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Why Do I Need a Website?

Every time I have to go through a redesign of my website as my business evolves, I wonder, ‘Why do I need a website’? Let me start off by saying, I have a service business NOT a product business that necessitates an e-commerce site. In the latter case, a website is the ideal platform for an online store.

But for services that constantly need to evolve as social media and the rest of the new technology grow, my website is always changing. It reminds me of the story of the bridge that is always being painted.

In the last two or three years, my website has been in the process of redesign three or four times. Does this mean that I am doing something wrong? Or is it the nature of the beast?

Besides that, I have numerous other venues that provide the same information that my website does and are much more user friendly to design and maintain when necessary. They include:

• A blog with all the same pages as my website
• About ten Facebook pages (one for every aspect of my business)
• Two twitter pages (one for my service business and one for creative material, my former business)
•  Three LinkedIn pages for the above reason including two for my current work, an individual and a business page
• Several profile pages, Gravatar, Google and Google Plus
• A YouTube account as well as accounts for several dozen other social media venues

The Importance of a Website for a Freelance Writer

So what special and separate purpose does a website serve from the above extensive list of online presences? According to the Inbound Marketing pundits, a website should start off with and include numerous important criteria ‘above the fold’:

• Contact Information

I have that everywhere including my e-mail signature

• A ‘call to action’

Before the change facebook made the other day, which eliminated the use of a particular app, my welcome page provided an ideal ‘call to action’ that appeared close to the top of the page.

• Links to social media, blogs, news and other pertinent info

All appear in the right hand column of my blog and near the top of the page

• A blog subscription form

Again appears on my blog near the top of the page

• A ‘lead capture’ or newsletter sign up form

Also appears on my blog near the top of the page

• An ‘opportunity to purchase’

A specific service offered has its own facebook page that is semi-automated

• Announcements and news

These can be made through permission based ‘bulk’ e-mails

So why is all of the above insufficient? In making this list, I realize that each tool appears separately and in disparate places. So what if there was one place where all of the essential data could appear in an orderly, seamless manner that made sense and created a unique, synergistic statement that functions as a super powered marketing machine to attract new and existing customers? That sounds good to me.

In addition to having all of the above mentioned details in one place and easy to access, creating this super powered marketing machine, there are several more subliminal reasons why a website is considered indispensable:

• To show that a company has a history and that it is an established business

• To set the tone and feeling of the brand

I will accept the concept that a website is the hub of the Inbound Marketing wheel and answers the question of how to organize all kinds of details as well as establish certain criteria. But there has to be an easier way to do this so I don’t have to completely ‘reinvent my wheel’ every time my business grows and the technology changes. Do you have any suggestions?

Author:

Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller and a photojournalist for DBME and other blogs. She is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Business Marketing Solutions. She has been a marketing pro and designer for over three decades. Alison has a ProTeam of experienced marketing professionals offering the latest online marketing technology, social media, graphic and web design, illustration, photo and video, content management as well as traditional advertising. Her client base has covered just about every industry in existence.
Visit: our site, Marketing Bytes, our Facebook page, Marketing Bytese-mail us or call us: 516-665-9034.

Sources:

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Comments

  1. Recently we have been collecting data, it turns out that people like facebook pages for big brands, but some find that when a Business has a facebook page but no website it makes the business look less creadible… interesting right?

    You need a facebook page and custom tabs these days, but who would have thought if you do not have a website then you look less professional?

    • Thanks Basil for the distinction. I am still willing to bet that there will be a blending of all the media eventually, so that we do not have to repeat all our info everywhere. In fact, eventually it will all be on a mini chip that we scan to enlarge and scan for details. I hope it is soon as I am so tired of having to update everything every time I expand and evolve my biz.

    • Well, I personally don’t consider it weird at all, because it is way easier and faster to create a facebook page ( a business one or whatever) than to make an actual site that requires pretty considerable amount of time to be invested. I’d never believe a company that has a FB page but no site.

      • Hello Kenneth,
        I find your point about how easy it is to Create a Facebook Business Page Interesting.
        Google+ Pages are also just as easy as is a Twitter Profile, each Medium has it’s differences but essentially is quite easy to use once you know how.
        I’m always quite happy to assist newcomers understand how to use Social Media.
        If you click on my name you will be taken to our Main Facebook Page.
        I’m listed as a Featured Owner in the Left Margin, I’d gladly show you what we provide for Business Owners to promote their Various Business’s.
        In the meantime I will take a look for your Facebook Page.

      • Thanks for your reply. That is so true. Making a website is much harder than a facebook page unless you make a page that replicates your website. I am still all for not having to do so much work.

  2. Great article, Alison. I have both a blog and a website, but find myself ignoring the website in favor of the blog, since the content is always updated. I believe that a blog can be just as much the “hub” of your digital world, and has taken the place of the static website.

    My two cents.

    • I agree with your two cents. I am tired of having to update things that are disparate and separated, whether it is a website, blog, profiles, eNews, address books and so forth on all the various ISPs, etc. (my next blog post).
      There needs to be better interface between all these wonderful social media tools so that they speak with each other and update themselves without us manually having to do the work. Let’s go on strike or invent an app to automate it all! How’s that idea?

  3. Dave Friant, ‘the World’s Worst Marketer’ (I doubt that by a long shot),
    I think I responded to your pingback in the wrong place. Anyway, thank you for using my DigitalBrandMarketing.com blog post, Why Do I Need a Website? as one of your Related Articles. It is an honor when one’s work is considered worthy enough to be ‘resource material’ for another author’s blog post. That’s the beauty of ‘content creation through blogging’. I have another funny one coming up about e-mail and on-line address books in a few days. You may find that one ‘useful’ too. By the way, digitalbrandmarketing.com is a semi-finalist in the Social Media Examiner 2012 Blog competition. We love your comments and thank you for your input.

  4. Hello Alison,
    I believe each of your ‘Virtual Tools’ need to be maintained with equal enthusiasm.
    I’m a builder by trade and was always taught if I look after my ‘Tools’ they will look after me, times have changed but the principle still works.
    The more one of your ‘Tools’ is used the more time you need to spend on Maintenance.
    It’s basically dependent on the amount of traffic any Facility Receives.

    • Kevin, How good to hear from you on DigitalBrandMarketing.com in response to my blog post. I like your analogy to a trades persons tools. I agree having been a decorative painter and a graphic designer pre computer. I have several tool boxes.
      The analogy I would make is this: if there is one tool, which is important, but is very difficult to use, what does the person who does the work do? Experience constant frustration or find a simpler tool that is easier to use.
      The current web design system used to create my website is so complicated that I can not modify or update it. I feel like my hands are tied. A seamless flow of new information is crucial across all the media one uses these days. My website always lags behind because it is so difficult and time consuming.
      On the other hand, using WordPress.com, which I had to teach myself,is so much more user-friendly, I want to use it and take care of it as with any valuable tool. So there is my dilemma.

      • That’s an Interesting Dilemma.
        I believe the answer is to Adapt and Learn or Find Another Tool for the Job.
        Web Design is I believe getting easier so your Frustration could be eased.

  5. I understand everything that everyone has said and really appreciate the time and attention in responding to my blog post. It has been researched but is also my opinion about websites. In spite of all the good input from everyone I still hate websites, what is required to create and maintain them. I can’t help it.
    I love doing my blog on WordPress.com and have that system down well enough, now. I create and work on facebook pages like cats make kittens spending hours daily on my facebook group, Local Biz Is The Solution!.
    Networking, both online and in person, comes as second nature to me, just like being in front of a camera, for an interview, is a thrill for me. (Check out some of the results on YouTube and around the Internet).
    But for me there is NOTHING NATURAL about a website. If anyone can recommend an easier, friendlier way, I am ALL EYES & EARS. Thanks!

  6. Nicely drafted.
    Being a website designer, I had always felt the same from inside but never was never got tired. I think because I assumed it to be a universal rule & “It is like this only”.
    I would like to thank you for the article that made me think in a different way.

    • Thank you for your comment. Part of the fun of writing about technology and social media is that it has come upon us and developed so fast. Sometimes we are so busy just trying to keep up that we don’t have time to even stop to think about why we are doing it.
      I love the technology, especially blogging on WordPress.com and posting on the many facebook pages I create so easily and quickly. As important as much of the earlier media still is, websites, e-mail and newsletters, I tire of them easily and just want to have fun on the venues I enjoy.
      I admit I do like to be thought provoking in what I write. I thank you for not only reading what I wrote but also for letting me know that it made you ‘think in a different way’.
      You may enjoy my rant about e-mail posted, today, Saturday on this blog.

  7. Thank you for using my DigitalBrandMarketing.com blog post, Why Do I Need a Website? as one of your Related Articles. It is an honor when one’s work is considered worthy enough to be ‘resource material’ for another author’s blog post. That’s the beauty of ‘content creation through blogging’.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Why Do I Need a Website? (digitalbrandmarketing.com) About adminFamily man, blue collar worker, and former Fitness Instructor seeking to reinvigorate my passion for health and wellness via the internet and marketing myself on-line. Loving the journey and hoping some you will take it with me. […]

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