Everything is going digital in South Africa and for you to survive online you need to have a website!
That has been the story over and over, especially since the outbreak of Covid-19. Consequently, everyone is rushing to set up their online shop, to share their recipes online and to give an opinion on how the world will be post Covid-19.
But is that the whole truth? Is it necessary for one to have a website in South Africa today? Isn’t social media enough?
For a start, one needs to understand that the need for a website is similar to the need for a physical presence. You will have walk in clients, referrals, repeat visitors, accidental visitors, and of course associated bills
The major difference is that a website has no geographical barriers, although that has a limitation on its own. Whereas you can
Here are a few things to consider:
Would you benefit from increased publicity?
If you think you can benefit from increased online presence, then you need a website. A well done website is able to attract visitors from all the corners of the internet and make your brand more prominent.
This is useful for businesses and brands that would thrive with increased publicity. If you are running a village coffee shop that does not need to be known by anyone else except the current clients, you may not need a website.
Do you need to consolidate your content on social media?
You might be using social media already, but that is not good enough if you are in it for a long term. Having a website ensures that your content is consolidated in one place, and you do not risk losing it in case you lose access to your social media account.
It is also a central place where users can find, as opposed to many social media accounts which keep evolving. Yesterday it was Facebook and today it is Tiktok.
Do you have information that you need to share?
In the information age, having information worth sharing is a golden opportunity. This could be in the form of a blog, telling people about your products, sharing information for fun or even curating information that people need to know.
All these would be best done in the form of a website. It is also important that you find a way of sharing and publicizing this content so that it can get readers.
Can you sell online?
If you are selling goods and services that can be offered online, it is important to have a website. This is because you increase your potential reach and get more customers. Already, South Africa has millions of people online and having a website will help you target that.
When considering selling online, one thing that is needed is to figure out the logistics part because you will still need to do the delivery services. For this you can partner with the various delivery service providers that are present in your location.
Do you have the skill and expertise?
The question of skills is not a very strong point today. While creating a website is a complex affair, recent development in content management systems and website builders have made it easy for any person to come up with a website.
If you possess enough skills to effectively use social media and applications such as powerpoint, then you should be good enough to use the available tools to create your own website.
However, advanced features and making a top notch professional website may require one to have professional developers helping with your website. This could include functions like integrating payments and effective Search Engine Optimization.
Are your competitors online?
If your competitors are online, you have no business being offline. You need at least to match their web presence for you to keep up with them, and even outdo them if you are to stay ahead. This calls for you to constantly review their strategies and figure out what to do in order not to be out-competed.
If you are convinced that you need a website, here are the steps that you need to take.
- Decide on a domain name that you can use for your online presence
- Find a suitable web hosting service provider who will host your website and emails.
- Create the content for your website. This includes the necessary information, the images and everything you need to include.
- Start building your website, or get a web developer to do it for you.
- Once you have your website ready, start publicizing it.