SINGAPORE, Singapore – Working with local designers and retailers at various stages of their brand journey, means I hold a lot of open discussions about what the most effective marketing tools and activities are for designers or retailers. Plus, I get asked the same questions time and time again. Why do I need a website? Which social media should I focus on? Is SEO important? How can I get more traffic to my store?…
While these topics are probably interesting to Travelshopa readers, they are definitely more applicable to our business community. So it is here that I will be answering some of the most burning business questions that I receive in person, over email, on social media and in the comments below.
One of the most common questions I am asked is Do I need a website?… In short, yes, you do need a website. I can’t stress this enough. You need a website!! And here are just five reasons why you need a website.
It’s the face of your company
After you (the business owner), your website is the only asset that can talk for you – 24 hours a day! It’s never not there, never closed, never sick, and certainly never too busy to talk to your customers (even if it is one-way). It’s probably best to just start thinking about your website as the epicentre of your brand. Mind you… in the process of developing your *awesome* website, you will have to refine your brand identity so much that you can only put your best game face forward. That’s right! When it comes to creating your website (copy, images and the navigation) you are going to fine tune your business proposition. You will be forced to ask some fundamental business questions like: who is your customer, what do you look and feel like (as a brand), and ultimately what are our business goals.
It’s your own asset
All roads should lead to Rome and in today’s connected world, that is your website. Whether you have eCommerce on your site or not, you should host all your assets on your website or at least point all marketing activities towards it. While you may manage your Facebook, Insta. and Twitter accounts, you certainly don’t own those properties. They are owned by their website owners. In this case, Mr Zuckerburg and Mr Dorsey (and their shareholders). And building your business on someone else’s land is risky business. The technical terms is digital sharecropping. The risk is that should those businesses change direction, close down, or make using them not worth your while anymore, all your valuable marketing efforts will remain with them, and not you! Plus if they are a member only network, you are limiting your efforts to only their user base. I can’t stress this enough… a website is one of the most valuable assets to any business.
It’s a competitors edge
Most of your competitors have a website, and many of those have eCommerce capability. And once your impatient customers find out you don’t have a website, you know there they will go… or worse… consumers will be directed your competitor’s sites by Google, review sites and other influencers. The simple truth is – not having a website will have a direct correlation with your declining/stagnant bottom line and competitive edge.
It’s a great way to showcase your work
Potentially thousands (hopefully millions) of people are going to find your website through search, referral links, social media, email and other influencers. At this point you can tell a bigger story than what was told at the place of referral. This is the only place where you are 100% in control of influencing people’s decisions and educating them. Now that you have a captive audience, it is your time to shine and put your best foot forward. Make their visit worthwhile and your efforts should translate into conversion. Once you have established your website, by adding a blog or some sort of news feed, you can update customers on your offers, products, promotions, events, photos, testimonials, media coverage or any other content (the opportunities are endless).
It’s easy to create and maintain
Many people believe creating a website needs to be a large initiative that requires a lot of money and resources to execute. I beg to differ. A website has relatively low barriers of entry. You may need some assistance and direction in pulling it all together. And you can break it down into phases so you don’t get overwhelmed and overworked. But once it is done, you will wonder how you functioned without one, and why you waited so long to just do it.