With the current buzz around social media for business which includes Facebook fan pages, Twitter profiles and mobile apps that do ‘almost’ the job to have a complete online presence – we found a question that needs answering “are websites still important?” Surely, most of you must have pondered on this question too?
A website is a virtual reflection of your business – which provides your existing and potential clients with information about your company or your products and services. While social media channels are useful to spread the word about your business, they are not the best vehicle when it comes to consistent branding and thus are not replacing the need for a website that can be the central location for your corporate information.
Businesses are also spending more budgets on creating mobile apps and at times almost replicate their website information. However, while mobile applications potentially help users in connecting to the services a particular company provides, the discoverability of apps is nowhere close to those of a website. Apps make sense if the functionality is adding value to the end user, but it is not practical to create an app that just contains static information.
In one of our previous posts we spoke about Responsive Web Design which allows a website to render across different devices in a native way. Using this technique a website can be ported to mobile devices, content remains accessible and discoverable at the same time. The same applies to social media as discussed in the post.
Social media and mobile apps are only two of the many comprehensive marketing tools required for a strong digital presence and regardless of what your business objective may be, having a website is still the number one requirement as it offers unique benefits.
Some other good reasons why to have a comprehensive website:
Availability 24x7 for 365 days With a website you can give people a gateway to access your information at any time of the day and from any place of the world. Your website is also more trusted than social media sources and represents the image of your company.
Showcase company projects Displaying all your work on your website is a strategy that fits into variety of industries. You may add information/screenshots/pictures/clients of your successful projects on your website pages. By making your body of work available in this manner, people will not need to wait for you to email them out, but can simple access these by having your website address. Most users will still research about a company using their website.
Credibility Getting people to notice you, gaining their trust and educating people about what you have to offer is very essential for establishing a business – a website helps you achieve this goal. Mentioning of reputed organizations that you belong to, listing the award categories that you have won and also publishing customer testimonials will help in building your brand.
Marketing Your website promotes your company throughout the web. Search marketing is cheaper and more targeted than other ways of advertising – through websites, your “advertisement” is accessible all the time, and you can change the content at your own convenience and potentially reach a wider audience from all around the world.
Networking Building up contacts, maintaining clients and getting new ones is important for any kind of business. A website helps you build your own network in the form of a database/blog/forum and connect with those who share your interests and benefit from the information you provide. Moreover, websites also help you cross-link with other related organizations which gives people multiple avenues of finding you on the web.
Measurement Know what are you doing right and wrong with the help of the visitor polls, online surveys, and website stats. Websites show you the amount of traffic you receive on different pages and you can even analyze them geographically.
Conclusion: While we all know the unparalleled opportunities offered by social media and mobile apps, a company cannot neglect their website just yet. Designing your websites in a way that it integrates seamlessly with all the other online channels is essential. This way you can make full use of the technologies, applications and services available to you today and create the right mix for your business.
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