Do You Need a Website?

As a website consultant, I frequently talk to people about whether or not they need a website. Some people assume that it is important, while others think that websites are something other people might use but not for them. I might be biased on the value of websites given that I work with them all the time, but my experience has also given me a lot of insight into what websites are good for and how they fit into your marketing needs.

TLDR: Whether you are an individual, a community organization, or a for-profit business, a website is the most fundamental part of your online presence. More important than social media accounts, directory listings, review platforms, or mentions in forums, you need a website in order to establish an authoritative place for accurate information that you control and that is not diluted by ads, distractions, or the competing interests of other businesses.

I am an individual. Do I need a website?

Even as an individual, you likely need to market yourself once in a while. If you are in the job market, you want employers to be able to find out who you are and what qualifications you have. If you do freelance work, it is even more important that clients and others have access to your best messaging about what you do and why they would want to work with you.

We are a small community organization. Do we need a website?

You may not sell a product or service, but you still have a mission and a message you want people to know about. Your website is your first line of information for people who want to get involved, who could benefit from the work you do, or who may donate to your cause.

I have a business. Do I need a website?

A website gives people a highly visible online location to learn about your business. Whether you have an online shop or simply share information about your brick and mortar location, it is essential that people can easily find out about what you do.

In 2023, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter combined received just over one third of the traffic of Google alone (“Top Website Statistics For 2024,” Forbes Advisor, April 2, 2024). This means that people who are online looking for you are roughly three times more likely to search for you on Google than to look for you on a social media platform. In my own experience, less than 10% of the engagement with a business or organization’s online presence comes from social media. Are you putting your best foot forward where people can find you?

Websites for Individuals

In my day job I am an academic. I am working on a degree right now, but very soon I’ll be in the academic job market. While the best outcome for academics is to land a job as a tenure-track professor (the ultimate in job security), most positions are short-term appointments lasting for one to a few years. Even longer-term jobs may not be exactly what you want to do forever. Consequently, most academics are always open to new job opportunities.

In addition, academics are constantly networking. Since we work with knowledge and information, we always want to know what our colleagues are doing, especially those whose work is similar to ours. For example, I have a list of researchers whose work I consistently admire, so I am interested whenever they start a new project or publish a new article.

Sure, there are social media platforms (LinkedIn,, and even Twitter) that are often good ways to network with like-minded individuals. But most professionals in my field have realized the value of having their own website. It gives them full control over the presentation of themselves and the work they are doing.

My own website, for example, gives me clear branding about who I am. Even the URL itself——identifies me as a person. With this website, people have access to all the work I do, including a public version of my CV/resume. It also gives some insight into my personality and the hobbies that interest me.

In another beautiful example, my colleague Peggy Orenstein’s website clearly highlights her latest book as well as previous writing, her availability for speaking engagements, and other projects she is interested in. All without ads or links to other distractions.

The best part of having a website as an individual is the fact that it generally will show up at the top of a search for your name. Unlike social media accounts that are diluted by ads, links to other accounts, and marketing from the social media platform itself, search engines and directories clearly recognize your website as being specifically about you. So if someone wants to know more about you, your website is the perfect resource.

Ask yourself, what should people know about you? What do you want your next employer to see? Most importantly, how will they find out unless you tell them? Request a consultation for us to help you answer these questions and to get started making your personal website the best it can be.

Websites for Organizations

Community organizations are often staffed with volunteers on a mission to make real change in their neighborhoods and society. It is easy to focus on the details of the day-to-day work and lose sight of the big picture: you have a mission and a vision to share with the world. What better way to connect with like-minded others in your community and beyond than a website where people can learn about and join your cause?

In Detroit and in the surrounding communities, many organizations work tirelessly to bring equity, support, and meaningful change to our neighborhoods and our people. There are so many people doing important work and so much going on that sometimes it can be hard to even keep track of it all! But people who want to help can only get on board if they know about the work being done. A website is the perfect vehicle for communicating the importance of your mission and to let people know what you are accomplishing.

One pitfall some organizations have, even if they have a website, is trying to say too much all at once. Organizations, especially, have multiple audiences and different messages depending on the audience. The best organizers know their audience and taylor their message depending on whether they are talking to a volunteer, a member of an affected community, or a donor. An excellent website can provide all the information for all your audiences, but it is important to segment visitors depending on who they are so that you can give them the most relevant information and not bog them down with unnecessary details.

Websites for community organizations is one of our specialties! Request a consultation now to see how we can help.

Websites for Businesses

Almost all business owners recognize the need for a website. Whether you sell products online or you simply promote your physical business, all of your business operations will benefit from the clear and authoritative information you can provide from your own website. While review sites, listings, and business directories have their place and are certainly important in your marketing strategy, your website is the hub of information about and connection to your business.

Businesses already understand the importance of clear marketing. Your website is your online-facing marketing tool. Its primary purpose is to help potential buyers find you, find what they need to make a positive purchase decision, and ultimately to connect with you to buy. With this in mind, the most successful websites are not just glossy ads and product information, they are helpful guides bringing prospective customers to you.

Get Started Now

We can help! Whether you already have a website and would like to improve it, or you want to start something new, request a consultation to start the conversation on bringing your website to the web.

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