Website is an identity of a business, Myth or Reality?
One fine morning, I visited my friend’s startup, he is in Manufacturing. He wanted to consult whether a website for his business is important or just an optional overhead. We discussed about why and how about the prospects over a coffee, so thought of sharing…
Since the advent of web (world wide web), in the year 1990, only 3000 websites were available, till year 1999, number just touched to 1 million, and since year 2000 till date, the number almost touched to 1 billion. A survey conducted by Netcraft, the websites till Jan 2015, was 875 million.
Now a days there is hardly any business which cannot be online. Different case studies and online analytics, state that businesses who have started new websites, they have seen a steep rise of 30-60% sales growth of the company. More than 75% of the buyers across the world check for the website online, and then decide about having a business. It means a website is synonymous with the business.
Website impact on your business
A very interesting question, I came across, during the discussion is “Why do I need a website, when I don’t have anything to sell online?”. There is a wrong notion about a website, that something is on sale. Business may it be B2B or B2C, website is a face of company to consumers (potential or existing), investors and employees. Business purpose can be corporate, e-commerce, business, informative, etc, but the actual purpose of the website is to carry identity of the company. There are some absolute essentials about a basic business website which can be noted down as further
1. Important links
Important links like contact us, about company, nature of business (preferably image driven), location details (preferably map driven), social media details, are some of the elements which all websites have to showcase. (Remember a brand recall is important)
2. Website has to be device responsive
Now a days more than 65% people access website through devices other than desktops like tablet or mobile. Google pulls ranking down, if a website is non-responsive, so beware. Build website only in HTML5.
3. Increase sales through analytics.
There are tools like Alexa or Google analytics, which help and track your website performance. Using tools, one can easily focus on marketing and increase sales. (There are few more, but it is out of context of this blog). Digital marketing has opened up new avenues which provide qualitative and quantitative tools to boost your sales.
4. Social media pages, a MUST for any business.
I advice to have pages which are relevant to your business, needs to be decorated like anything. This provides a competitive advantage to the business over others. For example, a travel website can have Pinterest, Instagram pages. Healthcare website can have Facebook, YouTube pages. Manufacturing can have Twitter, Vimeo pages. Business finds consumers instead of consumers finding your business.
5. Secure e-commerce with certificates.
In cases where payments are collected from buyers, website is advised with HTTPS protocol (certificate), this builds trust among buyers, and search engine don’t consider it as phishing website.
Process management for www.website-development.com
Now when it was agreed to have a basic website for the business, my friend was not sure about the next steps. Few tips for website development
- Choose an agency and define the concept
- Ask for the website design prototype.
- Provide relevant contents, this is essential. (Keyword research may help to add few more, but having more is not bad at all)
- Showcase brand more than the product.
- Preferably in case of B2C, have reviews and feedback mechanism easily accessible. Lack of it will add doubts in the customer’s mind.
- Don’t compromise for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this will make business more visible to potential customers.
- For B2B, product documentation, contact details are important. Ignoring will add business overhead in return.
Before developing a website, if you are maintaining the website, then propose to build it using CMS (Content Management System) tools like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. This option is easy, quick and cost effective.
Only website or Mobile App
Once decided about website, if the website is service based which involves more customer centric services, then it is advisable to have a mobile application with same name as that of business. Remember client engagement is more important than just a service.
Measurement of ROI (Return on Investment)
How do we measure the return on investment for a our website, that’s the question everbody would raise, and it has very affirmative answer. Before 2005, there were very few players who used to provide tools for Branding, Marketing product and achieve so called impression count. Now due to popularity of Facebook, post 2007, and thanks to technology investment of various VCs, there are various ways, we can achieve our ROI. I will just touch base on few of them.
Run a campaign with partnership with different advertising partners like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and many more. List is never ending… Payment method can be selected CostPerClick, CostPerMillionImpression, etc. This helps in Customer Retargeting (Hope this doesn’t sound like a jargon, else apologize)
Use analytics script, and meaure typical factors like Who clicked what, when, which geography, approx time period. Beware about FAKE clicks, so have a method of identifying Unique users or maintain sessions.
Another very interesting method is recording User Behaviour using different softwares. These softwares provide scripts to be added to the pages, and one can actually check the behaviour. Believe me, this is amazing and it works best for Agile development platforms.
Till this point, I was able to successfully convince my friend. Are you convinced or not?