Are websites still relevant, or is the world now starting to move on? Are people now using social media while ignoring websites? What about apps – are they now more important to businesses than websites?
All these questions centre on one consideration – should you spend time and money investing in your website or should you invest in other forms of digital marketing instead?
Lots of new technologies have threatened to overtake websites and, in some industries, they have. Take Facebook, for example, as there are far more people who access Facebook on a smartphone than on a computer. The majority of those people use the Facebook app to login to their accounts.
What about more generally, however? Specifically, what about your business?
It is true that the digital landscape is constantly changing. The increasing use of mobile phones is yet again a good example. This change has led to Google recently adopting a mobile first indexing policy. This means it checks the mobile version of a website before the desktop version when updating its search index.
To date, however, the importance of websites has remained undiminished despite this changing landscape. In fact, in many situations, the importance of websites has increased.
In the above example of Google’s mobile first policy, the strong advice for all website owners is to review, update, and improve how their website looks and operates on smartphones. By doing this, you increase the possibility of getting more traffic to your website.
That hardly sounds like a technology that is on the way out.
What about mobile apps – could they overtake websites? Again, in some cases, mobile apps are becoming more important. We’ve already mentioned the example of social media but there are others too, including games – game apps are incredibly popular.
For most businesses, however, websites are a far more important marketing tool than an app. This is because people still go to Google when looking for a product or service. They still go to Google or your website directly when looking for directions to your business too, or to get your telephone number. There are not many people who would turn to an app when looking for this information.
In fact, many SMEs are struggling to get a return on investment from there apps. Even if they get people to install the app on their phone, how do they get them to regularly use it? Just look at all the apps on your phone that you haven’t opened in ages to see how difficult a problem this is for app owners.
Social media is another argument sometimes offered by those who think websites are on the way out. After all, you can set up a business page on Facebook easily and for free.
Social media is very restrictive, however, plus you must play by the platform’s rules. You can’t, for example, design your Facebook business page however you want.
Also, you are at the mercy of the platform, something which is a highly risky strategy for businesses that only have a presence on social media.
There is no reliable information that websites are becoming less important to business. On the contrary, people increasingly expect to be able to find out about and interact with your business through a website.
So, websites are not on the way out. They are here, and they are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
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