Websites? Why?

In my 6 year-long soul-to-word relationship with web copy, I have witnessed disgustful neglect of the sheer beauty and purpose that websites have the potential to offer. Most websites today are messy, fucked up and shitty confusing places to be in.

It saddens me, more appropriately, frightens me.

Almost every start-up and medieval-strength business that I have worked with, has had just one idea of getting a website built —

Their competitor has one and they want a better one, some sort of link that they can paste at the end of their proposals, so that their clients care to click open doors to a complete world of business talk, money matters and profit-driven benefit discussion.

Well, as a writer and as a business owner myself, I have had a stark contradiction to this entire theme of getting websites.

The present idea about why you should have a website

Think it for yourself. Why would you want to have a website, or by the grace of sweet Jesus, if you already are lucky to have a good one, why would you try to tweak it?

Here are 5 reasons that start-up owners I have worked with, told me.

1. We think the internet offers a good platform to sell, and we should utilize it.

2. We want our customers to think that we are authentic and that’s why we have a website

3. My consultant said, I should have one

4. I want more leads for my business, and I want them quick

5. Well, isn’t it cool to sit back while my website would earn for me?


That’s it? That’s all you want a website for? There is no deeper reason? No trace of passionate love for a good, conversion-friendly, beautiful website? Is it just business for you?

Don’t you feel for your home online?

That’s generally how I react to these reasons in my mind. Never mind my reactions, I am a female and I react like a pro. ;)

My Idea about the present idea

Ummm… I shall spare you a league of relentless chirp about what I think websites should be for. I think a lot of things about a lot of things, so….forget it. Let me take all the above 5 points, 1 at a time and tell you why, all these reasons are tertiary, when it comes to a business’s motive of being present online.

1. We think the internet offers a good platform to sell, and we should utilize it.

Boom! Revelation!

The internet is an awesome place to learn, educate, inform, interact, have fun, solve problems, serve people…..lot of it. And selling comes quite at the end of the whole internet activity curve.

A website, in itself, does not help you sell.

You spend bucks getting a website built, beautify it like a bride, do whatever you want to do with it, but it would sit there, cozy and comfortable, while you keep paying for the hosting part…….

Unless, you do something to make it stand and start talking for itself.

Every business has a priority goal amongst many of its other goals. Having a website, so that present sales get a boost, is a good goal. But just having a website because you have the facility to, is a bad idea. The motive is vague and most commonly, the pay-back is poor.

Such aims lead to hiring just about anybody to put together bits and pieces from here and there, and make something that is built with the core intention of taking advantage of the global reach that internet offers. Nothing more.

Fine, so these people have a website, and that website reaches billions of tapping fingers.

So what?

A website without a strong motive, fails to communicate that motive to those billions of people and……bammm! All the efforts go for a toss!

2. We want our customers to think that we are authentic and that’s why we have a website

That is one of the several reasons why, marketing experts would advise you to have a website.

Yet, I have seen scores of websites of scores of businesses that made me feel just the opposite about them — unauthentic, phony, fishy, shabby, unprofessional, blah blah blah

Why do you think that happened? Let me tell you why —

These businesses would give buttery briefs about how extraordinary they are, in the run to eulogize on their credibility. And people who take that brief would again put in their brains into how they can make it look more credible.

The end result is a website, that screams so much about itself, that the visitor would feel at loss in finding out where he fits in the picture! It would be all about the business, and nothing about the potential customer.

Yet again, I have seen local businesses that do not have a website, and I bet, you would not find more genuine sellers. I am sure you feel the same about your neighborhood grocery!

Do they want to grow? Yes!

Do they have a website? No!

Can they grow without a website? Well heck, yes!

Local advertising and listings would help them do that.

Quality of your products and services, makes you authentic and genuine. Your website is a display mechanism that you use to show that authenticity.

Why am I talking all this shit here?

Because I have worked with start-ups, who are still evolving with their core offerings and want a website so that people take them seriously. The structure of these businesses evolve, as they grow…it is sort of a morphosis. But a website does not morph as quickly as business ideas do!

You invest money and then you feel slammed!

And then, when people find out different pictures on your website, and in your voice, the whole authenticity thing goes into the bin.

If your business is all set up, running and in an awesome state, creating a website for increasing the genuine value of the business is cool. But when that is not the case, the motto of a website has to be to educate people who don’t know you, rather than just banging on the genuine feeling stuff.

3. My consultant said, I should have one

People generally feel security in following the trend. So if websites with a parallax or a carousal or a one page-theme, whatever….is in trend, chances are, your consultant would advise you to go for one too.

After all, it has worked for so many other people! Why would it not work for you?

But hey, isn’t your business different? Before listening to the idea of having a website, just because someone advised you, for once, give yourself a question to answer —

What is that one singular thing that you cannot achieve at all, if you do not have a website.

Do you think your business needs an online presence? If yes, how ‘online present’ do you think you should be? Once you have an answer to this question, you would have an exceptionally clear reason, why you should mandatorily have a website.

If you do not figure out any such reason, well, chances are, you should give yourself some more time and be clear about what exactly you would want out of your website,before hiring a designer, developer and writer.

Just because that consultant threw his ‘website’ coin and 2 out of 3 times it paid him back, does not mean you need to offer him the 4th time to experiment with his consultation skills.

4. I want more leads for my business, and I want them quick

This is one of the most common goals of having a website, I have ever come across.

Most business owners having this belief, actually start counting days before the website is blown life into and expect it to mint out money right from day one.

And if that does not happen, they start questioning the whole way the Universe functions.

I have actually worked with a client, who thought his website would pay him back in optimum digits if it were put up his way — his colors, his design, his copy ideas, everything that he thought would be the best….after all, it was his business and he knew it the best!

So we came up with this website which was a mutant between his ideas and my implementation skills, put it there on the internet and boy! Every person was so enthusiastic about it!

A month later, they decided they want to revamp the website, because they were not getting anything out of it, not even a set of regular visitors enough to perform optimization testing.

Within this one month, all they had done was, write a press release for their LinkedIn page, get a few 200 word blog posts scribbled out, and that’s it.

First, in such a scenario, it is worthwhile to note that a month is too less a time to decide on how potent a website is. Most often, even averagely performing websites perform better, if they are given time and some honest love of content marketing.

Second, there are certain conventional methods of promotion that every business owner is aware of. It’s a popular notion, I don’t know why, that those methods will pay off. No, they don’t. Times change, viewers’ tastes change, buyers’ perspectives change and so should the methods to promote any product or service!

A website is a showcase. If you need it to earn for you, you would have to ascertain that it is promoted and advertised well.

And that takes time.

A website can be conversion friendly, but if you get a conversion optimized website and not do anything to promote it, you are left with an impotent beautiful hen.

5. Well, isn’t it cool to sit back while my website would earn for me?

No darling, it just won’t. I have come across this compulsive belief more or less in start-up owners, who plan an e-commerce model for their businesses. So the thought goes —

‘I have to list my products, with a 2-line description each….a few monthly discounts on the home page and that’s it! Now, hey, where do I plan my next vacation to?’

My advice — breathe before going all gaga over how lovingly and kindly your website would work its ass out into getting you one order after the other.

That simply does not happen.

E-commerce is tricky business. And e-commerce websites are trickier, requiring a constant and rigorous testing process in place. Testing generally includes hypothesizing user experience value, navigation friendliness, quickness with which the check-out page processes itself and a lot of other such factors. The catch is, there are so many of them, it actually requires a half-month long planning on part of website strategists to figure out what might work well. And that too is a hypothesis.

Once done well and maintained well, these websites actually make money for you while you spoil yourself in Vegas. Done the wrong way, you are doomed for a lifetime!

My belief about why actually you should have a website for your business

Your website is an amazing tool to make your customers personify your business at the very first look. But that is only possible when you have an awesome group of creative people who are actually able to embed your heart and mind in their exact honesty down into your website.

Your website has to have its soul and when you team up with just about anybody, that simply, does not happen.

If your site looks like it was designed by a barrel of colorblind monkeys, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost.

I have been doing a fraction of it for my clients, and trust me, with the quickness that their ideas evolve, it is difficult for me to maintain a consistency throughout the entire website!

How then, do you expect people to feel in connection with you?

A website can definitely be the connection between your visitors and you, but pictures and words are 2 singular components that help you do that. A powerful website is a harmonious duet of graphics and words. It is almost sort of a psychic connection.

When you give that to your viewers, they know your business for what it is and they know you for the real person you are.

Isn’t it actually obvious?

You know, no matter how sophisticated the global economy gets, people would still prefer buying from real people, rather than from profit-minded dumb and mute businesses. Websites should show them the real picture of real people behind profitable businesses.

Every other motive comes secondary to this motive

Once your viewers and potential customers come to recognize you and your business with complete clarity, inquiries and sales follow. Marketing and promotion, obviously are an imminent and ingrained part. But beyond that, it follows naturally.

Your visitors would naturally see you as a transparent and genuine product or service seller, interested in making their lives better.

Buying and selling, I guess, is an output of that feeling.

What’s your idea about your website?

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