When it comes to conducting business online, many companies now focus on established social media and e-commerce platforms. The rise in the use of social media as a way to interact with current and potential customers has been a sharp one and for very good reason. Social media platforms are an excellent way to get your brand into the eyeballs of thousands, while e-commerce sites (such as Amazon) provide simple, elegant ways to sell your products. Because of this, some SMBs have put all their effort into maintaining and running their accounts on these sites, which begs the question, do we really need a good-looking website anymore?
Social media is not enough
The short answer to this is ‘yes.’ If you dream of taking your company to the next level, a Facebook and Amazon account is never going to be enough to propel you much higher in the echelons of the business world. Having a decent looking website can really add to your online presence in more ways than one. For starters, people put a lot more trust in companies that have a brand-aligned website than those who don’t. Whether you feel it should be relevant or not, having a website that looks like it was designed in the 90s, will not fill your potential customers base with trust in your business. Old, unresponsive website make a company look unprofessional, and perhaps worse of all, unsafe to browse. On the other hand, a smart, mobile-responsive, brand-aligned website with a personalized, registered domain will give the impression of a modern, dynamic business that people can trust.
On the subject of domains, there are multiple reasons why you should get a brand-aligned website with your own registered domain. ‘Discoverability’ is an obvious bonus, as you can make sure your website is easy to find for anyone using Google or any other search engines. It always helps to put yourself in the shoes of your customers, and see whether you would trust a company that either had no website at all or one with a URL that includes the name of a content management system. Better to pay for that custom (or vanity) URL, and look like the professional, trustworthy business that you are.
Make sure your site is mobile responsive
These days, you will probably find that the most popular way that potential customers find your business is on a mobile device. If your website was created a decade ago, you might well be in a situation where the website itself does not recognize what screen size it is being viewed on, or which orientation the device is being held in. We have all been on sites like this, where you have to scroll backward and forward to read a paragraph, or ‘pinch and zoom’ to see an entire image. This, in 2019, is not a good look. Modern websites should respond to each device they are being displayed on, making the whole experience much more pleasurable for the user, while also making your company look far more cutting-edge than those who look like they designed their web-presence on Geocities or MySpace.
When you have your new good-looking website up and running, you may find yourself in a situation where it sits virtually untouched for months at a time. While this is normal for a lot of businesses where their products rarely change, this won’t make your website jump up to the Google rankings at a rate you would desire. Google uses ‘crawlers’ to trawl the web looking for changes that are being made to websites and listing those who look active much higher than those that seem static. Because of this, it is a good idea to make changes and additions to your website from time to time. But if your products rarely change, how can you do this? One very easy way to add content to a website is by creating a blog that you update with information related to your business. This doesn’t have to be a daily or even weekly occurrence, but posting a couple of times a month on your website will let the search engines know that it is still ‘live’ and being used.
So before you convince yourself that your booming business does not need an actual website of its own, consider the added value that having one could bring to the table. With such powerful website-building tools at your disposal, domain registration at such reasonable prices, and so many associated bonuses that come with having your own website, the real question should be, can you afford not to have one?