Although having a website appears to be a fundamental and obvious asset for most of the businesses in 2018, other ones still laugh at the necessity of getting a proper one. Indeed, not having a website can still be a choice for some businesses. For instance, when some choose to be present on social media, others prefer to stay with traditional and offline strategies. As a digital marketing agency, we believe that businesses need a website whether to grow online or spread their word. However, we naturally understand the different reasons behind this reluctance.
The idea behind this blog article is not to “twist the arm” of reluctant businesses, but rather open the discussion on the most common issues businesses raise against websites and their actual utility or effectiveness.
“I get enough business with my regular customers”
We often come across this explanation, “as a [local business], all my business comes from my local area, my clients are regular and I am already fully booked, why would I need a website”. If you are in this situation: congratulation! Many businesses may envy your success.
On the other hand, if you are tired of handing over flyers, answering the same questions, dealing with too many payment methods, a website might be a solution for you. Indeed, a website should not only be seen as a “tool”, whom the only goal is to develop your business. Websites are also a great way to streamline your processes and help you save time (FAQ, contact forms, availability 24/7, payment interface…)
“I have a social media page with [X] followers where people can already ask questions”
Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn were among the most popular platforms in 2018. People use these platforms to go online. That is undeniable. However, the vast majority still uses traditional search engines to go/shop/browse online.
Google smart campaign ads on Youtube is a perfect example. While traveling, what would be your first reflex if you wish to visit a new place or eat something local? Probably, get your phone and use Google/Bing/Ecosia/DuckDuckgo to collect ideas.
The idea is not to pick either of those, but rather to embrace the role and the power of both of them used altogether. Social media are great to interact with your followers and raise awareness on your brand or product, but, only a website will allow you to have control on your image, your branding and properly stand out.
“Most of my customers are over [65-75] and none of them use/have computers or smartphones”
The adoption of the “technology” by an older population is a real question and loads of studies have shown changes. According to us, this critical position only takes into consideration a short terms strategy. Although none-adopters are still a significant part of the population, the number should be dropping progressively in the next few years. We all know a parent that used to be opposed to a smartphone or computer, and that changes his opinion after a few weeks of usage.
Our point is not to tell that 100% of the population will ever use technology, just to tell that the part of the population not connected will progressively shrink.
“I already spend [X amount] on [radio spot/newspaper articles/local directories], why would I need to spend extra for a good website”
We recently discussed with a company that told us that they were easily spending around $1000 per year on Yellow Pages and about $500 per quarter on some local radios. At the same time, they were doubtful about the opportunity of updating their +10 years old one-page website. Yes, they had a “website” which is slight of a topic, but their website could not properly be considered as a working website (outdated content, broken content, and several incoherences…)
Spending $3000 a year on offline marketing is a choice that can be obviously considered. Rather than telling them that they had to stop this kind of marketing and reallocate 100% of their marketing spend on their website, we chose to analyze with them how each channel was contributing to their objectives and how we could help them find a better balance.
Businesses are often told that they need to have a website and “go online”… We believe that this “motto” is unsatisfying for a few reasons. First of all, going online should not be analyzed as a different or additional strategy for your business. It should be well integrated into your company strategy instead. Then, getting a website should not be a simple alternative to your current strategy. Yes, a website is an important and useful tool, but creating a website should be thought of as a tool for your company, your people and your customers. Finally, most importantly, a website is not a magical wand… Switching off your marketing efforts and going all in for a website might lead to a drop of lead/revenue if not properly integrated.
Websites should be an additional gear allowing you to move faster and higher.
“I know someone that spent [insert amount] to create a website and pay an extra [insert amount] to that company to manage it, and he is confident that he loses money in comparison to what he was doing before”
“Why should I pay [insert amount] to create a website with you when I could just use a website builder for a small portion of what you’re actually asking me for? Indeed, If I can spend X, why would I spend 10 X to get the same with you?” The questions are legit, isn’t?
Whoever that is telling you that a website is free or really cheap is hiding a part of a truth. Without necessarily developing questions related to content, CRO, SEO… Business should know why a website involves a cost and why they might need to pay extra management cost.
If you noticed anything wrong with your results or website performance, ask the good questions to your agency. Ask how you can help and how you can grow together.
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