Many small businesses who launch their first website usually have no idea what they are getting into. They know that they need a website and, for the most part, they know that they need a way to take orders. The problem for most small business owners is that they are operating on a small budget and do not have the resources to get the most out of their website. They also may overlook the need for market research as well as providing valuable content to users. On the internet, prospective customers usually want information as well as a sense of trust with the website’s owner. For a small website owner, how are you able to satisfy all of those needs without having to spend a lot of money? This is where WordPress comes in.
Unlike most shopping cart solutions that are built solely for the purpose of taking orders, and static websites that offer a sales letter and a ‘buy now button’, WordPress is designed to give a small business more flexibility and power by offering an all in one content, market research and online sales tool. Best of all, thanks to thousands of professional developers who add new plugins (they create added functionality to a WordPress site such as shopping carts), as the internet evolves over time, so will a website powered by WordPress. Below are a benefits of WordPress that I feel every small business needs to consider:
WordPress Is More Than Content – It’s Interactivity
WordPress was originally designed for people who wanted to create a blog without having to pay for a blogging service all while allowing themselves more control over the look and feel of their website. The benefit of a blogging tool was that it allowed people with no html or web scripting knowledge to post whatever content they needed without worrying about designing each html page that is served to the visitor. This was a remarkable advantage for people who were creative and wanted to express their thoughts publicly. As time went on, bloggers realized that while it was important to provide content that would motivate visitors to come back regularly, they also needed a way to interact with them. This is where the comments section comes in handy.
The comments section, which allows visitors to comment on published articles, has transformed the way many small businesses run their websites. Through the comments section, visitors can ask questions about a product and customers can provide
feedback as well as provide testimonials. You can imagine how this will help a company’s sales over the years. In the earlier days of the internet, before WordPress, having interactivity on the website was almost unheard of unless you set up a message board or basic contact form. The problem with message boards, as opposed to a comments system, is that not everybody wants to register for a message board account just to post one opinion or to leave one comment. This also doesn’t include the extra work and cost associated with such a solution.
As for signup forms, which were usually the only form of interaction for most websites in the 1990’s, they do not allow you to share your interaction with the public. For instance, if a testimonial is sent to you through a contact form, nobody visiting your website would know this unless you posted it online yourself. With WordPress, that information is made available to you instantly as well as your visitors. Of course, should you not wish to publish every comment made available to you, WordPress allows you the option to either moderate comments or delete them entirely. This type of power and control, over one’s website and business, were simply not available before a solution like WordPress.
WordPress As A Market Research Tool
With WordPress, you can create polls, create discussions and even analyze the visiting and buying habits of customers through an endless array of plugins that are made available to you – mostly for free. The information needed to make sound business decisions can be delivered to you without any work or extra cost on your part. Before the internet, if a company wanted to get an idea of what their target market wanted in a certain product or service, that company would hire a market research team to find out that information for them. In those days, a company had to be proactive and contact potential customers and learn more about them. Thanks to WordPress, the market research process now works in reverse because the target market comes to you and, unlike most people who are contacted through market research interviews, your visitors are happy to tell you what they are looking for. It goes without saying that such information can prove invaluable when building your business.
WordPress As An Evolving Business Tool
As the internet grows, so does WordPress. In the beginning days of WordPress, there were no social media websites such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook. Now that we are here in 2012, where the web is more about sharing information than a hard sell approach, WordPress has adapted over time to make it easy for small businesses to share videos, add followers to Twitter and Facebook and build their social marketing presence. Once again, a small business is offered many free solutions (plugins) to keep up with the times without having to do any work on their part. Thanks to the hard work of thousands of developers worldwide, and the support of millions of users, you can guarantee that WordPress will adapt to an ever changing online world. This will prove invaluable to any small business owner who wants to remain competitive without having to incur heavy costs and radical shifts in their website structure.
WordPress As A Powerful Sales Tool
WordPress offers a wide variety of payment options such as Paypal, Ebay and Google Checkout – from offering subscriptions to one time payments or donations – all without you having to write one line of code. Instead of having to spend potentially thousands of dollars for a custom sales solution, you can have a secure method of taking orders while also delivering content to your users. Whether you need to sell one product or many more, there is no limit to what can be done with WordPress as a sales tool.
As you can see, a small business can benefit mightily by using WordPress due to its flexibility, adaptability and ease of use. You do not have to come from a technical background to use it and you most certainly do not need to be technically savvy in order to make your WordPress site more powerful. All you have to do is have a plan as to what you want to accomplish with your website and let WordPress handle all of the hard work while you focus on your business. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about how a WordPress website can help your business, please contact us.