Professional Websites are Critical to Modern Businesses
These days, it’s a given that most organizations should have some sort of online presence. Regardless of which sector your company is based in, if you want it to have any degree of success, being searchable-and findable-online is a prerequisite.
Thankfully, having your company seen online is very convenient. Most importantly, you can easily set up a business page on social media. It is clear to see the benefits of doing this. Social networking is open, for a start. Of course, there are opportunities to advertise your website, etc., which will cost you, but without pursuing that option, most companies will get a decent exposure.
Second, social media allows you to interact with individuals in your field, or to recognize individuals who would naturally be drawn to your business. For starters, it would be easy to communicate with fans of comics on social media if you owned a comic book store.
There are, of course, other options other than social media. On applications like OpenTable or Uber Eats, restaurants will often be listed. It’s a no-brainer for those who choose to make an online booking or takeout order instead of ringing the establishment.
Websites Create Legitimacy and Prestige
But it is tempting to eschew the conventional method of online representation, a website, with these ‘social’ choices open to your company. Indeed, in the face of nimble and cost-effective alternatives on social media, we might go as far as to suggest that a website seems rather antiquated. That’s why in the US 2020, the sum of small businesses with a website just tips 50 percent. It’s closer to 40 percent in Canada, the UK, and Australia.
However, among many experts, there is a consensus that a website is not only a good idea but also necessary for any organization with ambition.
The reputation or prestige it provides to a corporation is the first advantage that typically emerges in discussions about websites. On social media, people are suspicious of scams, and they would look for indicators of legitimacy, such as emails, phone numbers, and a website, of course. Almost every guide to detecting social media fraud indicates that you can look at these credibility variables, and getting a website credits the fact that your company is trustworthy.
Website Improves Business Efficiency
There is also the argument that having a website gives a feeling of professionalism and prestige to your business. Again, clients understand that time, resources, and effort would have gone into creating a platform for your company as opposed to making a slapdash social media page. The irony is that building your website these days is very simple and cost-effective. If you want to see some of the best choices compared and rated for website builders, check these out to see which fits your needs and budget.
It should go without saying that helping to create your brand is a website. With social media, there is a rigidity in terms of design that does not extend to your website. To customize the platform to suit your brand, you have got a blank canvas, and that makes your company stand out. More significantly, it can help boost revenues.
Speaking of sales, a website will produce leads. But it is based on the provision that in the first place you get individuals landing on your website. One thing is to connect to your social media network, but there are also avenues to explore such as optimization of search engines (SEO). People are looking for “best barbers in downtown Chicago” or “cheap car repairs near Eugene, Oregon” and you are given the ability to capitalize on those searches by getting a website.
There is, however, a more important point here; namely, if your website has organic traffic, then your company has the right to function the way you want it. What we mean by this is that many small enterprises are paid for by far bigger ones. If you know how the profit margins of restaurants are squeezed by delivery apps such as Uber Eats, or the numerous horror stories about how Amazon handles sellers on its website, then it’s easy to see the sense of being your own master.
A website in and of itself, as suggested above, is not the only key to business success. But as part of a solution, it does factor in. In a way, having an online business presence in the 2020s is about building an ecosystem, of which only one aspect is a website.
Your Business Website Is a Phone Book
It is a critical one, however, and we would suggest that it is important for companies for which a website may not seem necessary. One research indicated that before making a purchase, up to 93 percent (others put it about 80 percent) of consumers study online, even if that purchase is made in person. Now, some of these statistics can be distorted by industry; a lot of people would use TripAdvisor, or similar websites, for instance, before they book a hotel. But before we purchase any new product we are not familiar with, many of us instinctively look online first.
We need to speak a little bit about cost at this stage. It will vary based on what you want the website to deliver, as you would imagine. The keyword here is e-commerce capability, which is a fancy term for providing an online shop. In a nutshell, it would possibly be a little more costly to provide a website with the features of an online store (inventory management, shopping cart, coupon codes, etc.) than a basic website with an accompanying blog.
A website designer would also be much less costly than building a custom website from scratch. The marketplace is very competitive among website builders at the moment, so you can find offers for simple plans for a few dollars a month. As mentioned above, if you want to bring in extras such as shopping carts, you will have to pay more- most website builders have e-commerce plans.
We should also point out that some website builders offer free plans, and if your budget is ultra-tight, it may be something to consider. But these are subject to issues, including the fact that ads are almost always expected to be displayed on the web. You also really miss out on functionality, and your branding is also limited. It is enough to circumvent these problems to spend a few dollars per month for a paid plan, the price of a cup of coffee.
Ultimately, the price should be proportional to your business goals and their growth potential. But those decisions come after, in the first place, the simple one of launching a website. And, that’s something that at least any organization should remember.