What Website Designers Do Not Tell You When You Opt For A Digital Presence
For most people and small businesses, the answer to the question, whether they need a website or not is pretty simple – you don’t, get a nice Facebook and Instagram page instead. But if you’re an aspiring business looking to showcase your portfolio and take commissioned work, the owner of a small scale product business, or just trying to make a name for yourself in your favourite line of work you might reconsider the answer. A well designed and optimized website puts you high up in search engines and can vault you above and beyond the threshold of credibility that is often the barrier to a “sale” in the digital era. And the cool part is, you can measure your progress every single minute of every single day.
Standing Out in the Clutter
Humans, like all other living beings, respond to signals. As you scroll past hundreds of memes, thousands of status updates and hundreds of thousands of image posts from your friends on your social media feed, the monotony is broken once in a while by a single blue tick.
Here is a personality. Verified. Celebrated. Followed.
In the clutter of social media, any business with a page on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter will find it tough to gain traction or customers. Even if you boost your posts or use all of the tricks in the digital marketer’s handbook when it comes to marketing your business on social media, chances are your competitors will be doing the same. Standing out in that crowd means gaining credibility, and what better way to tell your competition you mean business with your business than with a website that cements your approach to whatever it is you provide or sell?
At a point when market saturation for small businesses with a website is still fairly low, investing in a website can give you a first mover’s advantage as more and more people discover the width and breadth of the internet outside of the social media platform they use.
This brings us to the next point…
Getting Noticed by the Big G
Given how gaga we go over a Google Doodle that celebrates our country’s culture or history, it’s safe to say almost everyone is a fan of being noticed by the biggest and the most convenient search engine out there.
Having your website ranked on Google - and the likes - is a much bigger deal than you previously thought. Yes, having a Facebook page means you’re able to access a platform that likely has all of your customers already on it, but one of the downsides to being only on Facebook is that search engines will never thoroughly scan the contents of your product or service portfolio for information.
Thanks to the magic of Search Engine Optimisation, a website that lists your product or service can be scraped for information and eventually displayed as relevant results to people searching for those products or services. In this instance, Google Search is effectively your salesman. The higher up your site is in the search engine, the less time you are taking to win customers through your unique value proposition.
Think of how frequently you yourself search for a product on Google. Now think of how many of those results lead you to a Facebook page. Go on, try it.
Get an Idea Of What Your Customers Want, Without Them Telling You
With any website, you can use powerful analytics tools to gauge customer happiness, points of interaction and essentially track the routes they take from entering your website to exiting it – whether or not you make the “sale”.
Remember, if a customer visits your website, they must have found it. How did they find it? Where did they come from? What were they looking for that interested them enough to dig around on a search engine or ask a friend for recommendations?
Answering all of these questions can help you determine your strategy for your business in countless other areas. Maybe you’re a wedding photographer and someone left your website link on a comment thread on a Facebook post in a “desperately seeking” group. Knowing your potential customer found your website and online portfolio from a social media referral can probably convince you to stop printing those useless leaflets that you distributed outside of a railway station on Friday once and instead invest in a Facebook ad boost, thus making your promotions more effective and help save our trash-littered streets in one fell swoop.
While Facebook analytics provide a clear enough picture of who your customers might be, social media analytics are still inadequate at tracking the flow of your customers’ thoughts. With a website and some easily procured addons, you take the first step to truly understanding who your customers are and where they’re coming from.
Your Website Can Show Off What You Can Do
A good, clean website points to you having good attention to detail – if your customers find it easy to use and navigate, it leaves a lasting impression that significantly boosts your chances of a repeat sale.
If you try shortcuts and skip the thorough bug-fixing, your customers will find it an immediate turn-off and will most likely never return. Yes, a great User Experience is key.
Your website is a chance to represent your ideals and approach to providing your customers with an experience. It’s a window into who you are as a person, an entrepreneur and a manager. It allows you to set the tone of the products you sell or the services you provide, control the narrative of what your business stands for, and highlight the best that you can do.
In The New Normal, A Website Is Your Visiting Card
Thanks to the Coronavirus, cultural norms of doing business are changing rapidly. You do not have to shake hands with the other party. You do not have to sign documents in person. You may never have to be in the same room, again, unless you want to. Do you realise how much time you are saving? Let us say goodbye to a big chunk of the energy drain we used to face every day:
Being stuck in traffic.
But it also presents a problem – in a world where the act of handing over a business card carried so much prestige, status and made instant statements of where you fit in, social distancing has pretty much desecrated the ritual of letting other people know how to find you.
Here’s where a website can truly elevate you to the next level. Having a website is no different to having an office – you can direct people to the address, show them your tastefully done décor in a guided tour, and provide them with valuable information on how to contact you again. And you can design your office, any way you please and if people do not respond in your desired manner, change it.
Try something new! Research the market. Do a quick google search. Get awareness followed by inspiration. Coding is not necessary. Hours of meetings with a developer are not necessary. Drag and drop by using powerful, reliable and cost-effective website building solutions such as Page Builder , Unbounce , SQUARESPACE or Wix. One advantage you have using Page Builder is, once you buy the product, you always have the option to get in touch with some of the world’s best web designers and have them customize your site while you still just pay a yearly maintenance fee. Saving on resources in the long run and owning your website forever.
Even if you aren’t operating a business, a website can be a one-stop solution to directing people to you. If you’re a dentist, having a website can allow people to book appointments. If you’re selling gift cards for online game stores, your website can allow people to pay via secured payment gateways. If you’re selling sarees, you can get customers to leave reviews of the quality of your sarees so you can attract even more customers. All you have to do is give them the link.
The best part? You don’t have to be your own salesperson anymore – provided you have a solid business and prioritise customer satisfaction, your customers can and will spread the word and the link to your website. Last we checked, a business card can’t be shared as easily.