7 Important Reasons Why Having a Website is Still Important For Your Business
Nowadays, people are enthralled with social media. In a lot of ways, Facebook, Twitter, and other sprawling online communities have replaced the function of a website. By making a Facebook page, for instance, you automatically have access to a huge potential audience, since you?re meeting people where they already hang out online. This can be easier, in the short term, than trying to seduce someone into visiting your external website.
However, if you have any kind of long-term business strategy, you will quickly realize that just having social media accounts isn?t enough, and you would do well to have your own website. There are many reasons for this, from simple search engine optimization to minimizing the risk of losing your audience.
1) Your business needs a face. That is what your website is.
If you?re afraid that you won?t be able to make a pretty website, so you?ve been procrastinating on putting one together, remember that every business needs a face?and just as when you meet clients in person, even an ugly face is better than no face at all!
Your customers need a ?base?to go to where they know you will be posting information and responding, even if one or more of the social media platforms you use becomes obsolete. Your website will be your representative that gives people an instant impression of your business. It is as basic as having a business card.
Put together something quick and dirty and worry about improving it later. Besides, making a pretty website is fairly easy these days with tools like WordPress. Most of the time, you won?t even have to fiddle around with HTML or CSS. Even if you?ve never done it before, it might only take a few hours.
2) Social media sites come and go.
Imagine that it?s way back in 2006 and you based your whole online presence on your Myspace profile. What becomes of all the work you put into it when everyone leaves in droves? (Which they did, if you recall.)
You may laugh at how ridiculous it sounds to run ones business out of a Myspace page, but it was no more ridiculous back in those ancient times than running your business strictly out of Facebook is today. Social media platforms come and go like trends. Some may last longer than others, but do you really want to take a bet on which one will outlast your business?
If you built your whole following on Twitter, for example, then you will lose all of that hard work the moment the site becomes obsolete.
3) Having a website gives you more control over the search engine results for keywords regarding your business.
When people become interested in you and want to learn more, one of the first things that they do is Google you or the name of your business. What do you want to come up first? If you?re like most people, the answer is: You.
Unfortunately, if you don?t have an extensive online presence?and that includes a website?people might Google your name and be inundated with a bunch of spammy, unrelated websites. Sure, you can make accounts on the various social media platforms and allow those to rank, but since you only have so much control over the search engine optimization of third-party pages, you?re much better off trying to rank your own website. Which brings us to our next point:
4) You have control over the content of your own website.
Think about one of the main reasons why you would own a house, for instance, instead of renting one: You have more control over your property and can do what you want with it. You don?t have to follow anyone else?s rules. Assuming you adhere to all applicable laws, if you want to paint your living room neon green, you can. If you want to build a swimming pool, you can.
The same goes for a website. When you rely solely on social media, you give up a lot of control. You can?t really change the layout very much, you usually can?t do anything about the color scheme, and you can?t usually mess with any of the nuts and bolts if you want to. Worst of all, many social media platforms will even censor you if they don?t like what you have to say. These kinds of limitations can stifle creativity if you?re looking to do something outside of the box (which you should!).
5) Your website is an investment.
Taking that real estate analogy even further, what?s another huge reason that people buy homes instead of renting? That?s right, buying a home can be an investment. Since it?s your own property, you can build it up, improve it, and make it pretty. Then later, if you want, you can cash in on this property using a number of methods, from renting it out to reselling it.
A website isn?t too different in this aspect. When you buy a domain name and set up your own website, the traffic that you work hard to generate is yours. You?re not helping to build up someone else?s property and increase someone else?s reputation. All of your hard work is going towards your own business.
One of the biggest reasons to base your operations around a website and to funnel all your social media traffic towards your own online property is that you are free to monetize your site however you want! Do you want to use Google Adsense as an income stream? Do you want to try your hand at affiliate marketing? You can do all this without a second thought on your own website. The opportunities for experimentation are endless.
With third-party services, however, you?d be lucky if they even offer a monetization strategy at all. Usually, their strategy is that you build the community, and they keep all of the money from ad revenue. Some sites like Youtube allow you to monetize in a few limited ways, but many social media sites will ban you if they feel that your presence is too overtly commercial. Yes, that?s pretty ironic, considering that networks like Facebook will bombard you with advertisements.
7) People will take your business more seriously.
Finally, let?s address people?s external perception of your business. Let?s say you had a brick-and-mortar business and you were running it out of someone?s garage. Your business could be great, but people aren?t going to see you as serious and professional. They will trust you less.
Similarly, if your only online presence is in social media, people are going to instantly take you less seriously. They?re going to assume that you?re an amateur. This can really get in the way of your growth.
There?s no excuse these days to not have a website, since it?s so easy and there are many free tools available like WordPress. Decent shared hosting can be had for just a few dollars per month. If you want more control, a higher income potential, and a professional look for your business, I highly recommend that you build a website as soon as possible.