— April 24, 2018
Business websites still matter whether for new or returning customers. Even in the world of apps, people using those apps still end up on websites most of the time.
Think about it. What kind of content are your friends and family sharing on Facebook?
News, blog posts, images, videos, etc. It all comes down to content that’s most likely on a website.
That’s why websites are more relevant than ever before. If you don’t have a website then your content is just floating around the internet. That means people aren’t likely to know where the content comes from or that it belongs to you.
In a social media and sharing world, your website is the center of your brand and online presence.
That means it has to do a great job at converting visitors into leads.
While a website is more important than ever there are some circumstances where it’s not the right solution.
When You Don’t Need A Website
When you’re just starting out a new business, a website isn’t the first step to take.
If you’re light on money and/or are in a crowded niche then a website may not help right away. Not until you’ve built a little something that is.
The first place you probably want to start a new business is getting it listed online. You need to get on every local business directory you can because that’s where people are probably going to find you in the early days.
You’re much better investing what money you have in putting your business on platforms people are already on rather than creating a website just to have one.
That’s why I recommend not going the DIY website route. The purpose of the DIY website is just to have a website which is a waste.
If you don’t have the money to invest in a website, you don’t need one. You’re sometimes better off not having a website if the proper effort and purpose isn’t put into it.
Once you have something going then a website is probably somewhere you’ll want to venture.
Business Website Purpose
Business websites still matter IF they’re done for the right reasons.
There are two main purposes having a website should fall into. Make sure at least one of these applies before you bother with a website.
- Build confidence with potential leads so they know your organization can solve their problem.
- Convert visitors into leads that are ready to buy your service or product.
In the first point, people are doing their research and hunting down information to solve their problem.
The second point someone is interested in your business but needs to convert. How easy is that to do on your website?
I see these points failing to be covered with many DIY websites. It’s easy to tell a DIY website from a mile away because they don’t appear to have any goal they’re moving visitors towards.
Keep your eye on the prize. Most websites fail at doing that.
DIY websites fail because they’re simply a template to plug generic information into. That’s not enough for a business website.
Many businesses can have a family basic website as long as it’s done right. There are many web designers who may want to do too much though. Sometimes simple is good.
A website can also be overkill depending on what’s needed. There is a fine balance between a useful website and overkill for a business website.
Hand-coded websites used to be the only way to go. In face, hand-coding where I got my start. Now though they can be too expensive for most businesses. Unless there’s a specific reason for a hand-coded website, it’s not necessary.
In fact, the assumption should be a website should be built on a CMS like WordPress until proven otherwise.
There is such thing as underkill in web design too! Underkill is DIY platforms like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. If a website is for making money then web design isn’t about design unless it can point back to how it’s helping to make money.
Web Design Isn’t Design Anymore
Design isn’t all about design in the traditional sense. It’s not about looking pretty and simply functioning how it should.
A website that functions as it should doesn’t mean the goal was determined properly.
If a website is designed to tell people about a business then that’s easy to do. What’s wrong with that?
It’s not a meaningful enough goal.
Design is also about having a meaningful goal for a website that’s business driven.
That means the website is designed around doing one of the two things I mentioned above.
This will lead to an evolution for most web designer jobs from designing websites towards adding value to the process of finding new visitors and converting them into leads.