We get this question all the time. From potential customers and current clients alike. "We already have a Facebook Page. Do we really NEED a website?"
The short answer is YES. An effective website is the cornerstone for your business. But, unfortunately, that alone doesn't satisfy most people! Today we're going to explain why your small business absolutely needs a website TODAY.
Websites Build Credibility
Your customers expect it! 7 out of 10 customers expect an online presence, and over half go straight to the website. But if you don't have one? You have automatically lost credibility. And if customers can't find you online, they will look elsewhere! Think of any big brand, or even any brand with a good online presence. They have multiple digital platforms, but their website is the anchor for all marketing efforts. You can have several different social media platforms, but your website is what provides an established digital presence, legitimizes your business, and gives it the most credibility.
A Facebook Page is Just Not Enough
When you are publishing content through a third party, you are at their mercy. You do not own your social media pages! Have you ever heard of someone getting put in "Facebook jail?" If they close your account, change their policies, revise their programming, or I don't know, adjust their algorithms so only 6% of your followers can see your posts, you can lose the ability to connect with your audience. There is no such thing as website jail! And if that third-party is the only platform that you have to communicate with your customers, then again, your customers will go elsewhere! When you own and run your own website, you're in control of the content and the platform you maintain. You can't control what is said about you on social media, even in reviews on your own pages! But you can completely control every bit of content on your website. Social media shouldn't drive your business. Social Media should drive people TO your business!
Customize Your Website to Fit Your Brand
Facebook pages, no matter the brand, look like Facebook pages. But you can make your website look however you like! Themes, images, colors, animation, fonts, videos, aesthetics, even sounds, can all be customized to be on brand. A website gives your customers a crystal clear vision of the mission, the purpose, and what your brand is all about. Websites give your brand personality, and not just that, but also the story and ideas behind it. Allow your website to be the command center of your digital presence! It can house your blog, your online shop, links to all your social platforms, your service packages, and more, all in one place!
Websites are Convenient for Customers
Providing customers with multiple channels to interact with you allows them to interact in the way they're most comfortable (generational differences, personal preferences, etc). And if have you create that command center, and have links to all your social platforms on your website, it makes it that much easier for your customer to reach you. Your website gives you another opportunity, another channel, to make it easier for your potential customers to find you. And not only that, but your website is a 24/7 sales staff! It is not restricted to business hours, it can provide answers to FAQs, and can even process an entire sale from start to finish, in the middle of the night!
Anchor for Your Advertising Efforts
Customers, more than ever, are turning to the internet when they have a problem or they are looking for something. All business details, information, and promotions start on your website, and serve as a resource for your customers. Also, instead of sending expensive postcards and mailing, and printing out flyers and brochures, you can create marketing materials consistent with your website, email them out and/or post them to social media, and drive cutomers back to your website for a sale!
Websites Will Improve Your SEO
If improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a goal for your business, you need a website. Without a website, the chance of showing up on SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) is zero! If you want people to find you on Google YOU NEED A WEBSITE. You can load your site with keywords, meta tags, rich pins, lines you carry, services you provide, and when folks search for a product or service or content or information that you provide, you will pop up in the SERP. and if you really optimize it, you'll pop up on the first page! #goals
Websites are GREAT for Small Businesses
70% of households use the internet when shopping locally for products and services. And search engines rank results according to location. Can't you recall a time when you've Googled "brunch spot near me" or "shoe store near me?" So if you're a shoe store with no website, but your competitor in the same town has one, when your potential customer Googles "shoe store near me," your competitor will pop up! You do not want to be missing out on those customers in your town that are actively looking for you! Make yourself known and help yourself be found by having and maintaining a website. And lastly...
It's Easy and Inexpensive!
You don't have to know how to code or design to build a website anymore! There are so many amazing website builders- Squarespace, Wordpress, Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, Shopify, and many more, than make creating your own website very easy. And it's cheap! You can find a unique domain starting around $12 (renewable each year), and monthly website hosting for $10 and under a month! There are also many perks with these website builders, including contact list creation, email marketing, SEO builders, analytics, email boxes (isn't firstname.lastname@example.org so much more professional than email@example.com?), invoicing, and more, all built into the monthly fees. If you want to do it all on your own, these modern website builders make it very easy for you.
If these eight reasons haven't quite convinced you that you need a website yet, here's the proverbial nail in the coffin. Your competitors have websites. And if you want to compete in today's marketplace, you need a website too. Unless you're a business owner who is NOT INTERESTED in growing your brand, you need a website. What's your excuse?
If need assistance in creating a website, or would like a free one-hour consultation to discuss website options, please reach out to Amanda or Michele with Magnolia Marketing Group! Click here to contact us!