Over the past few years, the introduction of the internet and the massive ubiquity has moved the world to become more connected than ever. Back then talking to someone would happen over weeks – now, we’ve adjusted to expecting a reply in a few minutes over a website that everyone uses.
As a business, it would only be natural to take advantage of this new form of communication. Not only will you be able to easily reach people from people outside your local cities, but the cost of reaching people from far away places have also devolved into a manageable expense. On top of that, being “online” adds a tinge of professionalism and feel-good branding to your current and potential customers alike.
With the age of social media upon us – with platforms like Facebook and Instagram owning all the attention of the majority of society – will having your own website really add any value to your business?
While the definition of a website can differ from a web application, they share the same medium in that they are accessible via a browser on any computing device – be it tablets, laptops, or smartphones. Having a website – one that acts as your official domain on the world wide web – offers some advantages for your enterprise. Read on.
A Website Is Basically A Marketing Tool
It is common for business owners to find it hard to spend for a website. When a business has operations only in a certain city – where most of their customers are the people living within their vicinity – spending for something online doesn’t really add value to their bottomline. What most people should realize that for enterprises looking to adjust to the changes in the market, a website is just another expense on the marketing budget. Simply put, the main reason for having a website is marketing. With an audience that has ubiquitous access to the internet and social media, having www.yourbusiness.com allows any enterprise to engage their customers in ways previously inaccessible to most.
The most basic website for any business will mostly contain information – info on the business, what it does, it’s story, and it’s message to the public. Most will have an address with an accompanying map for visitors to easily find out where to find the business. Some will feature stories and compelling content that shows the visitor what the business is all about. Others show customer stories and testimonials that add to the positive perception of the enterprise.
Going deeper into what a website can offer, as a marketing tool it can be an effective lead generation platform. When people visit your site and find you to be compelling enough, they want to be able to do transactions with your business. Thus most websites have a contact form where potential customers can easily leave their contact information. Leads are very important for any enterprise looking to engage in business, and having your own website can greatly help in that regard.
As a marketing tool, a business’ own website can offer one angle that most social media platforms cannot. When you own your own website, you can control everything that has to do with how it looks and how it is presented. While social media pages can be customized up to a certain level, a website can perfectly define what your organization represents. It can represent your missions and belief that any generic social media page cannot – you control your branding, your colours, your fonts, even how your website looks in tablets, phones, and desktops. It is this benefit that allows businesses to present their products and services in the most effective way possible – a real possibility when you own your own website.
Benefits of having a website:
You get your own domain – a URL that says www.yourbusiness.com where you can proudly share to your customers
Complete control of content presentation – be it articles, pictures, data charts, videos, etc.
Exposure to people searching for your services via search engines like Google – this also allows you to engage in pay-per-click advertising and SEO campaigns
Ownership of assets and independence from social media sites. Social media can shut down and take all your data and customers with you, but having your own site protects you from the fallout if this happens
One location to point your customers and potential market to
Why You Might Not Need One
We’ll be honest and say that despite all these advantages, there are some valid reasons for your business to not get a website. Reasons can vary, and are highly dependent on your marketing plans for your business moving forward.
The most common reason for not getting a website is that your business’ customers are strictly local, personal, and require face-to-face from all the stages of the sales process. These can range from highly specialized services to products that involve heavy logistics where the sales process happens over months.
Enterprises that sell direct to consumers also have the least need for having a website developed. Resellers and small-time products that sell directly to consumers don’t need much marketing and reach. In their case, social networks like Facebook and Instagram are most beneficial for their business. Social networks allow them to engage with their audience better, and allows for small businesses to keep their overhead expenses low.
On that note, audience reach for websites are highly dependent on search traffic and organic search – something that takes time and would need some basic data on performing SEO optimizations. One business can go the route of Pay-Per-Click advertising, but these campaigns can be costly depending on the keywords one wishes to bid on.
Reasons why you might need a website:
You want control over your online presence, where your next set of customers will be coming from
You want to expand your business from local to online, also known as Ecommerce
It adds plus points for your customer to see the initiative for your business to get your own website. People looking for your services will see how serious you are and willing to adjust to the current market trends
Reasons why having a website won’t interest you:
Your current marketing plans do not fit in a budget for having a website
Nature of product is explicitly direct-to-consumer, thus social networks should be the platform invested in
Business operations cannot be possibly expanded online and digital, and you have no one you personally trust that you think can do a good job
As a final note, websites – like any marketing tool – should be taken on a case-to-case basis. It works for some businesses, at the same time it could be costly for others. Without any good guidance, businesses shouldn’t jump into having one made and get burned by an agency just willing to get sales but do not support the missions of the business. In the end, Anchoride aims to move society forward with the help of technology, and if you feel like you need one made, we’d be more than happy to talk.