By James Otihi
The internet and websites have been around for decades now and the relevance of this technology in our modern world cannot be overlooked. Web design and development are fields created out of this technology. But with that fact stated it is not exactly everyone that sees the need to embrace this technology. When I tell some of my potential clients that they need to launch a website they sometimes reply with shrugs. So why exactly do you need a website?
Before I answer the question above I would love to spell out that if you have a skill, own a business, want to promote an idea, have a resume (of course you need to have one), want to promote your hobby, are an artiste, are an actor/actress, are a model, render services of any kind, are a writer, are an author, would love to blog, have a talent to showcase… and the list goes on, you definitely need to have an online presence through your website.
Reasons why you need a website
The reasons presented here are not in any way exhaustive there are quite a number of reasons why you should have a website.
1. The internet is the final frontier to reach your target audience. A well designed website can enable you to reach the kind of customers that will be interested in your product or service. Think of your business location. It is probably located on a street, in a particular area of a town which is located in a city. How many people passing through your street will become your new customer? Probably quite a handful or none at all. But with a website you have the opportunity to be seen the world over. Not just by those within your immediate surroundings. Even your business card and a public business record do not have that type of reach.
2. Your strongest competitor already has a website. That is one fact that you cannot overlook. If you have a business, service or belong to any of the category mentioned in the second paragraph and you don’t already have a website just google your type of business and tag it with your location and you’ll be surprised by what your competitors are achieving with their websites.
3. A lot of potential clients will look you up on the internet before calling on you. Many of us have done this a number of times and still do. Although this may be unfair in some situations, the world of today judges your service based on what they’ve seen on your website. So if you don’t have a website you may not be getting any calls. Worse yet is if you have a bad website, you probably will be judged as having a terrible service.
4. A website saves you cost. You may begin to think how? Well what is one of the quickest ways to refer potential clients to your product or service? – Printing of fliers, newspaper ads etc. Of course it may seem cheaper to print fliers, but it doesn’t beat having a website when it comes to economics. The cost of some newspaper ads can pay for your website for a period of 20 years. A flier or a newspaper will last as long as the individual you’ve handed it to keeps it. Your website remains for at least a year and the information you can put on your website is limitless. You could get hundreds of pages of fliers from your online content on your website. It is the same with brochures and all the stuff you print to promote your business. Good enough, your potential clients can download electronic copies of your brochure from your website for offline use.
5. Your website can work for you. Let’s think of a school that wishes to collect school fee payments, inform parents of new developments, students’ progress among other things. All this will consume time and resources. But all this can be done with a web application within a website. Time used in collecting the payments, counting and paying in physical cash to the bank will be saved by the online payment process. School staff can be put to more important tasks. Of course this doesn’t apply only to schools. It is applicable across industries.
6. The internet does not sleep. With your office you most likely serve your customers for 12 hours at most in extreme cases. Of course there are some 24 hour services having physical locations. But not everyone can pay overnight staff. Your website does not sleep also. So see a website as an office that is open round the clock.
7. A website is dynamic. With printed pages, you either have to manage a typographical error or reprint in cases of outright wrong information. With a website, correction of errors or wrong information is only a click away. Quick and often without cost.
8. Your website complements your social media pages. Some people reason that since they already have online presence through their social media pages, they no longer need a website. This reasoning is not exactly right. The designers of social media design them in such a way that suits their own purpose. The content you post on social media is based on what is allowed. For example, Instagram only allows you 15 seconds of video. On your own website you could decide to do a 15 minute video highlighting your services. You can create links to your website on your social media pages and vice versa where potential clients can get details that you probably couldn’t feature on facebook.
9. You can make money from your website. Ever heard of Google Adsense? If you have not, it is one way to earn money from your website by accepting ads from google. Of course, you don’t only have a single option. If your site gets popular because of your well composed contents, individuals and companies may contact you directly to have ads of their product or services on your website.
10. Finally, we are in the 21st century. Business cards, newspaper ads, fliers, brochures, phone services and other means of spreading the word about your product or service all evolved at different times. They have not always been there. They are all products of generational revolutions. This is the internet age. It is the time to have an online presence. It is the time to have a website.
Please contact a web designer or developer today and get that website that you have been hesitant to launch online!