A website plays a crucial role as the digital representation of your business in today's digital era. It allows you to showcase your brand and engage with your customers online. Your website is not just a bunch of web pages. It is a powerful marketing tool that can help your brand grow. There are so many cases in which people are building the website, but they don’t even know why they need it or why they are making it. You shouldn’t do it just because you’ve heard it’s something good you should do.
In this article, I will help you answer the following questions:
→ Why do you need a website?
→ How to build an effective website that serves you and your business?
→ Should you hire an expert or do it yourself?
→ Do you use code or no-code tools?
→ Engineering disaster vs Marketing Asset, what is meant by this?
Why do you need a website?
This question to most people can be self-explanatory, however, I’m not here to tell you anything and everything just to get you to buy my services. Perhaps, after you read through this article, you realize that you don’t even need a website at all, which is completely okay.
So, in order to answer this question, let’s first answer this: What is a business?
In simplest of terms, business is a means of extracting profit out of the economy by providing products or services. Businesses can be run by a single individual or a group of people who have common interests.
To simplify even further, business is a “money-in”. Many gurus online try to persuade you that business is building a website, getting a logo, getting an inventory, stacking products, and basically “spending money” before you actually make any money.
Now that we have clarified what a business is, let’s answer yet another question - “How does a website help you and your business in achieving “money-in”.
If you own an e-commerce business, you might be selling your products on third-party platforms like eBay or Amazon. However, setting up your own website can help you save money by reducing the fees charged by these platforms. Additionally, an e-commerce website can provide a better user experience, thorough analysis of your buyer persona, and other benefits.
But, let's not just limit ourselves to financial benefits. If you're running an event or an NGO, you can use TikTok videos to reach a larger audience. Once you've captured their interest, you can direct them to your website to learn more about the event, speakers, schedules, and your NGO's mission and vision.
For instance, if you're an NGO, people are likely to search for you on Google or any other search engine to learn more about your work and mission. If your website does not appear in the search results, you could be missing out on a great opportunity to engage with potential supporters and increase your reach.
When you are a business running its own website, you gain more control over your business overall. By building a professional website, you increase the reputation of your brand which in turn allows you to land high-ticket clients, develop better relationships with your customers through CRM systems & much more.
How to build an effective website that serves you and your business?
So how do you go about building a website? You’ve heard rumors that most of the web runs on WordPress so you decide to take that route. Before you know it you have 20 different plugins, 30 years of loading time & bloated website that serves nobody except the people who persuaded you to build it for you.
Perhaps you’ve researched a bit more and you found out that there are other builders like Wix & Squarespace so you try to use them as your new website builders. You build out your new website, however, it’s not really what you expected it to be. It does work a bit better than WordPress, but overall, it’s a hassle to keep it updated.
Let’s say you really did in-depth research and you have now stumbled upon this article telling you to forget all about building a website. Before you even start, answer all of these questions with utmost clarity:
- What are you selling?
- What specific problem does it solve?
- How does your product or service help your customer: save money, earn money, save time, or relieve a particularly painful pain point?
- Who are you selling it to?
- What does your ideal target customer look like? (This goes for NGOs as well, who will be looking to be your donor, supporter, or volunteer?)
- Where does your ideal target customer hang out?
- Where do they go on the internet? (Twitter, LinkedIn, Newsletter, etc.)
- Are they googling for your products or services?
- If yes, how often?
- What is the level of their buyer intent? (A customer looking for a freelancer on Fiverr or Upwork has a much higher buyer intent than a person browsing why they need a website.)
- How will you be fulfilling this product/service?
- Will it be on a recurring basis?
- How much money does your customer earn annually?
- Are they browsing from a laptop or a phone?
- What is their marital status?
- Do they have any pets?
- Who is your competition?
- Do they have a website?
- On a scale of 1-10, how good is their website?
- Can you find out if this website makes them any money?
- Where will the point of sale occur?
- Are you looking to sell something through your website or are you just looking to build a showcase website?
- Ask yourself: What is my detailed customer persona/avatar (you can use ChatGPT to quickly build one and then work from there.)
- What are my potential customers complaining about?
- Where are they complaining about it? (Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Forums, etc.)
- How good is my offer?
- Is my offer life-changing?
- Will the customer feel like this is worth the money they are paying?
- How can I outrank my competition in Google search, etc?
This is, trust me, a very very small example of all the relevant questions you need to answer before you ever start building a website. Perhaps you thought about building a landing page, and after you conduct your research, you end up needing a more complex multi-page showcase website.
In order to build an effective website that serves as a marketing asset, you first need to deeply analyze your business/organization and understand how helpful would a website be to it. Once you understand this, building a web presence is the easiest thing in the universe.
Don’t be too emotionally attached to this process. Understand that the sooner you get something out to your potential customers, the sooner you can make relevant changes and scale from there.
It doesn’t matter which color is your CTA if your offer is shit. The sooner you connect the domain, run traffic, and utilize analytics, the sooner you can understand what changes to make in order to maximize your revenue potential and/or impact.
Should you hire an expert or do it yourself?
The best option is to always consult with an expert. However, if you are financially limited, and have a lot of free time, then consider building a website yourself. It’s far better to learn this skill than to pay $50 for a cookie-cutter website that doesn’t generate any improvement.
Some people will try to persuade you that you need to develop your website by coding it from scratch. They will try to tell you this is the absolute best way to do it.
However, this isn’t always the case.
Since you want your website to be a marketing asset, you need to build it in the most cost-effective way, as quickly as possible, and you need to be able to easily manage it.
Unless you are building a complex web application, tools like Webflow will do just fine.
In fact, webflow is hands down the best no-code website builder out there at the moment. With its intuitive Designer, Editor & CMS it not only helps you build a website but also keeps it updated for the years to come.
You no longer need to worry about “Ultra slider giga plugin v20.01…” breaking and being outdated.
Webflow is modern, your website is running extremely smoothly, and you can easily integrate HubSpot CRM, live chat, or nearly any other third-party integration if you really need it.
And guess what?
Your website retains lightning-fast loading speed which in turn helps you retain your visitors better than ever before.
A marketing website should not be an over-engineered nightmare. Instead, it should serve you and your business, in the best way possible.
What makes a website a marketing asset?
A marketing asset is a website that is user-centric, mobile-optimized, contains persuasive content, is SEO-optimized, and integrates social media to engage with the audience effectively.
Why is mobile optimization important for a website?
In today's mobile-driven world, mobile optimization ensures that your website functions seamlessly on various devices and screen sizes, reaching a broader audience.
How does an engineering disaster affect search engine ranking?
Complex and slow websites often result in poor search engine ranking because search engines favor fast and user-friendly sites.
Can a confusing website lead to lost conversions?
Yes, a confusing website can lead to lost conversions as potential customers may abandon their shopping carts or leave without completing desired actions.
What is the significance of integrating social media into a website?
Integrating social media into a website extends its reach and helps in engaging with the audience, ultimately driving more traffic and conversions.
I hope this article helped you in clarifying any misunderstandings you might have had.
Stay tuned for more content like this.