What do you need a website for?
All businesses need a website. Pretty much anyone running a company would agree with that. What do you need a website for? The only common reason which applies to all businesses, is that they are there to increase revenue in one way or another. How they do this can vary depending on the type of business, and what they want the website to do.
Corporate sites are the official representation of a company online and usually features detailed information about the company, in-depth details of its services or products, and presents a positive image of the company as a whole.
Broadly, the goals of corporate websites are that they should:
- Convey a sense of scale and that the company is big and thriving.
- Underpin good reputation, capabilities, strong ethics, and success.
- Drive trust and show why the company is good to work with, and for, and engage with.
Ordinarily, corporate websites are not intended to target clients and customers and ‘sell stuff’, but focus on the company itself. The role of a corporate site is to:
- Satisfy the requirements of shareholders and investors in the form of statements, operational reports, and company portals.
- Create publicity for the press and media and generate positive news about activities and achievements.
- Provide content for existing staff and create a sense of pride as being ‘part of the family’, as well as attracting new staff members in the form of employees, apprentices, and traineeships.
- Build a strong corporate image to visitors.
- Put on a show for competitors! If business or sector rivals can see a website that outshines theirs, it is perceived to be part of an overall competitive edge.
Business websites present and promote the processes, services, products, and functions of the company. These should be presented in such a way to attract interest from new clients or customers. Goals for business websites could include:
- Information about the company and its products/services.
- A detailed showcase of products and services available.
- Highly visible contact details to enable people to get in touch.
- Provide an insight into the processes and activities of the company in the form of news or case studies.
Business websites are targeted directly at clients and customers and their principal roles include:
- Increasing a client-base or attracting new customers or business.
- Providing details of products or services and why visitors need them.
- Engender trust and credibility with visitors.
- Acting as a ‘selling’ tool – almost like an additional member of staff.
- Educating visitors as to why the company is a ‘good fit’ for their requirements.
While brochure websites have many of the same features as business websites, they tend to be simpler in composition and detail. Brochure sites are quite often used as points of reference for smaller companies or business individuals to reinforce credibility and authenticity, often after an initial meeting or introduction. Usually free of heavyweight detail and functionality, brochure sites focus on providing an overview of the company and easily accessible information – almost like a company brochure!
Despite being simple in concept and design, brochure websites still need to feature important marketing techniques to convince visitors of the company’s credibility and capabilities and engender trust and reliability. No point in doing the groundwork with a prospective customer just to lose them at the last minute with a sub-standard website.
This post covers the three main types of business websites but, obviously, there are other types such as ecommerce, entertainment, portfolio, not-for-profit, educational, etc. Some of these types could fall into one of the three categories above. Deciding the purpose of your website and what it needs to achieve is an important thing to think about at the beginning of a project. Having a clear plan can save a lot of money in development costs and, with a good web developer, will ensure your site does the job it is intended to do.
Give us a bell or drop us a line. For website design, digital marketing, web hosting, graphic design for print and SEO, contact us for a chat about how we can help you and your business.