It’s the tail end of 2017, you would think every business would be on the website bandwagon, but you’d be surprised by just how many that don’t have their own professional branded website. Even recently I will come across businesses who have opted not to have a website but to rather off load that work to social pages such as Facebook to handle their brand identity and online reach. I’m going to tell you right now, this is not a business decision you want to stick with if you want to grow and compete in online marketing.
Tell you what, I’m going to make my case by giving you a list of Top 8 Reasons Why Your Business MUST Have a Website:
1.) Credibility & Authority
Many years ago it was a rarity that businesses had websites, it was a bit of an afterthought after business cards and other printed advertising materials. Now, it’s imperative if you want to be seen as a legitimate business who can be trusted and worth doing business with. Whether you are selling cakes, flowers, women’s running shoes, or financial services, your customers will expect you to have a website where they can learn more about your brand and what you have to offer. Additionally, having the email address on your business cards of [email protected] isn’t nearly as professional as [email protected]
2.) Control the Look & Messaging
If you are letting Facebook do the heavy lifting then you are pretty much stuck inside their template and may be limited to just how much you can change the look and feel, as well as just how extensive you can make the content. If you are selling large product line, this just won’t work. Additionally, when you publish through, or rely on, a third-party platform, you’re at their mercy. If the platform decides to close your account, change their policies or revise their programming, you might lose the ability to connect with your audience.
3.) Unlimited Scaling
If you build your website on a smart content management system (eg. WordPress), then sky’s the limit for scaling your website to meet your needs now and in the future. If you off load this to a Facebook page, it’s just not going to grow with you. You WILL eventually have to break down and build a website, so you might as well lay the groundwork now so you can scale later.
4.) Provide a Valuable Resource
YOU are the expert in your field or industry and your potential customers are looking to you for answers. That was deep right? Well, it’s actually true. By having a professional company website you can dedicate areas of content to inform and educate current and potential clients on your product or service. Providing in-depth guides or FAQs sections can lift your website (and business) in the eyes of the search engines as the “go-to” source for all answers around a particular subject matter.
5.) Greater Insights & Analytical Data
Using a tool like Google Analytics on your website you can track and visualize just how people are using and interacting with your content. While Facebook and other third-party social pages might give you some insights into who’s liking and sharing your content, this is only within that network of users. With your own website you get the whole wide web to welcome to your front door, along with that will come a wealth of data that you can make informed marketing decisions around. Long story short, Facebook is just too small of a fish bowl.
6.) Showcase Your Products and Services
Not only can you display your products or outline your services in detail with beautiful images, but you can provide short video tutorials or downloadable PDF instructions to give hesitant customers no reason to go elsewhere to purchase.
7.) Provides an Anchor for All Marketing Efforts
All business details, product information and promotions should live on your website first. Then, you can create marketing materials that fall in line with your domain name, which will drive customers to your website for additional information. Just how you want customers in the front door of your store, you want them in the front door of your website, because this is your “house” where you can wine, dine and entertain that potential customer until they are just dying to do business with you.
8.) Get Listed On Search Engines
Unless you are looking to only rank for your brand name, you will need a website. Now, don’t get me wrong, Facebook IS a very powerful social media site with millions of users, however, its API and content is mostly blocked to the major search engines. Google and other search engines are likely only going to see your brand page, and nothing else. So, unless your customers already know who you are, you’re going to need to build a content strategy and website around what they are searching for and is the most relevant to your brand, product or service.
Rushing out to register that domain and get that website built? No? That’s okay, you should have a plan first. Websites should not be built without first considering a multitude of factors (eg. Target market, voice, user experience, look and feel), even the domain name itself should be carefully considered. If you need guidance or assistance with launching a new website we’d be more than happy to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Passionate about digital marketing and helping small businesses succeed online, Shannon has over 15 years of online marketing experience. She loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them become better marketers.