Website wisdom

7 January 2016
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The maritime industry has remained firmly entrenched in the past.

I say that as a media, marketing and communications specialist in the maritime industry and I have come across my fair share of lousy websites. It is hard to believe but some maritime companies still shun websites altogether.

Yes, there are some nifty sites which are modern and engaging and such encourages me to linger on the website and learn more about what the company does.

However, more often than not, the maritime websites I see are stuck in the dial up age where information is largely out-dated and not at all user friendly.

In this time and age, if you are interested in a company or person, the first thing you do is head straight to Google. So, no website = no business?

Here are five reasons why having a new, mobile accessible website helps secures new business — Yes, even in the B2B shipping industry.

1. Who are you?

Not online? You don’t exist. It is as simple as that. Your website is a passive marketing platform for customers to find out more about you and what you do. Not having a website will lose you customers to competitors who do.

2. Disseminating timely information

Your company’s website should be a space for you to share important news about the company.  Whether you have won a new project or you are opening a new office overseas, – such positive news encourages sales and builds confidence. Customer testimonials and case studies are also important content that can be shared.

Similarly, in times of crisis, the website is the first place you communicate your message to the public. Whether to prevent the spread of misinformation or to communicate key messages during an incident or a casualty – this is where the public will go at the first sign of trouble.

3. Reducing the cost of marketing materials

Printing brochures and presentations costs money and can take up a fair chunk of the marketing budget. Having your content online allows the cost to be reduced drastically and allows it to be accessed globally.  It is also easier, cheaper and faster to update changes in pricing or product information.

4. Customer service

If you find yourself answering the same set of questions over and over again – perhaps you may consider having a FAQ section. Not only is it a time-saver, it also addresses your client’s concerns immediately – top marks for customer service and you also drive traffic to your website!

5. Attracting new talent

The younger generation is fuelled by information.  They want to know everything about the company before they apply for any kind of job and a well-designed, mobile friendly website will project the company’s culture and profile, acting as the perfect recruitment tool for new hires.

If you do not have a website yet – the above should get you thinking about one.

It does not need to be complicated, but it should contain your contact details and most importantly it should be updated regularly. It is simply a smart way of connecting with your publics, people who wish to work for you and even the media in a simple, instant and accessible way.

There is a lot of debate surrounding social media in shipping and whether companies should be on it. But one thing is for sure – a website is a must.

If you’re not online, you simply don’t exist.

Valerie Lim

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