Why you need a business website…
“Why do I need a website? I’ve got a Facebook page!”, ever asked that question? We’ve been asked many times and it’s a good question. Why, indeed, would you want to spend money on creating a website with all its costs (domain name, hosting space, design services) when you can get a business page for “FREE” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like.
Website vs Social Media – The Good
Social media services will give you a business page and profile for “FREE”. There are also millions of people ready for you to interact with. When you use it properly you can grow your audience faster than any other method.
If you have no, or little technical expertise, social media allows you to have a presence with very little work. Upload your pictures and fill in a few boxes and you’re good to go.
Facebook allows you so sell, build email lists and raise money. You can track sales and visitors with their built in tools allowing you see what works and what doesn’t.
The social media services are already optimised to produce the best search results. No need to worry about ‘keywords’ or ‘SEO’! The social media site does that for you.
This example shows our search results – the website comes up first but our Twitter account comes in just below.
That’s great – So why do I need a website?
Let’s look at i this way… when you have a business you can set it up in 2 ways:
1. Set up a stand in someone else’s shop for free
2. Get your own dedicated premises
With the first option you’re at the mercy of the shop owner; their shop their rules. If they don’t want you there any more then you can’t sell. If they change the rules then you have to change, like it or not. If they decide not to open then you can’t reach your customers.
However, if you own your own premises then you have total control. If another business does something you don’t like then it doesn’t matter; you’re in your own shop.
The same is true for your own website. You’re not relying on someone else’s rules and ways of working.
Don’t be at the mercy of others
If you setup a business on social media you are ultimately under the control of that platform. If they make changes you have to change and can’t complain about it. This was recently shown when Facebook decreased the number of potential customers that can be reached. There was nothing that could be done about it except accept the changes. The only way round it is to pay (high) fees to advertise.
Your brand is your business. Being recognised above your competitors is vital. Social media want their brand to be uppermost putting you in second place. Your products and services play second fiddle to the social media service and they get to display your brand in any manner they choose. By limiting screen estate, shortening links, changing text and fonts they decide how your business is presented to the world, not you.
With a website you’re only competing against businesses in the same category. On Facebook your competing against everyone. A boring static Facebook feed gets lost in the melee of kittens and memes! You need to work hard to get your Facebook post noticed. Your brand gets lost.
You have NO control
Your website is your “Hub”
If you have a website and it’s the “Hub” of your online presence, then you have total, 100% control.
In the shop analogy previously, you have your own premises but you can still have a stand in another shop, why wouldn’t you particularly when it’s free? Not only do you control your own shop, but you have access to the marketing and audience from the other. A win – win situation. If the other shop then happens to close down or change it’s methods then you might loose that area but you’re not out of business and can find other places to reach out.
This is how you should use Social Media
Use Social media as an advertising and marketing tool to drive traffic back to your website. Use that traffic to communicate with your customers any time, anywhere. On your terms!
Ultimately, it’s better to invest in something you own, not something that’s built on someone else’s land. One day the rules will change and seriously affect your business if you’re not in control. That’s why we recommend to all our clients that they invest in a website they own and use social media – with it’s great benefits – to reach new customers and grow their business.