Squarespace uses it for advertising. I have to smile every time I see the Instagram ad. Squarespace, like Wix, sells websites mainly to one-person companies, freelancers and SMBs. They address the target group perfectly, “if I am a budding entrepreneur, I need a website” is a very sensible idea.
However, there is danger in building a website without experience. And by that I don’t mean problems with the technology!
In my experience, both with clients and with my own company, the biggest danger is underestimating the effort involved. Especially one person companies are at risk of losing themselves in the website – construction – jungle. Everyone who has tried Wix or Squarespace knows that the first going online is very easy. But it also becomes obvious very quickly that most of the effort goes into building and creating the content. And if you don’t have any experience in this area, you can easily lose many hours until you realize that it would have been cheaper to hire an agency.
On the one hand, I see such modular systems (and there are many of them) similar to a cheap subscription model of a fitness centre. At first, you are optimistic and take a yearly subscription, but after a few months the motivation vanishes and the progress decreases.
But on the other hand, among other things, building systems are the cheapest option to get started online. If I don't want to spend money and take a first step into the deep end, I find it justifiable to use a construction kit system like Wix or Squarespace.
Also, it helps me as an agency to find clients. If you know a little about Google search, you can easily find a lot of Wix pages.
Of course, this also works for other modular systems and additionally with many extended Google – filter options. I see Wix as the first contact point for all those who want to establish themselves online. But from a certain point on it is necessary to choose a more professional solution.
That brings me to the actual content of this post: What is a website and why should I own one?
A website is the presentation of content on a domain, i.e. a unique Internet address. I am of the opinion that every company should have a website. Whether Wix or custom development, you have to be able to be found online. A website offers the possibility to present yourself individually and above all independently.
A company can be at different stages of development when it comes to online marketing. Different types of companies, industries and business models require different websites. To simplify, I define three levels that a website, no matter what business, can have today.
Step 1: Structure The company does not have its own online presence or a very, very old one.
Step 2: Growth The company has a responsive, SEO optimized website.
Simple analytics tools are used (Google Tracking, Facebook Tracking). You start to communicate with your users.
Step 3: Expansion Content is published regularly on the website. There is a content strategy. Multiple communication channels are used in combination. The content is A/B tested.
Remember: A web app is something different from a website.Roughly defined, a website presents content. A web app, on the other hand, contains company logic and thus also changes data. An example of a web app is a booking system. A website can easily integrate a web app. For simplicity’s sake, I will not include web apps in this article. A very big difference is also, especially regarding costs, that a web app often has to be programmed individually and the software architecture can be built very differently and therefore can be very expensive. A website, on the other hand, is no longer programmed nowadays, but created with appropriate tools.
Companies are of course very different, especially when you look at the whole thing across industries. However, the basic principles of online marketing are the same. The higher the level, the more strategy and more interaction with visitors is in the web presence. Expansion naturally includes being present on social media channels. I am convinced that today and especially in the future it is very important to have control over your data. Therefore, for me the website and the corresponding server is the basis of the online presence.
In the construction phase, one wants to make a first step into the new online world and be found. This starts with entering a phone number, e-mail address and location. The worst thing for a company is not to be found on google. Imagine you see a flyer of a company, search them and then you can’t find it on google. Usually that’s it with that company.
Once you have managed to get found online, you can start thinking about what else you can present on the website in addition to the contact information. Far too often this topic is underestimated. From here on it is important to know what you are doing!
In principle, it is simple: You have to build your website in such a way that a visitor finds his goal as easily as possible, without any obstacles. But the big catch is that this requires a deep understanding of the goals and characteristics of the typical visitor. The even greater challenge is to accept that without regular interaction with visitors, you have absolutely no idea what you are doing.
Therefore: Analyse and interact
These are the most important points in the growth phase. By understanding the visitor, the website can be adapted to the needs of the customer. There are already innumerable possibilities for this, which I will discuss in another article at some point. If you are interested, either comment below or send a short e-mail to [email protected].
If you know your customer well, then the real fun begins, you develop strategies to regularly present him with valuable and relevant information. This creates a better bond and increases the probability of turning the visitor into a customer. That is expansion. You have enough information to test new products with new target groups. You create multiple versions and send a part of the visitors to one, another part to the 2nd version and then you see what works best. So you learn more and more until you have a really successful online presence.