In a previous article, I remarked that most people understand the expression “online business” as regular (offline) business marketing or selling their goods and / or services on the internet.
With such perception, Number 1 on the list of reasons why a website is important would be the global audience it allows a business to reach. Or perhaps the 24/7 availability it offers. But that’s not what it is all about in this article.
This article rather speaks of actual online businesses, i.e. business initiatives created and run only on the internet. That’s what the term “online business” really entails.
The Seven Reasons
Below are 7 reasons why a website serves you well in your capacity as an ONLINE BUSINESS owner.
1. It puts you in total control of your business
Take time out to read the ToR, ToU, TandCs, and similar documents of online platforms that give internet users the possibility of joining or subscribing. And you’ll see how limited you are in using those platforms.
Though such documents exist to protect those entities and ensure a level playing ground for all members, in so doing you the individual member suffers simply because you are not the owner. Running your business on your own website puts you in total control and away from the “whims and fancies” of others. You decide what you wish or wish not to publish. It’s all up to you. This is perhaps the most important reason why an online business needs a website.
2. It affords you “freedom of use”
A website is like real estate; it can be used for different purposes.
In the same way that a piece of real estate could be used for medical, educational, commercial, or other purposes, a website would meet just any online need.
It could be used for blogging or other forms of expression of ideas, passion and knowledge. It could also be used by the online business owner to propose online services to clients. From tutoring to translating, editing to transcribing, the website gives its owner(s) a platform to offer services of all kinds to interested clients online.
A website also serves to host landing pages. Though it is true that landing pages are sometimes hosted in a sales funnel framework, some website owners prefer having them installed on a website simultaneously serving other purposes.
From a personal blog to an online store, a website gives its owner the freedom to use it as he / she desires.
3. It’s a good way to acquire free traffic
There are those who successfully conduct business online using other forms of web presence, especially sales funnels. However, doing so goes along with maintaining a considerable budget to ensure that marketing campaigns are effective.
Not every online business owner has the means to acquire paid traffic, especially in the initial stages of his / her business. A website comes in handy in such a case. By applying relevant SEO techniques, an online business owner can direct valuable traffic to his /her offer absolutely free of charge.
4. It provides the possibility for partnerships
One thing a website does for its owners is, it sells – not just their offer – but themselves as well. That is one area when a website beats a sales funnel. With the former, there’s double impact: you propose your offer, and – at the same time – are approachable by your audience who may not only be clients.
Content on your website could appeal to segments within your audience who may identify business prospects that you may not be envisaging. That could lead to a win-win partnership. Partnership could range anywhere from proposal to advertise to being an affiliate for interested companies or brands.
A sales funnel, on the contrary, is a one-way street: no communication, just the offer.
5. It could be monetized in many ways
There are many ways you could earn an income by having a website. You could make money, for instance, by:
– Offer services like teaching, coaching, offering consultations – proposing your expertise in a particular area of interest to your audience which they would pay for
– Accept donations: Quite a few websites do this, and their users are okay with it if they find their content to be helpful, and especially kind of “humanitarian” in nature.
– Affiliate Marketing: By applying to relevant affiliate programs to become their affiliate and thus promote their products and be paid commissions when someone buys any of the products via your website.
– Google AdSense: Sign up with AdSense and be paid for users’ clicks on Google ads hosted on your site. You would need a high traffic to earn a substantial income in this case.
– Sell ads space: to individuals and / or entities wishing to advertise on your site
. . . to name just a few.
Note: A number of the above-listed ways of earning an income from your website would require you installing relevant plugins. You could always do appropriate research to find out how to go about getting things done.
6. It gives you recognition/reputation in an area of interest
Unlike most other forms of web presence, with a relevant website, you become “an authority” in your niche, a source that users look up to for invaluable information. Quite a few online personalities have become well-known for providing valuable information of specific topics online. You can do the same. It would just require you proving your abilities by the content you publish on your site.
7. It attracts users with divers interests
Have you ever gone out with the intention of going to one location, and end up finding yourself somewhere else? That usually happens with search engines and websites. Internet users researching keywords not directly connected to your niche may eventually find themselves on your website.
This normally doesn’t happen with a web presence as a sales funnel. Though a sales funnel has its own advantages, it is generally limited to just one offer in a specific niche.
Often times, such traffic which happened to have stumbled onto your site plays in your favor. They may turn out to be valuable: some eventually become clients, fans or even prospective partners.
In conclusion, I would say that a website offers several advantages to the online business owner, even though it is sometimes criticized as being an “unspecific” marketing tool. Whether it serves as an online store, a means of providing services or a platform for sharing valuable information and possibly engaging in affiliate marketing, a website has advantages that other forms of web presence can not boast of.