The Reasons You Need a Website Are Simple.
Why do you need a website for your business?
In the words of my then-18 year old daughter, who couldn’t verify the authenticity of a company who had offered her a job: “Everybody’s Google-able, Mom.” This from a kid who hated the internet.
That is an important reason why you need some kind of web presence. Today’s consumer believes that “everybody’s Google-able.” That is to say, if your organization can’t be found online, people won’t believe you’re legit.
But that’s only one reason. More important is the huge and magnificent opportunity the web presents to express our brands in the world – sharing with customers and community what we offer, and why.
You need a website to represent your organization to any future employees, and you hope to attract the best. And you must absolutely use it to answer any and all questions people might have before they ever pick up the phone to call you.
Business Websites – No One Size Fits All
Struggling with the idea of a website for your organization? Afraid the price tag for a good one will be high? Well, the fix doesn’t have to be hard – or expensive. There are levels. Your level depends on what you need a website to do for you.
No matter how simple your site, you will spend some time, and some money on it. Do it right and get a return on investment. A business website should not be just for show!
Level 1 – Basic Website – A Digital Business Card
I talked to a therapist today. All she really needs is a place for clients to go schedule their own appointments. She is a sole practitioner, so can serve only a finite number of clients every week. She keeps her schedule full just with referrals.
This is not a person who needs a complex website, or a $1500/month SEO or content marketing strategy. For her, that would be a monumental waste of time and money. This business owner might actually get away with a free website, with a [calendar/scheduler plugin].
Level 2 – Typical Business Website – Serves Multiple Stakeholders
This business owner is ready to scale. They have clearly defined goals and objectives, and understand their market. The capacity exists to accept leads from new sources and scale up as they grow.
They need a site with:
– sound underlying structure;
– good, intuitive, navigation structure;
– taxonomy developed with the customer journey top of mind; and
– link structure that keeps readers on the site and, at the same time, showcases the organization’s expertise and authority
And they need consistent, high-quality, strategic content developed for each segment of their market.
Level 3 – Expert Content Marketers – Using the Web to Be Found and Drive Leads
This organization is going all-in with the web. Their well-optimized website offers a content library full of interlocking (“webbed”) information that is useful, educational, or entertaining – and sometimes all three. Their market is well segmented and they understand and create content that caters to each customer segment.
They run a multi-faceted content marketing program. Quarterly, they do strategic content planning. They post original content consistently to their site and to social media: daily or several times a week. This helps them rank in organic search results. And they use social media strategically, including some ads, but don’t spend a fortune in advertising.
There may be more levels, but these three examples are sufficient to make the point. Not everybody needs a lot of bells and whistles in a website, but every credible business today has to have some kind of web presence – just to let people know you’re legit.