Why do I need a website?

why do i need a website?

This is a genuine question we get asked all the time, people have been told they need a website but don’t necessarily know the reasons for it.

Let’s break it down

Depending on the sort of business you operate, a website can have a number of applications. The sort of customer that tends to ask why they need a website is the customer that does something not intrinsically linked with the internet. A company selling car detailing products online already knows why they need a website – it’s a core part of their business model!

A good example might be a local plumber. A trade that doesn’t specifically require a website in order to function, however the benefits of having one are really substantial.

Visibility: This is the most obvious. At its most basic level, people hear company names or get a company recommended. What’s the first thing they do? Generally, they tap it into Google to locate the company contact details. If they have a web presence and they’re easily findable – that’s a potential customer that’s going to make contact vs a customer that will probably end up finding another similar company first.

Authority: Extremely important and often underestimated! A company that has no website address and a free email address (like barrythornton_dirtbikelover@hotmail.co.uk) is not going to come across to a prospective customer as looking especially professional. It makes a world of difference for a customer to find an attractive website, easily findable with examples of work, testimonials, contact details and a proper email address (info@barrysdirtbikes.co.uk might be better in this case!).

Perceived value: This is also less obvious. A company operating from an unbranded white van, with no website, no email address etc. will have the appearance of a budget service provider. As such, there’s research to suggest that the amount customers deem an appropriate cost for the services rendered will be lower. If a tradesman turns up in a smartly presented van with sign writing, has a website and proper branding they actually have a higher perceived value, hence will generally invoice their services at a higher rate.

I hope this gives you some food for thought if you were going to ask why you need a website. If you’ve still got questions – get in touch!

 

Instant Website vs Bespoke Website

There has been a fairly large spike in demand for websites across a variety of sectors; this demand shows no signs of abating. Some of these sectors are made up of larger companies with disposable cash flow to allocate to large full-featured websites, however there are a large number of small businesses that would also benefit from a website.

This is where the “instant website” companies come in, they promise a simple and easy entry for companies needing a web presence. Sounds great in theory right? Some prices are simple too low to ignore, so what do you actually get for your money?

The “instant 1-click website”

Well they do what they say on the tin, so to speak. You’ll receive a site that contains your contact details and not normally much more. The normal method of doing this is that the company providing the web services has a number of templates to choose from, and you simply drop your company name and contact details in there.

It’s a website and it has your name on it. Most people just leave it at that, putting a big check mark next to “website” on their to do list.

Website templates vs bespoke website

Sorry, there are quite a few differences. The price that seemed too good to be true, often is! With a traditional custom made website you receive a site with a design, look and feel that’s tailored to your individual company needs. As long as you choose a competent digital agency that is.

The problem with instant website templates

Here’s the biggest issue, they’re hugely generic. The norm is to feature a large general themed image that can be applied to a huge variety of different businesses, think Moonpig greeting card with your company name in plain text.

The image this conveys is somewhat weak, and does nothing for your branding. Part of any good website is cementing the actual company image and branding, then conveying the message of your company to the viewer.  A “one size fits all” template can’t possibly do a good job of this, the template company don’t know you, they’ve never met you, and they don’t understand your business.

Fully featured bespoke websites

For any company serious about their web presence, this is honestly the way to go, and we’re not just saying that because we happen to specialise in websites!

When we take on a client we can make the site fit your budget wherever possible, we’ll work with you to deliver a site that will work for your company effectively, rather than just putting your name on a page.

We start from the bottom and work upwards, company branding is always at the centre of any effective website. Initially we always look to focus on branding, logos and related imagery, then look at building a site around this that is true to your message.

The benefits of a bespoke website

A bespoke website will always cost a little more, there’s no way of getting around this, there’s simply more work involved. But there are a huge number of benefits:

  • We’ve met you and understand your company needs
  • We’re real people that want to see you succeed
  • You gain a technical partner any ally, we’re on hand to help with any questions you might have
  • No technical knowledge required, we’re experts – you don’t have to be
  • You get the exact site you want, not a compromise

Some food for thought next time you consider a one-click instant website. Get in touch with any requirements you may have – we love to hear from you.

Get in touch by visiting our contact page

Mobile-first Google indexing is here

Noticed any changes in your site rankings lately? Google have just rolled out their “mobile first” algorithm, you’ll most likely receive an email notification from Google webmaster tools if you’re enrolled.

What does this mean?

Put simply, it means that google is now looking at the mobile version of your website instead of the desktop version when deciding where your site should rank. Assuming you’ve got an up to date responsive design this could result in a traffic boost. If your site doesn’t cater for mobile users however you may find yourself penalised and your site pushed down the listings.

Am I affected?

This should be fairly easily spotted by looking at your traffic in Google Analytics, if there is a noticeable dip around mid-September then you may want to take a look at how your site performs on mobile devices.

What is expected?

Basically, your site needs to offer a seamless transition to smaller screen sizes without any horizontal scrolling. Elements need to be of a decent enough size to see clearly and no elements should be unusable. Speed is also a factor – heavyweight slow sites don’t typically works as well on mobile devices due to their lower bandwidth.

What can I do?

We’re experts at mobile websites – we can take your existing site and make it work, or even offer you a brand new site that will work on anything you can throw at it. With more users than ever before using mobile devices to access websites, mobile compliance cannot be ignored.

Take a look at our mobile website services page (http://darkcherrycreative.co.uk/services/web_mobile)for more information

Further reading

Google Webmaster Tools: https://www.google.com/webmasters/

Google Analytics: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/

Best practices for mobile-first indexing: https://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-first-indexing

 

Don’t take a flier when thinking about flyers

We all want to promote our companies, but what is the best way to do so?

The truth is there are many routes and marketing services to consider depending on the nature of your business and the target audience you aim to engage with.

One way to promote a business, special offers and upcoming company events is the tried and tested flyer route.

Design a flyer, put a logo on it, few key messages and contact details…. done?!

Not quite!

 

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