As the risk of recession increases in Europe and businesses enter a period of growing economic uncertainty, strategic shifts are essential to give startups the best chance to thrive.
One of them is a company’s web presence, as it is an important communication tool that needs to be updated and changed to reflect the times.
“Despite the current economic uncertainty, it is important to remember that unicorns have emerged in times of crisis in the past,” Andrey Insarov, CEO of telecommunications company Intis Telecom, told Sifted. “Those who are able to change strategy will survive and prosper, while the market will naturally weed out companies that are weak and unable to adapt accordingly.”
But how do you adjust your web strategy to beat a recession?
Why websites when social networks exist?
When looking to adjust their web presence, startups must first determine which channels are important and relevant to them. For example, an insurtech that targets CEOs may decide that TikTok is not the right platform to achieve this, or an e-commerce platform may not find much value in running a Twitter account.
“Although social media is a cheap and easy way to gain traction, functionality is limited. »
And while having a social media presence of some capacity is important, a website is equally important to complement it. Insarov says a website should be seen as the central hub that represents a brand’s values and message, adding that it’s essential to remember that founders have complete control over the content and appearance of a brand. their website, while social media accounts are owned and managed by a third party. its own control.
“While social media is a cheap and easy way to gain traction, functionality is limited,” Insarov says. “That’s why having a clear and impactful website is so crucial for startups.
“Consider the website name and wording on the website, as well as the use of keywords to boost SEO. A website helps bring customers and businesses together and build trust.
Rename and refresh
Hollie Russell is marketing director of construction supply company YardLink. The startup decided to invest in its web presence to increase its reach in its target market.
“The key for us has been to invest in SEO and conversion rate optimization (CRO) rather than the paid business,” Russell told Sifted. “We have also done a redesign and refresh of the website. Our plan is to invest in brand awareness activity: this includes technical SEO and our content strategy, as well as organic SEO and working with a PR agency. »
“Tit does not focus on the volume of traffic to the website, but on the quality of traffic”
While increasing the number of visitors to your website is generally a good thing, Russell adds that YardLink has also focused on quality traffic.
“We’re also testing pay-per-click and social media ads,” she says. “For YardLink, the focus is not on the volume of traffic to the website, but on the quality of traffic.”
The co-founder of cooking startup Growth Kitchen, Máté Kun, also recognizes the importance of an updated web presence to reflect the current economic climate, as his startup launched a new website to increase its impact.
“It is common knowledge that the global economy is facing uncertainty,” Kun says. “In light of this, we believe it is of the utmost importance to make our web presence as powerful as possible in order to really attract potential customers.
“We launched a new website to reduce the bounce rate, then we hired a social media agency and developed a paid ads strategy to drive traffic to our site. As a result, our inbound leads increased 8x , and so this is a strategy that we will continue to develop.”
It’s all in the name
While spending money on a shiny new website when the threat of a deep recession looms might seem counterintuitive, taking risks and being experimental can pay off in today’s ever-competitive marketplace.
“By having a great web presence, you can positively influence your marketing efforts without spending a fortune on physical real estate, staff, and other offline matters”
“By having a great web presence, you can positively influence your marketing efforts without spending a fortune on physical real estate, staffing and other offline matters,” says Munir Badr, founder of web company AEserver. “A business can grow and scale online while controlling its expenses by simply having the right web presence where customers can interact, transact, and contact a business virtually from anywhere.”
However, not all brand changes are the same. It is essential to create a new brand identity and choose a creative, short and easy to remember website address.
To guide this, Intis Telecom’s it.com project – which allows customers to register domain names – recently launched a new tool to help startups generate a domain name for their business. Introduced to Web Summit 2022, it uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to analyze factors such as the sector in which the company or person operates, as well as keywords, automatically generating five options. This saves time and effort.
How to approach a redesign
But how should your startup approach a new web strategy? Badr says startups shouldn’t follow the crowd.
“A startup needs to stand out from the crowd and that’s where a unique, new and fresh web presence strategy is key to startup success”
“A startup needs to stand out from the crowd and that’s where a unique, new and fresh web presence strategy is key to startup success,” adds Badr.
It is also essential to take into account a company’s plans: is it staying local or is it planning to expand into other regions? This allows a startup to stay aware of the domain zone they choose from the start – global domain zones like .com are better in terms of overall discoverability, while regional domain zones like .co.uk might work well locally.
Insarov believes that giving customers multiple ways to communicate with a startup is the most important facet of any web strategy – and a website should be placed at the center of all methods.
“A company’s website is its most universal and therefore most important channel,” he says. “It can be adjusted easily, the founders have full control of it, and it’s the best platform to convey your message and philosophy.
“It’s critical for founders to stay relevant and aware of trends, keeping the website up to date to keep up with them,” he adds. “Remember that a website should always provide value to the customer.”
It.com is part of SIA Intis Telecom, which participates in the LIAA (Latvian Investment and Development Agency) funding program. Learn more about the opportunities It.com areas could bring to your business here.
It.com is part of SIA Intis Telecom, which participates in the LIAA (Latvian Investment and Development Agency) funding program.