Websites can serve a wide number of purposes – establishing trust, generating leads, selling product, and more. There is a lot a website can do you, but in 2021 with so many platforms and social media options available do you really even need a website?
It might seem a bit odd reading this from a web developer, but the answer may be no. There has never been more options, more platforms, or more outlets for you to do the things a website can do. And often times, these platforms are free.
One example is, a local auto mechanic contacted us about a needing a website. After a consultation and serious exploration of his budget and needs, we suggested he not spend his money on a website just yet. What he needed more than anything was for people to be able to find his business online, get information on his services and read honest reviews. I suggested he spend a third of what his budget was and allow us to set up a Google My Business listing. The service is actually free, but with tech not being his strong suit, it made sense for him to contract it out to people who understand the platform and use best practices to get the most out of it.
That was over three years ago, the client still reaches out on a regular basis to tell us how much it has helped and that his business is constantly growing. We discuss building that website someday but for now, maintaining his online presence with the chosen platform is doing just fine for him.
Social media has really changed the game in many ways, as well. Not so much that it gets people online, but that it gives people who want to be online a place to go. How many of you check social media weekly, daily, hourly? For all the pros and cons of what social media has done to us it is undeniable that it has created in all of us the desire to be online, if for no other reason than it’s where everyone else is. If you are looking to market your products or services you need to be where people are.
So, the question remains, “if people are on social media and I need to market to them do I really need a website? Couldn’t I just have a social media presence?” You bet. Social media channels are powerful and I find clients that choose to focus on one or two channels for their marketing can have great success.
Another example for you. An artist friend contacted us about developing a shopping cart type website for her to sell her work. After a discussion on how she was promoting her work it became obvious she was promoting across mainly one social media channel and that all of the interest was coming from there. Again, we suggested she not spend her money on a website but instead continue promoting and marketing as she had been. What she needed was a sales mechanism, so we set helped her set up a Stripe account and trained her on creating a product URL that could be shared with prospective buyers via a unique link in her posts or even via text messages that would collect money and send her buyer a receipt.
Happy to report that a year later sales are up and that she is doing quite well. We are in talks about creating that website, but not as a shopping cart. She needed a place where interested buyers can go to find about more about her and for her to be able to share info on frequently asked questions.
I think you are starting to get the picture…Do you really need a website?
Not necessarily, but you do need a person or a team that can assess your situation and provide solutions. Digital Marketing Agencies that push websites as the only solution are, in my opinion, to be avoided.
Seems only fair to provide an example of when a website is useful. So, last example, we received an inquiry from budding crypto-consultant (yes that is a thing). They needed a website that could not only inform and educate their prospective clients but also generate leads that could be converted to clients. Crypto Currency is hot right now and it is a very competitive landscape so it was apparent that an aggressive search campaign combined with ad buys, and content marketing were going to be needed. Perfect case for a website that could serve as a hub for all of those things.
Fast forward a few months and the clients blog section of their website has been on fire, both educating and establishing trust for the consultant. Combined with a social presence that directs people to the website the traffic has continued to grow.
If you are asking the question, “Its 2021, Do I really need a website?” Congratulations! You have taken the first step to helping your business get online, improve online presence, or grow your presence online. Keep asking questions and contact Jus B Media for some of the answers, they may not always be what you think.