One of the key aspects of success in today’s freight brokering industry involves market awareness and the ability to move where the market needs services. This happens faster than most people think now, especially with digital platforms, ordering and service response online, and brokering services connected to live-update resource availability.
The most successful freight brokerage operations are leveraging digital tools on multiple fronts, from generating new business with social media and content delivery to increasing the efficiency of existing accounts by providing better dollar value via faster market matching. There is no question, advanced freight broker websites make a positive difference in freight market share positioning.
What Exactly is Involved?
The typical website design is simply a form of basic information presentation and a contact page that links back to either a dedicated email account or form capture. This has been the case for decades on starter sites and is easy to replicate with simple free or low-cost website design templates. However, they do very little for complex tool integration, and these template-driven designs cannot be changed to handle growth or expansion over time.
For example, many site owners who interact regularly with markets ultimately end up linking databases to them for faster information response and updates. That’s not possible with a freebie template or low-cost package setup. It requires both front-end coding work and back-end server setups and database management tools as well. This is one of the fundamental differences between an advanced web portal and a basic site presence online.
Secondly, the ongoing support of a website once it catches attention and traffic is important as well. Everything from defense against unauthorized bots to load balancing to handle spikes in traffic matters. While again, templates can offer quick sites to stand up, a site owner still has to address the back-end server side of demand. That ends up being one of the top reasons why a site can crash if the scale-up of demand is not addressed actively.
Pushing Online Business Status to the Next Level
A freight broker website is, fundamentally, a business. In that respect, it needs to be responsive to the needs of the audience that is looking at it. However, with a successful site, the purpose can be multiple. It can be both educational for new prospects and interested parties as well as functional for those looking to engage with a broker for shipping orders.
Websites aren’t limited to a singular purpose, so it’s important to make sure their design is responsive as well. So, there is a difference between a general site and one that speaks directly to its specific audiences.
EZ Freight Websites, for example, are built from the ground up specific to freight brokerage use and practices. This approach right away avoids the use of some of the general site elements that won’t serve any real purpose but are often included by templates, because “that’s what you put on a website,” etc. The site also needs to provide advantages for being competitive versus other service offerings online.
In this regard, three things make a site more responsive to audiences:
- Easier access to information desired,
- Better navigation, and
- Safety and security of activity.
When a freight broker site can do this, it moves to the next level of professional business status, and it’s a model frequently used and relied upon by EZ Freight Websites.
Does a Freight Brokerage Need a Website?
Technically, the answer is no. From a practical business success perspective, the answer is yes.
Freight brokerages have existed for decades, long before the Internet became available and fully accessible. That said, the ability to stand one up and enhance a brokerage is clearly possible and worth investing in, especially now as both search and networking continue to move more and more online.
There is no question that a broker’s effectiveness is through relationships and performance. That is still true; but the ability to reach far more audiences, potential contacts, and new business is easily expanded with digital reach.
Freight clients are not afraid to use the Internet, and this aspect needs to be kept in mind. While communication and context still arise by phone and in-person, many daily business decisions are being made faster. Without an online presence, a broker simply isn’t in the equation to begin with.
From the start, unless a client goes out of the way to look for a broker offline, the decision options are limited to those who can be contacted immediately. While some brokers may feel they are fully networked with their portfolio and don’t feel there is a need for connecting digitally, the amount of new business missed grows exponentially.
What Difference Does a Professional Site Make?
Once one looks at it, the first impression of a simple website building might not seem that difficult. However, perception makes a huge difference. When clients want to park their business and thousands and even millions of dollars of shipping in a given broker, they want to be sure they are dealing with someone experienced enough to do so successfully.
A professional build like that offered building by an EZ Freight Website stands out right away. On first view, it gives an impression of professionalism and a readiness to deal with shipping demands, no matter what the scale.
If a site looks like a mishmash of fonts, poorly loaded and prepared images, bad loading, and amateur-level server work, then it’s going to get picked up quickly by clients. Viewers of broker sites today don’t need to understand all the technological scripting behind a site page to know within a few seconds if it looks professional or not.
The site speaks for itself. And with the reality that a business decision to use a broker can happen just as fast, the quality of a business website matters tremendously. The proof is in the pudding.
Try Going Better
Again, a professional website for a broker is a practical necessity. It provides high-quality information clients want for shipping decisions, and it helps them obtain real quote data needed for the most efficient shipping methods. Sites also need to have flexible tools for editing and updating to stay responsive to market changes.
Finally, good sites involve a combination of front-end viewer content and back-end server management. If serious about keeping a brokerage viable, a professional website today is high on the must-do list for a smart freight broker.