The question to whether your business or even you as a service provider should have a website might look complicated but it is really not.
Conventionally, every business needs a working, productive and most importantly a responsive website.
It is recommended for businesses, organizations and service providers to have websites.
But personal considerations may not give some business owners the advantages of having websites for their businesses.
These personal considerations could be;
- The ignorance of what a website is and how it could positively influence businesses, brands, persons.
- The technicalities in running a website,
- The purported high cost of maintaining a website – that is a general price cliche
- Giving more priority to business directories and classified platforms as a better option for running a website.
Let’s take a look at defining a website, what it means.
What is a Website?
Permit me to disengage this term ‘website’ into two words. You should see the web and site.
Without being technical about these two words web and site, we should see that;
- The web could be called the internet while
- A site could be seen as a place for any certain purpose.
Now, joining these words web + site could mean internet office, internet site, internet workshop, internet store, internet community.
In my own opinion, I see a website as an online virtual office, online virtual marketplace, online virtual portfolio.
The technicalities in running a website
In essence, a website connects strangers on the internet to the services your business offers or to whatever your website offers.
Your website contains documents about your business including your story, services and products you offer, portfolio of works you have done in the past or current projects, physical address and contact details.
All these informations are uploaded on your online office space called a web server. These informations could be in the form of texts, images or videos.
Just like I have mentioned, a website is an online virtual office. This simply means that your business website is the online version of your physical office, store.
It works exactly the same way your physical office or brick and mortar storefront work.
Let’s take for instance and assume that I am a dentist. Now, I have a rented small clinic where I take care of my dentistry work of which I renew my rent yearly.
People visit my clinic either through signpost or by asking people for a dentist around.
Eventually, they get to know about my services – their prices and everything they needed to know about me, my clinic and how I can solve their problem.
Now this works exactly the same way with a website. Let’s say I have launched my dentistry service online on my website.
The same way I pay rent, the same way I pay for space online. This is called hosting.
The same way people identify my clinic, the same way online visitors identify my websites through what is called a domain name.
Examples of domain names include www.chuksamobi.com; www.facebook.com, www.nairaland.com. These string of characters route internet surfers to my website.
Also, the same way people find my clinic either through signpost or asking people, the same way internet users that are looking for a dentist around them land on my website either through search engines, digital advertising, business directories, social media marketing etc.
And of course, I renew my rent online which is called hosting and domain name renewal.
The same way the landlord takes away my clinic when I fail to renew my rent, the same way my hosting providers takes off my access to the online space.
If I fail to renew my hosting after several warnings, I will risk losing my website.
I believe that I have demystified the concept website, technicalities of running a website, how it works for business, what are involved in owning a website.
Reasons why your business should have a website
There is a major shift in how technology affects how businesses operate recently.
The trend originated from people looking out for solutions on search engines to companies, businesses, consultants setting up their static websites in order to at least help these online users find solutions to their needs.
At least people could find businesses online, book appointments and shop online at the comfort of their home.
This revolution extended to social media marketing which showed huge positive growth not only to businesses but to brands, personalities, local businesses.
As a result of its positive impact, businesses found an opportunity on social media marketing into sprouting to paid advertising using the platform. Today, we have influencer marketing.
The destination point for search engine result pages, social media marketing and its paid advertising and influencer marketing is mostly to a website.
This is to tell you how important having a website for one’s business is.
To have a website means that you have a long-term value proposition for your business or services.
People look out for what they want on search engines like Google, Bing or Yandex etc. And the page to the result of what people click on search engines link straight to websites.
A single Google search on ‘website for my business‘ as seen on the image above shows that more than 10 billion resources are available on Google.
We have not checked what other search engines would show us.
So, in a situation where one has no website, you should clearly see the opportunities they miss daily.
There is no exception to who is entitled to own a website for their business.
Anything one does that brings income – be it barbing saloon, fitness training and consultant, local stores, delivery agent, realtor need a working website portfolio.
The website should contain everything from who you are, what your services are and how they can be of a benefit to someone else, your physical location or office if any, contact details to reach you out and possibly testimonials of clients you have worked within the past.
Having a website for your business is the foundation for other forms of digital marketing. I am not talking about building your website on top-level domain providers like blogger.com, googlesite.com or even wordpress.com.
You should own it and be able to take full control of any activities without the fear of your website being taken down for violation.
Reason why your business may not consider a website
I think the only reason why someone would not consider having a website for their business is that they are not serious.
Of course, most people have email lists, chatbot subscribers, WhatsApp groups and Instagram followers.
This is where social media advertising comes into play. It is true that one can run a social media campaign and end up having tons of email lists, chatbot subscribers, Facebook and Instagram followers but it doesn’t make sense to just be contented with that.
Recently, Facebook released a policy on its Messenger platform over sponsored message.
This means that for those businesses that already have chatbot subscribers, they have to run a sponsored message in order to reach their subscribers that have not been communicated within the last 24 hours.
Now, you don’t have total control over your subscribers.
Facebook and Instagram page on the hand have been victims of hacks. Businesses can lose their account together with their followers.
It is either the account is restored or lost. There is a risk in playing contented on platforms you totally don’t have full privileges on.
If you consider your business as a side hustle and doesn’t really need a website since social media platforms are okay for you, then that is a good choice. It is like going for a business gathering without your business cards.
Businesses constantly look out for opportunities to be better than their competitors. That is why you see the world’s richest billionaires still finding ways to make more money to stay at the top. While ordinary men think that they are selfish and evil.
There are two distinct differences between websites and social media platforms.
- Website is measurable and trackable,
- Website is Search Engine Friendly.
Website is measured and trackable
This simply means that every traffic source, entry point and exit points are all trackable. If someone lands on your website from Nairaland, your tools would identify it.
If your visitors leave your website from a certain page or article, it would be noted as well.
Even page views, bounce rates are counted on websites. It tracks countries, your device, number of minutes you spend on a particular page.
Most interestingly, it counts your activity level, recommends your website’s weakness and recommendation to what part of your website to improve. – whether you are a regular or new visitor.
These would be helpful to the webmasters in relating all these to the business owners.
While social media platforms are dependent only in its domain. This includes only demographics that reacted to your marketing and campaign.
Website is Search Engine Friendly.
This means that your website has access to be viewed on any search engine. Provided that requirements are met for your web contents – pages, articles, images, videos; online visitors can access your website through search engines.
For businesses that put all energy in creating contents only on Facebook and Instagram, it means that those contents are limited to be seen by few users on any of the platforms unless one has to pay for more audiences.
Once you’re able to write good and amazing contents, needy visitors will always flow from social media platforms, email list, WhatsApp group, search engines into your websites.
How much does it take to create a website for your business?
Everything depends on your budget. Mind you, you can get a website at least ₦15, 000. I have seen people advertise their pricing and their services as well. But what is important is your purpose for having a website.
In my agency, the cost of having a website for your business starts from ₦50,000. As a team of professionals, we are passionate about helping people in their businesses. Click here to see what we offer and our pricing here
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