You may already know the saying: You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Although it’s generally used for real-life meetings, it applies equally well to online encounters. The first impressions that people will have of you or your business will largely depend on what they read online when they google you.
Which brings us to the importance for a business to have its own website. Unless you have been living in a cave for the past 30 years, you know it is essential to have an online presence. Some may think that it’s a good idea to save on the cost of developing a website and use a Facebook page instead. But it’s a BAD idea: a Facebook page is not an alternative to a corporate website. In fact, your website is the foundation on which you build your Internet strategy, it’s your virtual office, where you welcome visitors and interact with them. You need to have complete control over its look and feel, and the features that it offers. A Facebook page fails miserably on these points.
Even if you can’t afford the costs of having your website developed by professionals, there are several low-cost or even free online solutions for building your website. For those who don’t know any, check out wix.com or wordpress.com. These web-building services have a free-tier but if you want to use your own domain name (and you should!) you need to pay a modest monthly fee.
Your domain name acts as both your website online address and your online brand. If you don’t already own one, you should buy one and invest in your online brand. They can cost as little as a few hundred rupees per year for the cheaper ones but a .mu domain costs about Rs 2,400 (USD 64) per year.
If you can afford it, it’s best to use the services of professionals with the expertise and experience in designing and building custom-designed websites. Just like the traditional printed brochures used to be THE marketing tool to present your business to potential clients, your website is the window through which the world will look at you and what you have to offer. Your website should wow the visitor and make them want to work with you. It should be visually attractive, user-friendly and offer contents to answer your visitor’s questions.
A well thought-out design will make it easy for the user to find the relevant information and entice them to get in touch with you or, if you sell online, buy your products or services. In addition (some might even say: more importantly), a properly developed website will be search engine optimised and will be more easily found by search engines such as Google. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in any digital strategy. Suffice it to say that it can make or break a business that relies on the Internet for its visibility. And even if you don’t rely entirely on the online media for your visibility, you would be missing out big time if you did not optimise your Internet visibility.
This is the crux of the matter: a search-engine-optimised website can act as a magnet for leads and bring new clients to your company.