5 Reasons your business still needs a website in the age of social media
With social media taking the world by storm, it’s easy to believe that you no longer need to invest in a dedicated company website for your business. When you have social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest to choose from, you may be wondering if there’s much point in investing your time and money in a dedicated company website when these platforms are all available to you completely free of charge. But what you may not realise, is having a good quality company website is crucial to your business’ success and can give your customers a whole other level of customer service and credibility that your social media pages simply cannot provide.
While social media is undoubtedly a great source of digital marketing and promotion, here are my top 5 reasons why you should still have a company.
#1 – YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD BE THE MAIN REPRESENTATIVE OF YOUR BRAND
Your company website should be your online brochure of information. It is what your customer finds first, and what they instantly judge you on before they have decided to do business with you. Statistics show that it takes visitors no more than 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about you and your company, and if they want to do business with you. This is all based on your website, how it looks, and how you portray your business. Before doing business with you, customers want to find out all about you, what you and your company does, and how you can provide a solution to their current needs, all before deciding whether to part with their cash.
Your company website should always be the main representative of your brand as it allows you to showcase your products and services in the best possible way, along with providing detailed information on who you are and how to find you. Your company website is the face of your business, it is your storefront, and has the ability to wow your customers and win you new business, if it’s been done right. If you only have a social media page to promote your business, your page looks exactly like every other business page, and you simply cannot provide the same level of detail or give your brand the same credibility as you would with a company website.
#2 – YOUR WEBSITE GIVES YOUR BUSINESS THE CREDIBILITY AND TRUST IT DESERVES.
For a small business starting out and hoping to grow, invoking trust and credibility within your brand is critical to your success. While your company is still growing, you need to show potential customers that you’re a brand they can trust and want to work with or purchase products from. While it’s extremely easy and quick for you to create a social media page for your business, having a good quality website shows you have the confidence and belief to invest in your own business, giving your customers the same confidence and belief in you.
When setting up a company website, you have to go through a long set of technical steps first. You have to think long and hard and decide on a good domain name which is easy to spell, easy to remember and matches your business name, you then have to invest money and time in setting up website hosting, researching into web platforms, invest in ecommerce frameworks, write (or invest in) good SEO optimised content, source imagery or pay for professional photography and invest a good brand. On top of this, you will likely need to find a good web designer and developer who can understand your goals and audience.
When your customers see that you’ve invested the time to set your business up online properly with a great company website, you automatically create the trust and credibility which a social media page cannot provide.
#3 – YOUR WEBSITE GIVES YOU FULL BRANDING CONTROL
When creating a company social media page, you are restricted to the same template as every other company page. They all follow the same structure and layout, and you are very limited on the level of branding you can apply. Generally speaking, you can add a profile image – usually your logo – and a cover image. These can show off some degree of your branding, but you will always be restricted by how many images you can show and what size. You’re also unable to control the fonts used on your pages, and cannot integrate your own colour schemes. This means your social media business pages will only ever look like the platform they’re created on, and never truly reflect your brand.
With a company website, you have the complete control over your branding and how it’s applied. The sky is the limit with what you can create. You can create something completely unique using catching graphics and navigation, create as little or as many pages as you like, incorporate your own professional images in any way you feel, and write really engaging content and articles. In addition, you can incorporate tools such as Google Analytics and gain an in-depth view of how your visitors are interacting with your website, and focus on improving customer journeys, and making their visits as engaging as possible.
#4 – YOUR WEBSITE ALLOWS THE INTEGRATION OF EXTRA FUNCTIONALITY
With a company website, you can implement tools such as an interactive online chat, instant content updates, special offers, online shops, custom lead capture forms, a detailed search functionality and blogs or articles to show your visitors you’re knowledgeable in your industry.
With a company website, you’re also able to integrate systems such as a CRM, allowing you to keep track of all your leads in one place, retain current customers and nurture new leads. Some CRM systems even notify you of potential prospects based on how many times they’re visiting your website, where they’re visiting from and when they last visited, allowing you to be more proactive in generating new business and targeting people who are showing a real interest in your company.
Whether you decide on a simple WordPress site or a completely custom hand coded web application for your company website, there are thousands of widgets, tools and services available to you which help your customers, convert leads, increase sales and strengthen your brand. If you’re providing an online shop, there are powerful e-commerce tools
available which are also highly customisable, so you’re able to keep your web presence in line with your branding. While some of this functionality is provided through social media pages, a company website can give you a much bigger scope for flexibility and customisation.
#5 – YOUR WEBSITE IS YOUR ONLINE BROCHURE OF INFORMATION
While social media websites are great for connecting with your current customers, you’re still limited mainly to the audience currently “following” or “liking” your page. Your website gives you the complete freedom to target anyone in the world. You have the complete freedom and ability to provide as much or as little information about your company as you with. You can create multiple pages of information to give a sense of familiarity to your visitors, such as an about page with detailed information and photographs of you and your team, FAQs, help guides, support information and detailed contact information.
Your company website is the ideal platform for providing information to your customers using your own content and imagery to create about pages, who we are, FAQ pages, help guides, and contact details. With social media pages, you’re restricted to providing only the information those pages require for the page to be created, limiting you to what you’re able to share with your customers.
In short, investing the time and money in creating a really great company website and brand, will not only give you the complete freedom to provide your customers exactly what they want, but will give your visitors trust in you, and want to do business with your company.
About the Author:
With almost 20 years experience designing and building websites, Nicola founded Purple Square Design in 2015, and most recently, Your Website In a Day, in 2017. When she’s not busy designing websites and apps, you’ll find her training for her next half marathon!