Search has penetrated the very fabric of global society. The way people work, play, shop, research, and interact has changed forever. Organisations of all kinds (businesses and charities), as well as individuals, need to have a presence on the web – and they need the search engines to bring them traffic.[The Art of SEO - Mastering Search Engine Optimisation. Enge,Eric; Fishkin,Rand; Spencer,Stephan; Stricchiola, Jessie; O'Reilly Publishing, 2010]
We see web addresses [url's] everywhere in our daily life now. On public transport, on vans, trucks, cars, in shops, on TV, in newspapers, on buildings and certainly within advertising of all kinds. Why? Because the Internet is here and it is here to stay. but whereas, a few years ago, there were many people making their own websites and then going on to call themselves ‘web designers’, such has been the increase and technogical shift, that is usually very obvious as to whether or not a website has been created at home or by a professional. Even if it does not plainly show via the front page of a website, it certainly will once the professional takes a look at what is happening behind the scenes.
With this new shift, the creation of a website has become far more serious and is no longer just a simple matter of typing some text, throwing in a few images and hoping people will come along and visit. We now have open source software which allows for all of us to obtain professional material but without the exhorbitant fees that some commercial software companies will charge. The great news with this, is that it can keep your costs down low and, as it is usually founded on a strong community support, it can cater for all demands.
So, no longer do we have the simple website with a nice title, a few pages of text and some photos taken by amateurs in the backyard. Databases are now built-in to a website and store all the content. The aesthetics of a website are usually wrapped around this content and with most sites, are usually called layouts or themes. And, dependent on which type of software you opt for, there can be thousands of themes available. Additionally, we now have graphic designers, SEO experts, RSS technicians and a plethora of other personnel, who are all specialised in given areas that make up the components of your website.
Sure, you could still make a website yourself and yes, the remote possibility ifs there that it may even work out for you, but the reality is, it will most likely fail.
And by now, you must be thinking – this all sounds very complicated and that usually means very expensive. No, not necessarily and we at FreshlyPressed strive to keep it all down to a very reasonable price.
But, I digress. Sure, websites have taken a giant leap forward in how they are made and how they work – but why does a business or organisation really need one? The simple answer is – because without a website, you are missing out on potential customers. Like many people, I rarely buy the newspaper anymore, I read my news online and if I need to find an address, a phone number, a business of any kind – I simply turn to the Internet. I cannot remember the last time I looked at a Yellow Pages and if I do see an ad offline for any business and then discover it has no website, I usually drop it and turn elsewhere.
The Internet operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a wekk, 365 days a year. Emails can takes as little as milliseconds. Information that may take your hours to impart via phone and brochures, can be instantly obtained.
Make no mistake – your website is more than a novelty. It is vital. It is your shop-front for millions. And without it there in front of them, potential customers will simply go somewhere else.
We will be writing more about what makes a website stand out in front of others [in many more articles to come] but for the moment, if you do not have a website for your business, perhaps NOW is the time to think very carefully about changing this situation as quickly as you can.