative detailed information as possible before they make an informed choice about a buying decision.


However, despite the continual importance of an online presence for businesses of all types and sizes, many small businesses are not adjusting their strategy accordingly.  Many small business owners still view their business as a totally offline entity, pursuing traditional means to promote themselves such as print media, leaflets, brochures, or word-of-mouth to try to win new custom.

When comparing traditional offline methods to online marketing, the benefits of an online presence are as follows :-


  • There is much more informative interaction and customer engagement, with a larger target market reach.

  • The results can be easily measured, and the data can be used to continuously focus and re-target the marketing effort.

  • It is infinitely cheaper with a better return on investment.

  • It is instantly accessible, amendable, and shareable.

Although it is clear that business is becoming progressively digital, small business owners are often unconvinced about why they should have a business website. Harnessing the web as a business tool is important, even for businesses that may consider themselves as primarily offline. So, no matter how established a businesses is offline, it is now crucial to get the basics of an online presence in place. Some business owners have not yet adapted to the idea that while websites used to be more of a 'bonus' for a company, they are now as essential as a business card.

A 2019 study reported that 84% of consumers believe that small businesses with websites are more credible than those without an online presence. Additionally, the same survey found that 83% of the surveyed businesses that do have websites said their online platforms gave them a competitive advantage over similar businesses without websites.

A business website can be a highly effective marketing tool, and it can be very cost-effective with very little downside. Some of the substantial benefits are :-

  • A business with a professional online presence can gain significant competitive advantage in its given market.

  • A website allows smaller business entities to compete with larger organisations by ‘levelling’ perceived market scale.

  • A website can convey competence and establish trust.

  • A website can strengthen a brand and forge better customer relations.

  • A website can inform and communicate to a wider group of people about a business and its capabilities.

Speed, efficiency, and ease of access are all top priorities for consumers searching online for a product or service. A business website is essentially a 24-hour/365-day digital 'showroom' in an increasingly competitive, and fast-paced, information age; it is a digital asset which, if properly managed, can create opportunities for business development and growth. 


Although there are many different types of website, the most popular types of sites are :-

  • Brochure – Small website displaying a company’s basic information about its products or services.

  • Business – Generic website detailing all aspects and activities of a business, ranging from small-to-medium sized companies to corporate enterprises.

  • Landing Page - A single page site created for a marketing campaign that drives visitors to take a specific action. In general, a website home page is designed for exploration, whereas a landing page is customised to a specific campaign or offer, and is designed for conversion, be it a sale, a sign-up, or a lead.

  • Sales Funnel - A sales funnel is a series of ordered web pages that guide potential customers along a buyer's journey from the awareness to the conversion (purchase) stage. The pages are set up so that traffic flows linearly from one point of entry, through a set of steps, to a specific goal/action. As with a landing page a sales funnel is designed to focus on conversion, be it a sale, a sign-up, or a lead. A landing page is a single web page, a sales funnel comprises multiple linked web pages.

  • E-Commerce – Website selling products or services with a sales and payment cart.

  • Blog – Online journal or informational page that is regularly updated on either a standalone basis, or integrated into other websites imparting knowledge authority.

  • Portfolio – Online portfolio displaying creative work.

  • Personal – Online resume displaying a person's work experience and skills.

  • Educational – Usually an interactive website with educational information on any given topic.

  • Media/Entertainment – Regularly updated content websites covering current affairs, sports, and entertainment.

  • Non-Profit – Similar to business websites, but encouraging visitors to assist with any given cause.

  • Crowdfunding – Used for accepting ‘pledges’ and donations for any given cause.

  • Portal – Typically internal websites for educational and public services sectors where users log into systems.

A website needs to be functional across a variety of viewing devices, and it should incorporate and integrate with social media; it must adapt to the way that consumers interact with it. Clear connection between an organisation’s website and its social media presence helps increase online visibility and promotes greater engagement with its audience.


Social media is a key underpinning of marketing, as it provides a way to stay connected with an audience on a daily basis. It is an effective means of communication that simultaneously allows organisations to develop a ‘personality’ and reach out to existing customers, and to reach potential new customers. The website and social media channels should integrate seamlessly to promote the business and its goals.

However, it has to be stressed that social media, such as Facebook, is not a substitute for a website. It can be a valuable extension to a brand and a helpful component of a marketing strategy. While a Facebook Business Page can be beneficial, a website gives perceived value and that is where customers will go first for accurate and trustworthy information about a business. A website is an all-in-one business hub and social media tools should direct inbound traffic into it.

A business website should be the online hub for a company's marketing efforts by integrating with third-party platforms and applications. These third-party systems include customer relationship management software 'CRM', accounts' solutions, merchandising systems, business platforms, gateways, and networks. Benefits of integration include automation, seamless management, and better communications.


Ideally, a CRM should serve as the core hub of all sales activities. Properly managed it can build customer relationships and streamline processes so they can increase sales, improve customer service, and increase profitability.

A business website can also provide considerable customer data and insights via web analytics. The website can be used as a marketing and analytics tool which can provide real-time data about the following :-  


  • The demographics of the site visitors; how they found the site.

  • The number of daily/weekly/monthly visitors to the site.

  • How many pages visitors accessed per visit and how much time was spent viewing each page.

  • How frequently visitors returned to the site.

  • Which devices and browsers were used to view the site.

  • By using colour-changing heat maps that can provide advanced mouse-tracking analytics of exactly where visitors have engaged and interacted with the website.


The diverse range of data available can be used as a tool for business and market research to continually assess and improve the effectiveness of a website and the performance of a business.

Questions invariable arise about the cost and affordability of a website. The cost of a site will vary depending on the specifics of each individual site. It is an investment in the business, it is an asset which will continually generate growth and profit, rather than a ‘sunk’ non-contributing cost that cannot be recovered. It cannot be stressed enough that an investment in a website is a long-term investment in a business.


When considering the benefits that even the simplest site can provide, the question that should be asked is can a business actually afford not to have a website?


A business’s online presence, regardless of industry, can have a massive impact on its success.

In the digital world, where consumer behaviours change daily, businesses need to adapt to meet consumer demands. One of the most efficient ways to achieve that is to have a business website which enhances brand awareness and which takes a 'customer-centric' approach, giving credibility and trust to the business.

A professional website adds value to the business by opening important opportunities for increasing profitability, such as acquiring new customers and re-engaging existing ones, gaining strategic partnerships, accessing new markets, building brand awareness, and measuring return-on-investment.

Success will ultimately be determined by the satisfaction of the customer, and the ability to improve the information and services that a business offers as technology advances.

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