We have been hearing this a lot recently. “Should my business have a website? I have a Facebook page!” The simple answer is Yes! for so many reasons. If you operate a business that doesn’t have a website (or have one that is neglected) here are 14 reasons and what you may be missing out on:
- The first and simplest reason why your business needs a website (even for a one-man band type of business) is because that’s where so many of your potential customers are. Statistics from almost every country in the world show that a large percentage of the population is spending an average of 40 hours a month online, that’s huge! That is a lot of eyeballs that could be interacting with your business website and possibly using your products and services – if you had one.
- People use the internet like they used to use the phone directory. Almost everyone uses the internet to get information (Primarily via Google search), or to look for a product or service. Therefore, if your business does not have a website, and your competitor does, guess where the business may be going to. Answer (not you!)
- Social Media networks are not a solid Foundation for your business. For a short period, Facebook had started to seem like a viable website replacement, but that didn’t last very long. Facebook and other social media mediums are an amazing marketing engine and a must have for each business but should not be the foundation of everything you do. Here is why.
- You are always at Facebook’s mercy when it comes to what you can and cannot do and how you can do it.
- Everything you post and publish on Facebook automatically gives Facebook “non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license” – meaning that Facebook is free to use your content how they’d like anywhere in the world without paying you a penny or asking your permission. That’s scary right?
- About 2 years ago, Facebook changed its News Feed so that less organic posts showed up (unless you pay for the boosting!). So, who knows what will happen on the next update? A fee for every post? Could be.
- As more older users piled on, Facebook became less “hip”, making the younger audience move to other social channels. You are always at the mercy of the social media platform’s changing demographic.
- And what about data?. When you build a network of Facebook fans, then Facebook owns that data, and not you. If you can move those fans to your site instead, you will own that extremely valuable data, and in the future, you can use that data for great targeting to identify your best audience.
- With any social networks, there is a permanent risk of distraction. Your content will show up on a feed next to material that may at the time seem more interesting or fun, such as a photos from your friends, a cute cat video or those awful and possibly fake prank videos. Viewers will get distracted and ignore your posts. You have a better chance of controlling the audience on your own web page.
- A business website provides legitimacy. Customers expect businesses to have a website, just as they expect businesses to have a physical business address. Not having a business website raises suspicions.
- A business website gives you another marketing channel. Think of it as an online billboard. Instantly you have another chance to introduce people to your products and services and another way for people to find you.
- A business website gives you another opportunity for free data collection. How hard is it to get people in a shop to write their email addresses on a piece of paper? Getting people to type their email address into a page on a website much easier – especially if they see that they are getting something for it. Once you have the email address, you have another way to reach your potential customer without having to pay anything for it.
- Ecommerce spending is increasing every year. I don’t think I even need to go in detail about this. Facebook ecommerce is fairly limited and so far not considered a natural and smooth experience, therefore if your business sells products, and you are not taking advantage of an online-shop, you may be missing out on a lot of business.
- And what about the side effect of Online shopping? Building an online store also leads more customers into your physical store. Customers are growing more savvy, and will often research items online before purchasing them in-store. We see this happening a lot here in Malta, where distances are not huge, some may want to see the item in person before purchasing.
What’s Your Reason for Not Being Online?
Not looking for any more business? Too busy for the foreseeable future? That’s great! But if you want more business, a website is the modern standard business card – a must-have for any business – providing searchers with information about your business and what you can do for them is extremely important.