Having a Website Is Important for Your Business
There are over 63,000 searches made on Google every second, that covers 90% of the world’s search engine market. Whatever the size or scale of your business, being seen is one of the most important paths to success, and in this case, success may mean purchases or brand awareness.
If you currently don’t have a website, you pretty much don’t exist on the web. This means that almost none of these millions of daily users will even know you exist.
So why is having a website important for your business? It’s as simple as having a platform where your brand and product can easily be found, interacted with and used.
Won’t a Facebook Business Page Do?
There is the lure of tapping into social media platforms like Facebook Business Page to sell your product or message, and though it’s tempting to want to reach the 3 billion accounts on Facebook, it’s not the be-all and end-all panacea of marketplaces.
Facebook is great as a supporting platform to your brand, but it comes with its own set of limitations and accessibility issues, which after time can cause growing pains for an expanding company.
Let’s look at a few of the pros and cons of relying on Facebook Business Page to sell your goods or message.
PROS OF FACEBOOK SHOP
- All your products and messaging lie in one platform.
- Basic Facebook ads are fairly easy to create. If you really want to keep it simple you can boost a simple shop item post by targeting your audience. Easy-peasy.
- You get direct contact with followers. This allows you to have social conversations on a public platform which may garner more users.
- Building a community and a following is intuitive. This is great for companies with a strong brand message. And time.
- Target advertising. Facebook allows you to create your own audience to market to, choosing from income to hobbies as criteria.
- Brand development. There is no doubt that Facebook’s global audience is the perfect place to attract a brand, and if you put in the work, you can find loyal brand ambassadors to spread your messaging.
- All your products and messaging lie in one platform that does not belong to you.
- If you want to take your business page to a next level, Facebook Ads Manager is key, but it is not for the amateur. Setting up custom ads, audiences and multiple-platform ads can be overwhelming.
- Not all followers of your brand and page are potential leads. This can be deceiving when setting up paid campaigns, and you may find your dollar spend constantly increasing while playing the guessing game.
- No customer support. If your page is penalized for reasons unknown, and this does happen, you may find yourself having to “close shop” until your query in the help center forum is answered or open a ticket with the Facebook team. You can find yourself running in circles with this one.
- Limited organic reach. If you want Facebook to pay off, you have to pay up. Reaching new audiences either takes extreme persistence and evangelizing on your part, or requires a monetary investment.
Great, I’m Sold!
Not so fast. It’s only fair to tell you about the alternatives to having a website, but now it’s time we look at the nitty gritty – why it is fundamental to any growing business to have a website presence.
Let’s start by listing off a few reasons why your business has to have a website.
- Organic traffic. Organic traffic. Organic traffic. (This one can’t be stressed enough.)
- Marketing options are endless. And yes, you can also choose to market on Facebook too.
- It looks professional. Customers are more likely to trust a brand with a website.
- All original content on your platform belongs to you, and so does submitted content.
- Build credibility and customer trust by having a professional website.
- Build authority with Google. Get in good with Google, and you have an ever-growing stream of new users.
- Customized. You can choose the look, feel and platform of choice which suits your needs.
- Create a resource of information for old, new and potential users.
- Reach a wider audience. Not everyone buys from social platforms.
- Accessible 24/7. E-commerce platforms are 24 hours online shops.
- Increased company visibility.
- Keep up with the competition.
- Customer support and messaging you can monitor.
There are plenty more reasons why it’s important for your business to have a website, but we can start here. Let’s take a look at a few of these in more detail.
It Looks Professional
If customers are searching for you online, they want to find your website. It builds both authority and trust to know that a company has invested in creating a website and/or ecommerce platform online.
The “https://” has become synonymous with security, and gives users a sense of serenity, knowing you have invested in your company.
It is vital that claim your own web address with your company name. Imagine your company growing, and someone else having a website with your exact company name. This is a surefire way to ruin your bran messaging, and lose the trust of your customers.
That takes us to the company email. We all have a Gmail account, but there is always a bit of room for hesitation when purchasing or asking a question to a business who uses a Gmail account as their main email address. Having a personalized email address with your URL is simply more professional looking and gives users a sense of ease.
Whether you have an actual customer support team, or going solo on this one, having a website is vital to meeting customer queries and needs. All communication from potential users and returning users goes directly to you and your team, and is not necessarily made public before it can be answered.
Unlike other platforms, a website can give you the control of direct one on one communication with your clients so that any needs or issues that may arise, can be resolved however you see fit, on your time.
A healthy website also usually has an About Us page and a general FAQ page which can actually solve a bunch of questions from the get go. These pages can easily be created by finding what users pain points are and summarizing the answers and questions that typically come in. This communicates basic information regarding your business, its policies and services.
Most platforms don’t allow for more than a simple blurb to get all this info in, which just isn’t enough space to satisfy a growing audience.
The more information you provide from the get-go, the more prepared your customer is. If you don’t have a website, you don’t have a portal, that you can control and monitor, where customers can ask questions about their needs.
Build Organic Traffic
If you optimize your content right, choose the right keywords and know your competition well, you have a powerhouse at your fingertips.
93% of purchase decisions start with a search. This means that when you’re looking for a product, you go to Google (Bing, Yahoo etc.), type in what you’re looking for and you find the perfect match. If done right, that match is your website.
If your product is red shoes, then you most likely (and hopefully) have a site with content focused on red shoes. Optimize your site with keywords with the mindset of your user search, and this is your ticket to organic reach success.
This form of organic content marketing brings a ton of satisfaction, and actually helps you focus in on what makes your brand different from the rest. The more specific your keywords are, the more qualified your traffic will be.
The beauty of this strategy is that it costs you nothing, other than manpower and skill.
Marketing Made Easy
Depending on what you’re selling, a website is not always an easy thing to set up or even easy to maintain, but the benefits in marketing greatly outweigh the disadvantages.
When you have a website, you have the option of running campaigns, blow-out sales, gathering newsletter subscribers, retargeting social media users who have visited your site, display ads, loyalty programs, affiliate programs – you get to set your goals based on your needs and based on your audience.
Set up analytics to your account and understand what your audience is reacting to, and when your audience is reacting. Other platforms give you access to analytics and insights, but keep in mind that that is their audience. Anyone who comes to your website is exclusively your audience.
Getting analytics information on where users are coming from, i.e. a Facebook campaign, a PPC ad on mobile, a completely new organic user – this is priceless info which can really help your company grow.
Once you know what content is working, you can then spend your marketing budget wisely. Identify how your content drives desired actions and run with it, all the while measuring your progress and tweaking your strategy along the way.
The good old blog is the perfect way to reach users who may not have normally found you otherwise. Most websites now have integrated blogs on the same platform allowing you to give company updates/news, product-related information and articles that may attract a whole new set of users.
A blog not only organically increases traffic to your website, but it also helps increase ranking in Google searches – so you can once again be noticed by Google and leads.
Blogs are also a great way to test new types of content or keywords on your site, without interfering with your main product. If you post new types of content that bring in more traffic, and if that traffic converts, you’ve found yourself new input for your business.
If your company has a slew of original images or content, you know the pain involved in keeping it fresh and relevant. The best way to ensure that your content is exclusively yours and that you reap the benefits from such content, is to have it on your platform.
Original content is worth its weight in gold on the internet, and when a user is searching for “who said it first”, it only adds to the authority of your site and brand when content can be tracked back to you.
Your images and writing take effort. Give them the space they need to shine.
Controlling your content, your presence and your brand message is the ideal way to keep your audience loyal. You can repurpose this content, and place it all on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest but it always links back to one thing – your website. So it’s a win, win situation.
You may want to start off small when dipping your feet into the website waters, but you will soon find yourself outgrowing old trends. The more you grow, the more you know and the same is true for your website. One-stop shop platforms are great to start off with but at some point, your brand will require more in terms of look and feel and usability.
Do you want grow your newsletter list? Add on a subscribe button or a pop up.
Do you want to incorporate video into your media? Replace static with motion.
Need a place to store all your reviews? Add them to your product pages.
The point is, needs grow and whatever platform your website is on should be able to as well. This is only possible with a customizable platform and not a ‘one size fits all’ solution.
Having a website also gives you complete control of your inventory and bookings funnel. There is nothing more irritating than wanting to make a purchase online and finding out the product you have been researching for hours is simply not available. Or worse, is available but not bookable.
You’ve got your organic and paid audience. You’ve got your optimized product. You’ve got their trust. Now the booking begins. Make the process of purchasing an item from your website as easy and safe as possible, and you’ve got a successful check out strategy.
You Make the Rules
Relying on other platforms can also be a bit risky. Every platform has its own policies, and some platforms take pages down in bulk for breach of regulation. This may not always be for obvious reasons and by the time you figure out why your page has been penalized, you can find yourself losing both users and their trust. Take matters into your own hands and don’t rely on others to give your brand a pulse.
Everyone reads reviews nowadays. It is often a deciding factor before taking the final plunge. One negative review can also have a very negative impact on your brand. Now, the best thing to do is monitor your reputation online and respond to as many reviews as possible across all platforms, but having website reviews is a great way to build trust through a community voice. It also serves as a customer support area, where you can solve issues directly with clients and learn from the feedback provided.
Users who see active and real people behind a company website are more likely to build a rapport with the site and more likely to become loyal customers. And once again – all the content original, yours and free!
So, there we have it!
Take it from the pros, having a website is not only a best practice but it is essential to a growing business.