If I have social media pages...do I still need a website?
Social media pages are important - potentially as important as having a website. But that doesn’t mean that they can take the place of a website entirely.
Reason 1: You own your website
You own your website’s content, the URL, the layout, the pictures, how things look, what the flow is, what your website visitors see first.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media platforms owns how things look on your brand’s page. The platform owns what your page visitors are going to see first. The platform is in charge of who sees your page’s posts and when they see them.
This reason alone is why it is a bad strategy to rely on social media pages alone for your web presence. The platform could roll out a new update and entirely change the effectiveness of your social media strategy.
Not this DOESN’T mean that these platforms own your content. You still have full rights to photos, videos and captions that are blasted out on your pages. This also doesn’t mean that social media cannot be an integral part of your online strategy. Use social media to drive traffic to your website with clever captions and clear call to actions on each of your posts.
The main takeaway? Don’t rely on platforms you don’t own to grow your business.
Reason 2: People still use Google
Having a website gives you the ability to stack your content with keywords that people are likely to use when searching online for your products or services. For example, if you own a gift shop in Albany, NY, you can use the words “gift shop” and “Albany” multiple times throughout your site. Search engines such as Google will then crawl your website, see those keywords and put your site in the search results that appear when someone in Albany searches “Gift shops near me.”
This kind of website traffic is highly valuable. Think about it - these are people who are already searching for the product or services you offer. When your website shows up in those search results, you are putting yourself in front of the people already in the market who are therefore more likely to convert into a paying customer.
The main takeaway? Search engine optimization is IMPORTANT.
Reason 3: It expands marketing opportunities
SEARCH ENGINES AND PPC MARKETING
Ranking on the first page of search engine results can take some time. Luckily, this is not the only value a website has. Search engines offer “pay-per-click” (PPC) advertising for businesses to increase search engine visibility and drive website traffic. With PPC advertising, you can purchase keywords you want your business to show in the results for. These are the “sponsored” or “AD” posts that show up at the top and bottom of search results.
Continuing the gift shop example, if the words “gift shop,” “gift ideas” and “albany shopping” were purchased, the website would show up at the top of the results when someone entered one of those search terms. (There are other factors which can affect success with PPC ads, however, this is the general idea. If you’d like to discuss this strategy more in depth, please contact us.)
EXPANDED FACEBOOK MARKETING
Facebook advertising offers what is called the “Facebook Pixel.” The pixel is a bit of code received from Facebook that gets placed into the header section of your website. If this sounds scary, there are plenty of resources from Facebook themselves to assist you with the installation. This pixel essentially acts as a “cookie.”
When the code is installed, anyone who visits your website is noted by Facebook and stored in your Business audience as someone who is potentially interested in your product/service. You can then run a Facebook advertising campaign targeted at those people who have previously visited your website. Since you know they are already familiar with your brand having visited your website, you have a better chance at converting them into a customer.
The main takeaway? Having a website makes online advertising easier.
Reason 4: A professional e-mail
While your AIM screen name/email combo was great when you were in 8th grade, all your business cards will get tossed if you’ve got something like email@example.com on them. Okay, this is an exaggeration but my point still stands.
When you purchase a domain name, you can hook that domain name up to either an email hosting service or professional email service like G-Suite. Both of these options give you the ability to set up a professional email address ending in your own website (👋🏻goodbye @aim.com).
You can also set up email aliases. Picture this: your main email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Now you also have an email for customer support inquiries, email@example.com. But - they both go to your inbox, and the customer never has to know the difference. It’s the digital equivalent of buying a 1-800 number to fake that you’re a real company and not just a start-up out of your parents basement.
That’s a little of an extreme but on a smaller scale, you can have something like firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to get a start.
Reason 5: Website costs have decreased significantly
For the most part, gone are the days when websites cost $10,000 each. If you are a small business, there are several great “drag-and-drop” website building options out there that you can build yourself about $200/yr. Drag-and-drop means what you see on your screen is what the site will look like when it’s live (hello-no coding needed!). Put buttons, text, images, video, etc. where you want them to be, hit “publish” and VOILÀ!
Squarespace is my website builder of choice. The websites come out polished and clean, but there is enough flexibility with the option to inject your own bits of code (if you’re good at that kind of thing) to make small design or function adjustments.
If you're thinking “I don’t have the time to build a website,” “I don’t know how/don’t want to learn,” or “I’d rather have someone else do it,” contact us! Combined Concepts Media offers affordable Squarespace website creation to get you started branching into digital marketing.
The main takeaway? No more excuses. Get your business a website.
Are you interested in social media marketing, email configuration, PPC/Pixel ads or website creation services? Fill out the contact form below and Emily will be in touch: