This has been a question asked since the dawn of time. Well, maybe not quite that far back, but at least since the internet became a mainstream tool available to businesses and households alike. It seems like the thing to do, and it certainly isn't hard to get one.
There was a time when anyone who was anyone had a website. It didn’t even really have to do anything, you just had one. Maybe it had some contact information on it. Maybe there were some rainbows.
It’s just what you did.
Have you noticed a change in that trend? It’s possible that you haven’t, seeing as how there are over a billion website online right now. As in, you read that sentence and the number is just going up. Are they all active? Probably not, but it’s still fairly telling.
So how would you react if I told you that you probably don’t need a website right now for your business. I mean, in reality you probably have brochures, business cards, and regular customers. Why do you need a website that has all of the same information that is already available in other places?
Okay so maybe I misled you a little bit. Obviously, having a website will help your business (usually), and everyone has one (except for your local businesses, seriously, check it out).
As I mentioned before, when the internet became really accessible around 1995 to households and businesses, it was expected that you had a website. They didn’t really do anything, but you had one, and that’s all that mattered.
Well, truth be told, times have changed. If you try and keep that mindset nowadays, you’re honestly better off not even bothering. Having a website that is out of date, doesn’t offer new information, or work with current technology will actually drive business away from you faster than it will help you build a customer base.
I thought you’d never ask. Of course we should probably have some sort of answer to this dilemma, because you want more business and customers, right?
Building on the idea above, I’d like to suggest that you change your way of thinking a bit. Yes, you need a website. In our current state of technological living, you would be crazy not to have one.
But that should just be a starting point. Websites are no longer the pinnacle answer to everything. In the evolution of things, they’ve really become more of a building block or stepping stone in the grand scheme of things.
What you need (if I may be so bold) is a marketing strategy, and tools to make it happen. Remember that building block? That’s where you website comes in. So let’s look at some ideas as to how we can utilize different elements to get you in front of more people.
- Invest in a website that does exactly what you need. Templates are not going to be your friend. They are too easy to set up and forget about. You need to invest in this tool.
- Figure out ways to get new customers and engage existing customers. You can do this online, offline, or some combination of both. Engage through email, and/or postcards.
- Utilize web technologies. Email subscription lists are insanely powerful when used with your website. You can keep customers coming back on a regular basis by simply leveraging product announcements, coupons, or even just business advice.
- Take time to invest in proper SEO. This can be crucial. If you have a great looking website with content that was written by a 5th grader, you probably aren’t going to impress too many people. Talk to your developer to get some ideas on how to use keywords to your advantage to get more eyes on your pages.
- Get connected with a developer who knows their stuff. It might seem like a no brainer, but you really don’t want your website managed by your neighbors kid who visits in the summer. Search Engine algorithms change pretty frequently, and you want someone who’s going to let you know when these changes are going to impact your website negatively or positively. You don’t want to be behind the curve when changes are made.
- Find someone who knows a designer or is a designer. If you can get your website and print collateral matching and on point, people are going to figure you really have your business together. Plus your assets are going to match and that’s always super attractive to visitors.
The bottom line is yes, you need a website if you want to reach more people in your business. But more importantly, you need to realize that a website is only part of the equation now. It takes an investment of money, time, and ongoing attention to be an effective tool.
Luckily, there’s good news in all of this.
I can hear your sighing in relief. You already have plenty to do, right?
If you get yourself a web person worth their salt, this process will end up being fairly painless, and you’ll probably find yourself doing a lot less than you expect. With proper communication and planning, you can set up a relationship with a business or individual who can manage your website, give you recommendations on improvements, and take care of the hard stuff you don’t want to deal with.
If you find yourself in this sort of position, give WebInke Design a call or contact us through our form. We can help with all of the items we mentioned above, and we’re always happy to talk it over with you in order to get you the best strategy possible.
Creative thinking and development are just a part of what makes James tick. When he's not working on a project for a client, he's usually working on a project for himself. When he's not doing that he can be found snowboarding, hiking, or enjoying a broadway show with his wife.