Just this morning I was listening to a radio interview about the change in how the news is done on television. They talked about the fact that many of us no longer watch television in the conventional way – the advent of PVRs and online television have paved the way for changing habits – and how television news sees that there is a change, but it seems no one can quite see what the new landscape will look like for news. It reminded me of the change of business on the internet too.
It’s really not been that long since we’ve been able to buy things online. And less time since social media became a huge consideration. A few years ago, the question was not if you had a website, but how big and splashy was your business website. And yet, changes are happening again, because people like Chris Crum are asking if a business does indeed need a website in his article “Is it Becoming Less Critical For Businesses to Have Websites?”.
Before you start letting your brain go into a tailspin over whether or not your business ought to have a website, know that Chris is not saying you shouldn’t have a website. In fact, he claims “having a site gives you a more stable foundation, and still creates more opportunities than if you didn’t have one. When you have a site, you have control.” He also says, “I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a site, or even that you don’t need one, but I think it’s an interesting discussion.”
Like Chris, I think that it is interesting to discuss how other opportunities online may make a website a little less critical – and thus opening up the possibility for including changes in the internet landscape into your business plan – and other options a little more feasible for building your business. Here are the two main ideas from his article:
– Facebook: Are you surprised? Facebook is a great way to increase your web presence. Some data shows that Facebook can be a bigger traffic source than Google, and Facebook does not demand that you have your own website. Plus, often Facebook pages are found on search engines and rank in the top results. Facebook may be a great place to start gathering a web presence or to enhance your company’s current presence.
– Google’s Place Pages: lists local business results at the top of a search page, making it a great place for your clients to find your business. With increasing functionality for mobility devices, making sure your business is listed in Place Pages is a good bet.
Although you could provide a web presence for your business through these methods and others, without having your own website, the key point to note is that these methods are changing the way we look for information. Clients may not find you just by finding your website, so including the other potential electronic avenues in your business plan is a wise choice for savvy businesses.