The creation of a website is a super easy task in this day and age. Between Wix and WordPress more and more people are going for a DIY option and slapping something together from a template or pre-designed site they quickly customise with a few colour and font choices.
And if you’re a startup on a shoestring budget, or a solopreneur just getting started, these are great solutions. They do exactly what they say on the tin: create a fast, easy, cheap website that gets you up and running quickly.
But the thing with business is that it evolves. Or at least, it should. If you want to see your business go from strength to strength (and we know you do, because who wouldn’t?) you need to constantly look at ways to strengthen your core, grow into new areas, and consistently increase your profitability.
A lot of business owners forget that as they are working so hard on creating that business evolution and growth, they have a website sitting there that still looks like you just got started.
We say this all the time because it’s so true and so vitally important:
Your Website Is The Hub Of ALL Your Online Activities…
When you evolve your website alongside your business, you’re increasing the potential of your business.
What do we mean by that? Well, simply put, whatever you’re doing to ensure your business makes more money will be infinitely more effective if your website is supporting that endeavor.
You’re not going to launch a new product and not list it on your website, right?
So why would you look into the creation of new revenue streams and neglect to consider how powerful your website could be with a bit of development?
Here’s what we’ve seen websites do for our clients, first hand:
- Generate hundreds of qualified leads per month.
- Generate £120K+ in product sales per month.
- Host a highly effective sales funnel that effectively attracts ideal clients and converts them into paying customers, on autopilot.
- Create new revenue streams in the form of passive income.
- Generate hundreds of thousands of pounds in affiliate sales.
- Generate hundreds of thousands of pounds in advertising revenue.
- Smash the time-for-money profit ceiling experienced by service-based businesses, by allowing them to sell high ticket digital products at low production costs.
Not only that, your website can host essential systems that support your team, your customers, and your clients.
If you work on billable hours, employ people who do, or act as an agency for those who do, your website can effectively collect their hours, calculate their pay, and invoice the relevant people.
Running a restaurant, hairdressers, or anything that requires booking an appointment? Using an online booking system will increase your profits by 37%, on average. In some cases that’s as high as 120%!
When you’re a fledgling business you likely won’t need (or want) all the bells and whistles. Budgets are low, product lines and services are limited. But as you grow, as you thrive, you start to do new and exciting things, you need to improve processes, you’re looking for greater exposure, and of course, you’re generating more income.
You reach a point you’ve completely outgrown your starter site, and you have the income to support building a new one. But here’s the thing.
Websites shouldn’t be looked at as a thing you build once, leave for years to become outdated, scrap, then build again.
It’s All About The Journey…
Instead, websites should be seen as the embodiment of the journey.
That’s your continually evolving journey as a company, and your customers’ journey as they experience working with you.
The client journey is a complex one, and it doesn’t start at the point of purchase, as many would presume.
No, it begins far earlier than that, and in those early stages, it inevitably involves your website.
When you think of buying something or working with someone these days, the first thing you do is Google them and scope out their site.
Websites should be complex virtual experiences of your brand’s reality.
They should include plenty of content, be attractive to new readers, nurturing to existing ones, and they should be unique to your brand, your journey, and the experience of both you’re trying to cultivate in others.
What’s The Difference Between Web Development And Web Design?
Although it’s advisable that web designers and developers cooperate in the realisation of your website, these two roles only share a few similarities. They shouldn’t be thought of as interchangeable assets in one’s digital team.
While web designers mostly focus on the visual aspect of a website, working on the overall graphic, typography, and colours, web developers work on making it all work together.
Both are absolutely vital, and you may find one person does both. But usually, you will need someone who specialises in design, and someone else who specialises in development.
This is largely because the two skill sets require a completely different way of thinking and working.
Design is all about imagination and imagery. Development is all about 1 and 0s, hard code.
Businesses who have opted to work with a website designer in the belief they would get a fully functional website usually get an awful surprise.
Most web designers don’t know any more about building websites than the average person and will create something that looks amazing, using a WordPress template or Wix.
You know, the kind of stuff you get when you’re first starting out in business and can’t afford better?
You’re way, way past that now.
What’s the difference between web designers and web developers, in a nutshell?
One imagines the look and feel of the website, the other makes that vision a reality and builds into it all the functionality the business needs to support it.
Take a look at one of the sites we’ve built this year, The Belgian Beer Company. Our designers came up with some awesome graphics and branding for the site, including some incredibly funky characters:
But this is an online store that sells £100K+ of beer each month. It needed a ton of functionality like user accounts, payment gateways, a reward system, integration with email marketing software and Google Ads.
And that’s just the basic stuff.
There are a lot of quirks on the site that either our designer or content writer thought would be super cool to include, so we did.
They came up with the ideas, but they couldn’t have coded them if their lives depended on it.
In a similar vein, Simon (head honcho where development is concerned) can’t be trusted to design a thing. He’s great at coming up with functional ideas and implementing them, but making them look good?
About the best he can manage is to make them look symmetrical, and that’s exactly the kind of thinking you want from a developer.
Your business needs a strong foundation upon which to build all that evolution and growth.
Website development is the thing that will help you achieve that.
Web design and content writing are crucial elements of that, but if you have great design and branding without the development behind it, your site is hollow.
It’s not going to support anything, let alone you taking over the world…
Why Do You Need Web Development For Business?
As we said, your website should represent a complex reality which intertwines your brand’s identity and tone of voice with what your users expect to find. It shouldn’t just be a place where someone clicks on a button and buys things. It should be a destination they return to again and again, to buy more of the same again, or to buy new offerings, or to sign up for new services, or simply for the joy of following you as a brand.
But what can web development help you with, in your business activity? Let’s take a look at all the possibilities you might gain by using the right development strategy.
Improve User Experience…
Let’s say you’re browsing your favourite brand’s website and enjoying everything you see: things are easy to find, the graphics are brilliant, and every word, every image, inspires you to somehow believe in a better world, or a better version of yourself.
You are having a good user experience.
In a broader sense, the term “user experience” indicates how users interact with digital products and services and their perception of them. Do they find it useful, efficient, easy to use? Or do they not?
One of the major things that web development can do for your business is to optimise your user’s experience, realising fast and functioning websites.
This is not only vital to making sure your customers are happy, it’s a huge part of how search algorithms currently rank sites. Google and other search engines are prioritising user experience over anything else.
That is, after all, their job: to show people content that answers their query in the best possible way. Yes, that means being informative, but it also means being enjoyable to read or watch.
So, the better your user experience is, the greater your chances of converting website visitors into customers, and customers into repeat business. BUT you’re also far more likely to rank your site highly in the SERPs, which is how people find you in the first place.
Increase Your Google Ranking…
Speaking of SERPs, there’s only one way your website is going BIG and that’s through the immense power of Google, which sends your potential customers right to your doorstep.
And yet, you can’t bullshit Google into ranking you highly. Your website needs to perform.
With Google and other search engines, you can’t “fake it ‘til you make it”, because there’s literally no one to interact with.
Even worse, there’s no one you can bribe into thinking that you are the best: everything is scanned through algorithms.
Content is ranked on the basis of certain criteria: if your website fails to meet those criteria, you won’t show up.
If you’re not appearing on page 1 of Google for relevant search terms the likelihood is, nobody is ever going to find you through Google.
Many of these criteria pertain to the content of your website and you have to work them through with whoever is writing the text for you, but others are all about web development aspects you can’t neglect.
For example, one of the determining factors to have an optimal ranking is having a fast website; another is having a responsive website.
And to be honest those two things are the bare basics.
They’re also two things that people really struggle with if their website hasn’t been properly developed.
Create A Stunning Website!
Wait, WHAT? Haven’t we told you before that web design is another thing?
Well, yes. And it IS.
But if you paid attention to what we said, you will notice that complex designs require complex development. The WOW factor of a site isn’t just about the design, but how that design is implemented.
With the right coding, you will be able to set all the incredible ideas your designer had in perfect motion.
Think about an amazing design: does it include animated images? If so, putting them into a website without risking affecting the page’s speed is really complicated to do and you need an experienced developer to do so.
A web developer can enhance a template by coding in additional functionality or build a website fully from scratch using nothing but code. It can then include fun extras that look amazing, like the banner we built for BBS Engineering, which as a static image is just a line drawing of a ballscrew, but when you see it live on the site is super-cool because it moves as you toggle the mouse!
When you’re working with a cracking website developer the sky’s the proverbial limit where functionality is concerned.
Need a system building that supports your unique service? Web dev can build it.
Got a shitty process in place for managing client accounts? A little extra development can create a fully integrated system in your site that is simple, effective, and easily accessible to you, your team, and your clients (should you want them to access it!).
Not generating enough revenue through foot traffic in your store? Adding an eCommerce store to your site lets you sell to the entire world, if you want.
Website development for your business can create so much functionality. That may be something painfully simple, that saves you a huge amount of time and resources. Like being able to send a link to new clients that directs them to an onboarding questionnaire they fill in, which populates your CRM.
Quite a bit easier than one they have to fill in by hand and return. Or even one they fill in online, which you then have to manually enter into your system.
Equally, website development can be highly complex. You might require the creation of a full portal to market and manage an important event. You might have had a cowboy build your original site and later found it was utterly impossible to update it without them. They thought they were being sneaky and ensuring your future business, but instead, you find a savvy website developer who can build on it without the exorbitant cost, and with considerably more moral aplomb.
After all this talking you might be curious about web development and you might want to hire a professional to realise the perfect, foolproof, user-friendly website for your business.
Well, roam no more: book your free consultation today and get started with your new website.
What’s your dream website like? We’re sure we can help! Let’s do it together.
Our Head of Marketing, Hazel Butler, is an award-winning author, copywriter, and editor. Part ghostwriter, part blogger, part videographer, and part strategist, when she’s not endlessly penning content for our clients Hazel’s happily concocting the perfect marketing plans to propel their businesses forward.
Get to know her...