If I'd been writing this 20 years ago, the answer could well have been no, so what's changed in the last 20 years to deliver the sizemic shift in a digital presence for your company and
does everyone need website development for their business?
I could cut this post short by saying an unequivocal YES, but that's not the whole picture and certainly, for every business, their sector, products, services and the way they do business differs so hugely that we need to look at each and make decisions based on known facts rather than assumptions.
Before I get into the meat of this post, let's start with some facts:
There are now 44.7 million recent internet users in the UK. However there are digital divides between the young and old, and even across gender.
Unsurprisingly, 16-24 year olds are leading the way with 99% being internet users. While, internet use by people aged 75 and over is less common at 33%, they’ve been catching up since 2013 when the rate was 29%.
The greatest internet use is in the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire region at 92%, while the lowest remains to be in Northern Ireland at 80%
(Source: Office for National Statistics - http://visual.ons.gov.uk/internet-use )
...significant when looking at the subject of this post!
Okay, let's adopt a few business 'personas' to split out varying sectors;
- A financial advice business
- An engineering business
- A retail business
1.A financial advice business -
You deal with high value clients in terms of nett worth and maintain business relationships over many years.
You gain new clients from referrals and recommendations.
So, why do you need a website at all?
It's fair to say that someone with a large amount of money requiring investment advice may not trawl the web searching for various related phrases (and would they be your sort of client if they did?) and would rather use a referral from their accountant or friend.
Even so, what will be one of the first things they do...yes, take a look at your website, how professional you look, what investment companies you work with and what portfolio services you offer..
It's also not uncommon for a prospective client to have a meeting with a representative and then go to their website to see if the slick presentation they've been given is matched by the website experience...
For these reasons alone, your website could be instrumental in confirming you're a professional business and worthy of investing my money in!
2.An engineering business -
You are a long-established engineering business manufacturing a range of precision products for multiple business sectors.
You get a handful of website leads but generally your growth is from organic and referrals.
How can your website generate more leads?
Many websites fail in their lack of ability to talk their potential customer's language and provide encouraging calls to action to promote enquiries. This can result in the business owners assuming the site 'doesn't really work for them in their sector'.
Your specialism is key to your success over the web!
Potential prospects are looking for your specialist services by searching for: 'precision engineering' medical precision precision engineering' and so on so when they arrive on your website, they expect to be greeted with relevant imagery/testimonials and are offered multiple methods of contacting you - dont make it hard for them!
Did you know that another method of identifying leads to your website is to use website forensics, a method of identifying the visiting business by their IP address and letting you know which of your web pages they viewed (we call these 'low hanging fruit' and are definitely worth chasing up!)
3.A retail business -
You sell footwear online...(and maybe have a small shop too)
This has to be the most obvious one of all, of course you need a website!
Or at least, you need a website that works, attracts visitors, gets a high conversion rate (4.14% from desktop/laptop source Smart Insights: http://www.smartinsights.com/ecommerce/ecommerce-analytics/ecommerce-conversion-rates) and delivers revenue...
It's an unfortunate fact that some online retail businesses fail with their online experience, they focus on design and not user experience for the desktop design but particularly the mobile design (Smart Insights tells us smart phones give a conversion rate of 1.55%) which causes problems.
In addition, too many businesses don't think about or haven't been informed of the importance of post-live promotion -
'I've just spent £X on my eCommerce site and i'm not getting any visitors or orders' With web, it certainly isn't a case of 'If you build it, they will come'! You need to promote it via;
- Website structure and SEO-friendliness
- Organic SEO
- Social channels
- Digital marketing
- Blog writing
- inbound links
- the list goes on........
Why not call us for a chat or better still, we'll call you and discuss your pending or current web project?