This is a question that I see doing the rounds quite a bit. And you may be thinking “well, of course Rachel has plenty of reasons for having a website!” And yes, I say that every business needs a website. Why? Well, read on!
Can’t I simply promote my business using social media?
Whilst social media platforms are a great way to promote your business, you don’t own the content. Remember MySpace? From 2005 to 2009, it was the largest social media platform in the world. I don’t hear of business owners using it today. And Google+? It no longer exists. You never know when a social media platform goes out of favour or shuts down.
And this is why you need a website for your business. You have more control over your own website than you do with your business social media accounts.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t use social media to promote your business. Do! It’s a great way to show your expertise and to drive traffic to your website. It’s an important way of growing your brand and having an online presence.
All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t put all your marketing eggs in one basket. Digital marketing isn’t about social media alone. You need more.
Why you need a website for your business
Let’s talk about some of the reasons I reckon you need a website.
Customers expect businesses to have one
We now live in the digital age, but I’m sure you’ve already figured that out. It’s now easy for people to access the internet from anywhere. Searching the internet from smartphones is something which didn’t happen 20 years ago. Am I showing my age here?
This makes it easy to search for goods and services wherever you are. And many people won’t consider purchasing from a business that doesn’t have a website. It makes your business look professional.
Branded email address
Having your own website allows you to create a branded email address. Even if you’re not planning on getting a website right away, you should at least purchase a domain name and get a branded email address.
What do I mean by a branded email address? Something like firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s another way of making your business look more professional. There are many people (including business owners) who cringe when businesses use a free email address from Gmail or Hotmail, for example, as their business email address. And I know business owners who refuse to purchase from another business that doesn’t have a branded email address.
Having a branded email address is also a great way to separate your business emails from your personal one.
A website is a great way to show social proof. Potential customers are already searching for your products or services online. And online reviews can influence customer’s decisions.
Showing off your customer’s feedback on your website is a great way of showing social proof. It could be your customer’s feedback that persuades new customers to buy from you.
Influencing the look and feel of your brand
Having your own website allows you to influence your brand. How? By having a platform to tell the story behind your business. It allows you to convey your core business values, to connect with people.
Internet Live Stats claims around 5.5 billion Google searches per day. That’s 63,000 searches per second. So, how many people are searching for your product or service right now? And if you don’t have a website, where do you think searchers are going? To your competitors that have websites.
With technology, people are able to search Google for information they’re after. And this is where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes into play, as that can increase your chances of being found.
Being visible online
Having a website makes your business visible 24×7. People can find information about you on your website when it suits them. If your website is SEO-optimised, you’ll start to show up in search results. And if your website is showing up in search results, people can read the information they need. Heck, if you have an eCommerce store, they can buy from you while you’re sleeping!
Showcasing your products or services
A website allows you to showcase your products and services. And you can also have an opt-in form for people wanting to subscribe to your emailing list.
Not only that, but you can also showcase any promotions or offers you do. This allows people to see what you offer without needing to walk past your place of business.
Showing your expertise
Let’s face it. People like to buy from people who know their stuff. A website is a great opportunity to educate your audience through blogs and frequently asked questions (FAQs). This is particularly important if you’re offering products or services to other businesses.
Give people the information they’re searching for, and they’re more likely to contact you. But you need to ensure you make it easy for potential customers to get in touch with you.
Having more control
If you build your website on WordPress.org, you own it. It makes it easy to setup and keep backups of your site. The reasons why I prefer using WordPress.org is a topic for another blog post.
Whilst social media is a great way to connect with people and drive traffic to your website, you shouldn’t rely on it and nothing else. What happens if Facebook shuts down? After all, Google+ did. And MySpace isn’t as popular as it once was.
What happens if Facebook changes how businesses use that platform? It’s one of those things you have no control over.
Tips to get started on your website
Here’s a video I’ve recorded to give some tips on getting started with your website.
If you need a website designed or redesigned, or if you need help with your website content, I can help. Feel free to check out my services pages and get in touch.