As I explore implementing marketing strategies for businesses these days, I am seriously wondering whether websites are still relevant. There is such a plethora of tools out there that require no techie skills to create beautiful webpages. Do we honestly need a website anymore?
Why do I say this?
What is the objective of every business? To gain new customers and increase revenue. That is the most primal reason why a business exists. So, in this regard, do you notice how you buy a product or service online these days?
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Usually you see an ad, click on it and it takes you a landing page for that particular product/service where you shown the benefits of the product/service and taken straight to the payment portal.
Boom! Sales transacted.
These are just landing pages, not a full website. So would a business then require a website to generate revenue?
I guess it all boils down to the question:
What are you using your website for?
I guess for most companies, having a website is still a MUST. This functions like a showcase for your profile, products and services, and your blog. Having a website allows you to build credibility for your brand and honestly, if you look at how you buy things online, don’t you Google the business or brand first? Read reviews or testimonials and do your due research before actually making a purchase?
Unless your target audience is actually are familiar with your brand, it is very likely they will research you in the online space and having a website does allow for easy fact-finding.
If you are in the online retail space, it goes without saying you would need a website. Although you can easily set up a Facebook online store on your Facebook Page, a platform like Shopify makes creating an online store so easy.
In 2012, when I first started using Shopify, I was amazed at how it user friendly it was! Adding on functions like inventory management, printing shipping labels, social media links were all a question of selecting the relevant plug-in and installing it.
To this day, I still think Shopify is the best thing to happen for online retailers, because it makes it very easy for a small business to scale up when they need to. Plus did you know that entrepreneurs have built their online stores and sold them as assets?
It is in this space that I wonder about the relevancy of a website.
Traditionally, as marketers, we would drive traffic to the website, hopefully the viewer would find our product/service interesting and convert by giving us their email address (in exchange for some nugget of advice in the form of an eBook or e-guide etc).
Once the viewer has provided us with their contact details, they are now a ‘lead’ and this is where we start sending them a series of emails to ‘nurture’ them into buying our product/service, at which point, they become our ‘customer’.
But it isn’t really necessary to have a website to do this anymore.
Consider this process:
Example of a Conversion Funnel*
And with platforms like Instapage, Leadpages, OptimizePress, or Unbounce, you can easily create landing pages to suit specific services or products.
Having said that, the argument for having a website for content marketing and SEO is still valid. We all love Google, don’t we? And Google loves websites with relevant content that brings value to their users.
This brings us to the point of blogging.
One of the best uses for a website is as a blog. I know some folks may say self-publishing and hosting your own blog is passé, and that it is better to use platforms like Medium but I beg to differ. Heaven forbid is something happens to Medium and all your posts are gone, whereas using a platform like WordPress will ensure that such events do not occur.
This discussion is worth another blog article and I’ll put one up soon!
So are websites really relevant?
Honestly, I really think it depends on what you are using the website for.
Generally most businesses will require a website as a form of advertisement for their products and services.
But if you’re looking to create a sales funnel specifically then maybe you may want to consider using landing pages instead.
Note: *Image sources
Ad: Digital Marketing, Commotion Ad
Landing Page: The 100 Best Landing Page Examples You Can’t Afford To Miss In 2018 by Instapage
Sales Page: Irresistible Sales Pages