Ask any expert, and they will tell you to seriously consider setting up a business website. But maybe when you look at your business journey, you have crossed milestones beyond your expectations. And you have made it this far without the help of a website. It is only natural to wonder whether investing in a website for your business makes sense.
So, does my business need a website?
Yes, having a well-designed website can make a notable difference, regardless of your company size or industry. Contrary to popular belief, websites aren’t only crucial for eCommerce or online businesses. Your organisation could benefit even if you don’t sell anything online.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many businesses online. If your competitors are already on board, then you are essentially gifting them your share of leads.
Most companies probably understand the effectiveness of having a strong online presence. However, they opt to have a digital presence only through business pages on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Can a social media business page take the place of a website? Or do you need both?
IN THIS POST, WE WILL EXPLAIN:
- Whether you need a business website even if you have a social media page
- Top reasons why a company needs to create a business website
- Circumstances under which you might not need a website
Let’s get started.
DO YOU NEED A BUSINESS WEBSITE IF YOU HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE?
Advertising through social networks like Facebook has its share of benefits. Social media platforms can help you share information in real-time, engage your audience, collect customer feedback for your market research, build a larger audience, and more.
Whilst Facebook or Twitter may have proved beneficial to your organisation, don’t treat it as a replacement for a business website. And you shouldn’t choose one over the other. A website should work together with your Facebook page for the best results.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ONLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES
- CREDIBILITY CONCERNS
A business needs to demonstrate higher credibility to attract and convert leads. If your social media business account isn’t verified, some visitors could be sceptical about doing business with you.
You’ll notice that many of the verified pages are also backed by websites. A business website gives your potential customers comfort that you’re a legitimate company they can trust.
- MOST SEARCHES START ON GOOGLE
When looking for a business to fulfil a specific purpose, people usually turn to Google and other search engines rather than Facebook. Google, which boasts over 92% search engine market share, processes about 63,000 search queries per second. That’s approximately 5.6 billion daily queries (1).
Search engines tend to provide more information that helps users make better purchasing decisions. Google will surface your business every time users search queries relevant to the products or services you offer.
Your company can increase the chances of attracting more qualified leads by optimising your website for local searches.
- SOCIAL NETWORKS OWN YOUR BUSINESS PAGES
Businesses may be convinced that they own social media profiles, but the reality is different. The platforms make the rules, which are subject to change at any point.
Suppose your favourite social media platform announced today it won’t support businesses from next month. That can mean losing all the online clients or followers you have struggled to gain over the years. You will be back to square one — without an online presence.
Sure, this may not happen, but the policy changes can affect your business unfavourably in one way or another. You will have to put up with whatever the platforms choose to implement.
When you have a business website, control rests with you. Your website can stay alive and safe for as long as you want. There’s the freedom to promote or share anything you want — videos, images, reviews, etc. Also, you decide on website design and features to add to make your site more appealing to visitors.
- CONSUMERS DISLIKE THE SOCIAL MEDIA ADS
On average, people spend approximately 145 minutes on social media every day (2). Therefore, companies know here is where people are, and this brings us to the issue of stiff competition.
Imagine competing with hundreds of local businesses to create ads, targeting a group of Facebook users in a specific location. This can mean the target audience will come across multiple business ads when reading important posts or interacting with friends. Unfortunately, many ignore the ads.
The attention you get with a website is different. Visitors willingly click through to your site because the search engine has suggested you might be helpful to them. These are people who have demonstrated interest in the services or products you are offering. Therefore, once they land on your site, it is a lot easier to convert them into sales.
With that being said, let’s check out the benefits of having a business website.
TOP REASONS WHY YOUR COMPANY NEEDS TO CREATE A BUSINESS WEBSITE
1. MAKE A PROFESSIONAL IMPRESSION
Not only is your website a great way to convince customers you’re a credible business, but also a professional company.
Fraudsters or scammers are everywhere, including on social media. Considering it is free to set up a business user account, scammers find it easy to create fake profiles. Some even have pages with names of other people’s legitimate businesses. That’s why customers put less trust in companies with only a social media page.
Customers know that having a high-quality website requires investment. You pay for a website domain, hosting, SSL certificate, template or theme, integrations, SEO, and more. They believe only professional organisations are willing to make this financial commitment.
2. BOOST YOUR BUSINESS VISIBILITY ONLINE
When you have a website, you can implement a mix of SEO strategies that ensure your website appears higher on Google search engine results pages (SERPs). That way, new online shoppers are likely to find your business.
The internet offers plenty of business opportunities, as stats show that there are 4.6 billion online users worldwide. Over 90% of the users access the internet using their mobile devices (3).
3. A WEBSITE OFFERS A PLACE TO ADD SOCIAL PROOF SIGNALS
Providing social proof is one of the effective ways to build trust with your target customers. Reviews remain the most valuable piece of social proof.
Approximately 87% of customers read online reviews before doing business with local companies (4). That shows you how much people trust feedback from previous clients, even if they are strangers.
Instead of counting on third-party review sites like TrustPilot and Reviews, you can collect customer testimonials and strategically display them on your website.
4. YOUR WEBSITE IS THE ULTIMATE CUSTOMER DESTINATION
Successful businesses put in place different marketing channels. However, these channels usually send potential clients to one destination to take action — a website.
Let’s say a prospect runs into an exciting ad whilst scrolling their Facebook news feed. If they click on it, they expect to be redirected to your website to learn more about your offer or business. They are likely to lose interest and end their journey if they discover you don’t have a business website.
Your website is your online storefront. People can visit it to make inquiries and leave without necessarily making a purchase. Regardless, they’ll know you exist and where to find you next time they might need your products or services.
5. LOCAL MARKETS DEMAND A WEBSITE
You don’t have a functional website probably because you don’t know how many qualified leads you’re throwing away. A website optimised for local searches can significantly boost your revenue and grow your business. That’s because the local people seeing your business on Google have a high purchase intent.
Not convinced? Here are some interesting local statistics worth your attention (5).
- 97% of internet users search to connect with local businesses
- 46% of search queries on Google are location specific
- 72% of online shoppers with local search intention end up visiting a store within five miles
- 28% of local searches result in purchases
6. A WEBSITE OFFERS A BETTER RETURN ON INVESTMENT
We bet you have seen posts created several years back but still ranking high on the SERPs. It means these old posts or pages continue generating valuable leads for the relevant businesses.
When it comes to social media ads, the campaigns have an expiry date. The advertisements will only be visible to your target audience during the campaign period.
7. IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE
When a customer lands on a website, they’ll find all the crucial information (business description, hours of operation, location, etc.) without having to reach out to a customer representative.
Therefore, a website helps reduce the number of calls your staff handles, which can mean less distraction and better productivity. When there are too many calls coming in, some may go unanswered. Unfortunately, this can make some of your potential customers unhappy and change their minds.
Making all the crucial information available on a website ultimately improves the user experience.
8. SETTING UP A FUNCTIONAL WEBSITE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE
One of the reasons businesses are hesitant to invest in websites has to do with price concerns. Fortunately, you don’t need to break the bank to create an attractive yet functional website that meets your business needs. With a little research, you’ll certainly find affordable web design and hosting packages.
You can opt for inexpensive website builders like Wix, which require no coding knowledge. However, your website might look similar to several others out there already. If you want a site unique to your business, working with a web designer is worth the effort.
Another thing worth mentioning is that managing a website is also straightforward, thanks to content management systems like CMS Hub and WordPress.
9. COMPETITIVE NECESSITY
Having a business website is crucial to at least stay on par competitively. Some small business owners are scared of competing with big brands for organic rankings, thinking they stand little chance. Google doesn’t care about the size of a company or its resources. Google’s algorithms will favour any well-optimised website with high quality and relevant content. Therefore, small business websites can outrank giant companies on the SERPs.
10. YOU CAN SELL ONLINE WHEN YOUR PHYSICAL STORE IS CLOSED
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a stir in many industries, making more customers turn to order products online. We saw eCommerce sales explode, and since then, they have been on an upward trajectory.
The worldwide sales in the eCommerce industry are expected to reach £5.412 or $7.385 trillion by 2025 (6). Only businesses with a digital presence, particularly websites, are bound to benefit from this projected growth.
But even if you don’t run a typical eCommerce business, a website could still prove beneficial, especially when customers can’t access your physical store. They can make orders online, and your business will take care of order fulfilment.
CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH YOU MIGHT NOT NEED A WEBSITE
Having a business website makes sense, but there are a few exceptions. They include:
1. GROWTH IS NOT YOUR MAIN MOTIVE
We create websites to attract as many leads as possible and turn them into paying customers, increasing revenue. If this isn’t your objective, then a website defeats the purpose.
2. THERE’S LITTLE TO NO COMPETITION IN YOUR INDUSTRY
When customers have a few choices or lack alternatives, they will look for your business. You don’t need to invest in marketing to convince clients to purchase your products. So, a website is not necessary.
3. YOUR BUSINESS GENERATES MORE THAN ENOUGH LEADS
Sure, why would you need a website for leads when your cup is already overflowing?
Maybe you are exceptionally good at what you do. Every customer you serve ends up recommending your business to other possible clients, friends and family and this has always worked for you over the years you’ve been in business.
We are assuming you’re constantly getting new businesses from referrals and you also have an effective network system in place.
4. YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN ATTRACTING TOP TALENT
A website provides information that can help potential recruits determine whether you’re a perfect employer for them. Top employees will prioritise well-established businesses with attractive and functional websites. If your business operations do not require highly skilled workers, you can still get employees to join your company without a website.
BACK TO YOU
As you can see, it is impossible to ignore the role a website plays in improving a business. The size of your business doesn’t matter. Investing in a business website can make a difference in your company’s lead generation, credibility, authority, visibility, and more. But the final decision on whether a website makes sense depends on your business needs and objectives.