Do you even need a website? It’s not so clear anymore. What are your goals? Who is your audience? What are your other options?
There are two schools asking this right now: (1) Old School: can’t I just advertise in the Yellow Pages? Isn’t my AOL address good enough for marketing? My GeoCities page rocks. And (2) New New School: I have my followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, why do I need a website? I have 82 5-star reviews on Yelp, that’s working fine.
Both valid (in their own way) strategies. But a website could (should?) be the core of your online presence. Do you really want your Facebook or Yelp page as the main place people go to learn about your business? They need to see more, your flagship store, see how you design your site, how you portray your business. From there, they can see how many Twitter followers you have and check out your zillion Facebook likes. In fact, maybe your website is just that: a portal leading to your other social media properties. Or old school, maybe it’s just an online brochure to complement your … Yellow Pages ads.
The advantage of a website, if self-hosted at your own domain, is that it’s yours. No one is going to shut down and make it go away. It’ll be there as long as you want it to be. You have (or should have) full control of design, content, and management. You make it the brand you want it to be. It’s possibly the most important piece of your marketing strategy–or at least, it still probably is today.
A Website Is (or at least Should Be) Just One of Many Tools in your Marketing Toolbox
One goal of your business is to get it from A to B. Let’s call a website in general transportation. You need transportation. You also need a product, a business plan, an employees, etc. I’ll dig deeper in this analogy in further discovery in the “Why?” series, but for now, you have decided you need a website, you need transportation.
- Website –> Transportation
Once you’re convinced that you need a website, what type are you going to choose? A truck, a car, a motorcycle, a bicycle? We’ll get into that in the next installment of the series.