Today Social Media is a must, but using social media as a selling platform can actually deter sales. Social Media is a great place to talk about your products and services, keep in touch with your clients and connect with new prospective clients for your business. Your Website is the place to conduct business and people expect this when they arrive on your website. Keep your website up to date and ready for your visitors to gather information and purchase from you and not a competitor.
Here are six great reasons why websites still matter!
1. Control: Over the years of creating websites for clients, I have seen clients who through no fault of their own; have their Facebook page shut down with no warning at all. Loosing all the time and effort they put into it. The same has happened on just about all of the Social Media spaces, because the owners of the social media spaces control who they allow and what they will allow on their social spaces.
This is why it is so important to have your own space you control, and that represents your company, without sharing the spotlight with another website that can shut you down at anytime.
2. Branding: Like I said above; you need control, having your own website affords the flexibility to brand your business any way you like, without the constrains of rules set by someone else. You can directly relate your business model and brand related goals, without sharing the spotlight with your competition on the same space.
3. Content: Having your own website gives total control over the content, colors, artwork, photos, sound, video, and yes… Selling your products and services, without having a competitor turn you in to the social space for not following some obscure rule and getting you banned! Something as little as forgetting a rule about adding your phone number to a header can get you banned from Facebook and other social sites, but not your website.
4. Coding: This might be an dirty word to some people, but when you need something special to sell or display your products the way you want, you will need to use code and most of the social media sites do not allow this, or charge extra to use some code in a limited way.
I have had business owners come to us for a custom website design after spending months of their own time trying to use a free website space, or tool; just to find out they were not allowed to sell any products or services using a shopping cart, or PayPal.
5. Search Engine Ranking: Using the web for any length of time has taught you that “Search Engine” like Google or Bing work great to find products and services needed (a job the phone books used to work for). When Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is part of your digital marketing strategy, you must have a website. This gives you control over your “On Page SEO” which helps your business website get found online, where the second have rising in the search ranks is “Off Page SEO” which like the name suggest is everything not on your websites pages, like Social Media, Back-links, etc.
6. Reporting: Just like your bookkeeping shows you how your doing with your business, you need to be able to gauge your successes and failures in your marketing efforts using your website. Even though some social spaces give you ways to see how many people visit your social space like Facebook, are limited in their reporting tools.
You need to have a rich set of Analytic Tools to track and produce reports on your digital marketing performance, this way you can make adjustments to what is working and what is not. Going at it blind is a sure fire way to loose time and money, you need to track all that you and having your own website gives you this!
Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting you stop using social media, just the opposite. Start with your own web space by having a custom website design, creating a “Hub” to drive traffic/prospect to from your social media spaces. Remember just like your physical business needs to look good and be kept up, your virtual extension of your business, your website needs the same.
Until next time,