Singaporeans often neglect the usefulness of a website. I have been designing and maintaining websites for the last 5 years and I often get requests to design websites for businesses. When I ask why do they want a website for, they would often say because someone else also has it or that it’s the norm for businesses in Singapore to have a website so I want one too. Some are even more ambitions and they want to dabble in e-commerce. Although it is good that theses businesses are trying to keep up with the times, there is a severe problem with this mentality. Businesses in Singapore often think that just having a website alone is sufficient to get leads and they will eventually be able to return their investment on the website within a few months a year. This is however, far from the truth. I have done many websites where the businesses literally leave their website there to rot in the depths of cyberspace. Nobody knows of their website and nobody cares. Their page does not even come up when you search their key business offering or service in Google. It is a shame.
Why Is This Happening?
The main reason why this is happening is because most of these business are adapting out of a false perception of necessity. They are making websites because of external pressures. For example, some businesses see their competitor starting an online store and they too, in order to remain competitive, decided to start one as well. They might not have the necessary understanding of how a website works or how it can benefit their business. Below, I will be briefly explaining the two main drivers of a successful website.
The Purpose Of A Website
Before commencing on your website, businesses must first identify the purpose of starting one. Below are a few examples of why some businesses would start a website.
- To showcase product or service offerings
- To get more customers / clients
- To sell products / services online (ecommerce)
You must ensure that the infrastructure of the business is able to support these functions. For example, if you’re looking to sell products online, you must make sure that you have thought of how to do the order packing and delivery. It might be easier in the beginning if you get one or two orders in a week but what if you have 50 orders in a day? Plan slightly ahead so that you would not be caught off guard when sales do pick up. Another example would be if you’re looking to get more customers and leads from your website. Do you have someone who is manning the live chat helpdesk or email enquiries during office hours? Your website has already done the work for you by serving it’s purpose. Are you able to take over and convert that lead into a sale?
The Commitment to Your Website
A website is supposed to add value to your business. In order to reap the benefits of your website, you must first give. Creating the website is only the first step in the online journey for your business. It is the daily maintenance that will make or break the success of your website. You should think of your website as a colleague of your business; someone who needs constant monitoring and assistance. But when you’ve worked with it for long enough, it is able to help you do a lot of that was previously unable. Below are a few tasks for your website that would require commitment.
- Managing & updating relevant content
- Responding to customer enquiries
- Marketing and promotions to draw people to your website
I hope that you’re able to understand the requirements of a website before creating one. Otherwise, your website will be just another page floating in the sea of pages in cyberspace.