“All I want is a really simple website. It can be a one-pager, like my brochure, but just online.”
I've spoken with plenty of people who are inquiring about our services but express this sentiment about their company's website. They have been told they have to have a website, but they don’t fully understand why, and they don’t think much effort needs to be put into the web design process or the content creation.
They don’t yet realize that their website is the foundation for their company’s digital presence, and they haven’t quite acknowledged that the Internet is a critical space for them to compete in today’s economy and present themselves as a relevant brand.
Why Your Web Presence Matters
Regardless of how exactly they express it, I can often tell when an individual feels that their brand’s website is just a little box they’re required to check off on the path to bigger and better things in the business world. Seeing things this way would be to ignore the reality that the Internet is the world's largest and busiest marketplace.
It reduces a company's web presence down to the equivalent of a 2x3 inch business card that lists your name and contact info, nothing more than a wallet-sized hope for a future interaction. Is this all that a website can be? You may have already guessed this, but I certainly don't think so.
On a sliver of cardstock or even a full sheet flyer, there is no way you can fit a photo gallery showcasing your services, a testimonial section speaking to the quality of your work, bios that bring your employees to life for potential customers, blog posts speaking to your industry expertise, and a virtual store that allows customers to purchase what you’re offering and join your family of brand-users right from their device of choice. You need a website - a really strong one - to do all of those things.
While I’ve just given you summary of some of the features we can implement on your website, I still haven’t yet explained exactly why you should you care whether your website can accomplish these things. There are a lot of good explanations, but my favorite is to think of your company's website as an employee. Let's walk through this analogy together...
How are Websites and Employees Alike?
When you are looking to hire an employee, you're going to create requirements and set expectations for performance. You're going to look for an employee that can represent your company well in his or her community. You're going to look for someone who can connect with your clients, as well as collaborate with coworkers to make your team more effective. Ultimately, when you hire someone, you’re expecting that employee will create a meaningful return on investment and a true impact for your company.
If you read back through those statements and exchange the word “website” for "employee," you get a pretty good picture of what a website can and should be doing for you and your company.
Your website should...
- Fulfill the requirements you set for it
- Represent your brand well, embrace your culture and engage your community
- Connect personally with each member of your audience
- Contribute to your company’s day-to-day functions and your team’s efficiency
- Be seen as an investment with the expectation that it creates a meaningful return
You wouldn’t try to run a business without any employees, so why would you try to sell products or services in the digital age without a website? Employees and websites are both vitally important to making your business model work, engaging with your target audience and turning a profit in the most efficient way possible.
Does Your Website Position You For Success?
So take a minute to assess your website. Is your website collecting leads for your salespeople? Is it filling up your appointment book? Is it moving your products? Is it working with your other business systems to make life easier for you and your employees? Is it connecting potential donors or customers to the content they need to make an informed decision in your favor?
Do You Need a Digital Partner?
If your website is producing the results you're looking for, I’m ready to help you celebrate because you've got a great grasp on what a website can and should be doing in 2016. But not everyone has it just right yet, and the digital landscape is constantly changing. Most business people are always looking for ways to grow their brands.
To do this, I encourage you to find digital experts to help you achieve the highest level of success possible. Select a web partner you are comfortable with and start raising the expectations around what your website could be doing to build your company’s digital presence.
Let’s Build Your Website Together
Here at Speak, we would love to be that team of web designers and digital marketing experts for you. We’re eager to help you elevate your online presence by building your brand a website that can serve as a strong foundation for meeting your digital goals, which translates to success for your business both on the Internet and in the real world.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to drop us a line in the comment section or contact us to talk shop.