Yes, you do need a website

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You would think the whole “do I really need a website?” question would have been put to rest a long time ago. However, in recent months I have come across opposite sides of the argument questioning whether a website is necessary.

when you need a website you start with drawing wireframes. This is a photo of a sketch pad full of drawn wireframes in pen. They indicate button placement, graphs and where the clicks are
Photo by José Alejandro Cuffia via Unsplash

One end of the see-saw was a freelancer who’d used WordPress a few years ago, his search stopped working for some reason and he didn’t have the time or brain space how to work out how to fix it.

The other end was a startup person who would be classed as the ultimate early adopter, who thought having a website got in the way of the lean startup model. He was almost a year in and wondering where the customers were.

Both are time pressured and trying to push through their own projects with the minimal amount of hassle, and I get that. But frankly the “too hard” and the “not how startups work” answers don’t make ANY sense at all.

Here’s why you do need a website if you are in business (or creative, or a freelancer or a startup – need I go on?)

Your website isn’t for you

Freelancers need credibility in order to get work. People need to be able to check you out and see what you do, what you have done before and so on.

Startups need credibility in order to get customers. People need to get their head around the idea, see how you meet their problem solving needs and know you aren’t some scribble on butcher’s paper with no substance.

No website = No Google, which in turn means you aren’t giving your intended audience the opportunity to do a little bit of independent research about you.

The website isn’t for you, it’s for your customers. Make it easy for them to get to know you and peek under the hood at their leisure.

 

Your word of mouth champions need back up

Both freelancers and startups rely on word of mouth to reach customers.  But what happens if your champions do a stellar job but don’t have anywhere to refer the curious to?

If you don’t have something that other people can easily share like a website or blog, a little bit of magic is lost. You can be forgotten, you can seem unprofessional, confusing and so on.

No website means those potential customers have nowhere to go to get their own impression after the seeds of curiosity have been planted. Worse still, if they’ve forgotten your name, no way to Google you via keywords and find you again based on what you do.

What a waste of word of mouth!

 

You can establish authority

One of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert in your field is by demonstrating how much you know on your website.

If you blog about what you understand and publish information that helps your customers on a regular basis, pretty soon your customers get a sense of how useful your approach is to their needs.

No website means a difficult journey in establishing an expert position on your chosen topic online. But a website brimming with useful information and personality will help allay fears, build trust and promote you as the right place to come to.

 

If you don’t, your competitors will

Do I need to explain this? Why languish in obscurity while your competitors are easily found, showing their work off, appearing dedicated to their craft and available for inspection?

 

Bottom line: Yes, you need a website if people want to Google you, read about you online, find you when they’ve forgotten your company name, when they are considering your competitors and generally get to know you.

Do you really need more reasons than that?

Need a website? Why not try the freelancers in this freelance talent directory? 

Need a website written? Get in touch. 

 

 

 

6 Comments. Leave new

  • Lorks, people still saying they don’t need websites? Are they on crack? It doesn’t have to be a 100 page extravaganza but a simple site with a contact mechanism?
    It’s like saying I don’t need a phone number.

    Reply
    • Sad but true. When I did the original freelance survey, I found a lot of freelancers haven’t got blogs or websites and are operating solely off Facebook or Gmail. There were also a lot of people asking where the work was. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence.

      As for startup, I am gobsmacked. Sure, Wufoo up a little form to capture email addresses if you’re not running yet, but for the love of smudgey faced kittens, make sure people can check you out!

      I wonder, does it mean some people still don’t know about WordPress?

      Reply
  • Anf | Kaboom Hub
    March 1, 2013 10:57 pm

    Seriously, who ARE these people? Do they even pay attention to TV, radio and print advertising? EVERYTHING comes with a web address these days. If that’s not convincing enough for you the gigantic adoption of smartphones by developed nations should be. So if you’re in business, or have some cause to promote, and you don’t have a website – damn you’re just shooting yourself in the foot!

    As for the argument that “oh but I already have a facebook/linkedIn/twittter page!” John Janstch wrote a really good blog in response to that.

    Anyways, some solid points you make in this post and some good firepower for when I’m selling my website creation service 🙂 Cheers!

    Reply
  • 5 ways your website is driving people nutty | Unashamedly Creative
    March 4, 2013 10:53 am

    […] proved that yes, you do need a website, now let’s look at the ways your website could be driving people nutty and therefore not […]

    Reply
  • […] a WordPress or blog- Yes, you do need a website. I can’t stress this enough. Give people something to Google and read about what you offer on a […]

    Reply
  • Fiona McNeill
    December 8, 2019 2:45 am

    (Also commented on the recent LinkedIn bump of this excellent article).

    I have two little regional businesses – one is freelance/contract content creation, and one creates and sells food-related stuff. (When do I sleep? you ask. Not a lot … ).

    The food-related one is advertising on those “Buy from the bush” sort of things, and I’ve noticed an interesting trend there. Some of the people buying from us are consciously _avoiding_ the advertisers with websites.

    There seems to be a feel that with a website, you’re a proper business and must, therefore, be making money and, therefore, are not a struggling rural family with a necessary side-hustle to keep the money flowing in.

    They’ll _only_ support people who just have a social media presence – FB or Instagram.

    I chose not to engage with those people – it’s their choice as to how they limit their options, when there is a _lot_ of choice to be had – but I was a little resentful.

    They wanted to engage directly with their creators, and clearly felt a website was not personal and engaging enough. Not even one with a blog.

    I haven’t yet worked out what conclusions I’m drawing from this discovery, but have been taking it into consideration whilst re-designing my own website. Clearly, personal interaction is key in this day and age, and how one strikes a balance between “doing the work someone has engaged me to do”, “interacting with the person who has engaged me to do it”, and “finding new people to engage me to do work” seems to be getting more and more fraught, if the threads in the Jungle are anything to go by …

    Reply

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