Since starting my journey into digital marketing, the number one question I get is, do I need a website?
Then I realize that they really don’t know the things to consider before jumping into the website pool.
Of course, I think every business needs a website presence, but that is a decision for you to make.
This has been a journey for me too. My first attempt at a website came after I read an artcle about creating a money making blog years and years ago.
It was a great idea and sparked my creativity. But, the article lacked details.
I spent many hours trying to figure it out. And I gave up for a few years.
Later, I tried again with a blog about Unemployment.
I was a bit more successful, but there were still a lot of moving pieces I didn’t understand. So only a few people found my blog.
Now, skip 10 years later. Now I am ready to start you on your web presence journey.
Answer these few questions to help you decide if you need a website. In future blogs, I will go over some of the moving pieces that go into a website.
Question #1: What do you want to achieve with your website?
Before deciding if a website is best for your business, consider exactly what you want it do for you.
Are you looking to grow your website? If so, you will need a website.
Unless you are small and want to stay that way, then you may not need one. But in this digital age, every business needs an online presence.
Can I just have a Facebook page?
There are a few things to consider before putting all your eggs in a social media platform.
Remember that Facebook (and Instagram, twitter etc) is in control of their platform. They make the rules, which can change in a whim. You don’t have any control over it.
Think of it like you are renting space on Facebook.
I know you have noticed less and less engagement on your content, especially if you don’t pay for their ads.
Very few people have the time, resource and knowledge to forsee future changes.
If your business is already booked up and you’re satisfied, then you probably don’t need a website.
But, if you want to do any of the following:
- incorporate online payments
- setting appointments
- sharing more about what you do
…then you need a website.
Question #2: Do you want to control the way your online information displays?
If yes, then you need a website. If no, then you don’t need a website.
Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms give you the ability to showcase your products and services. But they are very limited in how everything displays. Remember, you are just renting space.
If you want to:
- customize how people interact with your content
- show them how to use your products
- get to each product without endless scrolling
…for that level of control, you need a website.
Question #3: Are you pressed for time?
If yes, you need a website. If not, then possibly not.
But, who isn’t pressed for time??
There will be the inital cost and time put into developing exactly what you need to conduct business.
Is your website being an effective employee?
BUT, your website has an important role in your organization.
If your website is only existing and updated once in a while, then you have a bad website.
A well designed and planned website will be an integral part of your business plan.
You deserve a website that helps you solve problems AND serve your clients.
It has to integrate with your business processes.
It has to help you solve your day-to-day challenges.
Even if your business is just on social media, having a website can streamline your processes. The end result is you can spend more time with your family and do the things you want to do.
Question #4: Do you need people to find you through Google Search?
If you want people to find you on Google searches for your products or services, you are going to need a website.
Google does not treat social media accounts the way it does websites. Social media accounts are basically directory listings.
Social media networks act more like directory listings. People have to get pretty close to your social media name to actually find you.
Google My Business
If you want to be found on Google searches, then you will need at least a Google My Business listing.
But if your competition has a website, then just having a Google My Business listing won’t help too much.
It is better than nothing but has a lot of limitations. If you haven’t set yours up yet, I recommend you do.
People make decisions to buy from companies who they can research online. They want to find our more about you and your services or products.
If you don’t have a website, people don’t trust you as much and may see you as a fake business.
Potential customers need to be able to compare you against your competitors. They can’t do if you don’t have a website.
Many times in Google searches, Google My Business Listings aren’t displayed. Only websites are displayed.
Best way to determine what direction you want to go is to go search for yourself. Go to Google and search for what you do and see what the results are. If you aren’t showing up, then you need a website.
A website will help legitimize you and seal the deal.
Question #5: Is your target market on Facebook?
If no, then you need a website.
Will your current clients stay on Facebook?
A better question is: Where is your future target market?
Millennials and Gen Zs are not on Facebook. So, if you are only on Facebook, you are missing whole swaths of the population.
How about Google?
Everyone is on Google. Everyone is searching for something.
If you don’t have a website, how will people find you?
Question #6: Do people ask lots of questions about your product or service before buying?
If yes, you need a website.
You can use social media to educate your potential customers. In fact, that is one good use of it. But the posts will only contain small snippets of information.
There are some things social media can’t do.
- find yourself needing to answer a lot of question before they buy your service
- if you have a lot of forms to fill out before doing business with you
…you need a website.
A well designed website can lighten the load on your staff and yourself so you can focus on doing other things.
Question #7: Does your biggest competitor have a website?
If your biggest competitor has a website, then the simple answer is you need one.
This goes for non-profits too. If other thriving non-profits have a website, then you need to get a website.
Maybe your competitor knows something you don’t.
A well designed website guarantees people will find you online.
And when they do, they get a great impression of who you are and what you do.
If you don’t have a website, it is difficult to separate yourself from your competitors.
Last Question – What exactly is holding you back from getting a well-designed website?
Most people probably will say time. But you always make time for the things that are important to you.
I think the primary reason is overwhelm, not knowing where to start. You feel out of control.
There are so many moving parts people’s eyes glaze over when you talk to them about building a website.
Your website is not a money pit, sucking more and more of your money. It’s an investment in your growth.
It is an investment in your future!