A question that is becoming more and more common in this age of Social Media, is ‘why do I need a website anymore? I can reach my audience, even sell my products, all through my Social Media platforms!’. Lots of likes? Got ‘em…engaged audience? Check…Views on my Reels? Of course!
You might think that’s all you need, but if you don’t have a website you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your business and boost your sales.
With the popularity, ease and convenience of Social Media, it’s now quite common for a small business to opt out of building a website in favour of their Facebook Page or Instagram Account. In fact, a recent study by GoDaddy revealed a staggering 59% of small businesses don’t have a website at all.
The most common reasons for this include; not having the money to invest in building a website, and lacking the time involved in setting up and maintaining one, or a belief that their business is just too small to warrant it.
Whilst Social Media definitely has its place, and is a powerful marketing tool, I’m going to run you through 5 reasons why Social Media can’t replace a website.
The biggest motivator to build a website for your business, should be for the SEO exposure and audience boost alone. A website with a successful SEO strategy will allow you to be found for relevant searches. This means potential customers will find your business right when they are actively searching for your products or services.
The ability to appear in these search results is something which Social Media does not provide, so you are missing out on a huge pool of customers.
One of the scariest truths when it comes to Social Media is that you don’t own your space, and you’re reliant on an external business for yours to succeed. Your profile could be hacked, or even copied and algorithms change reducing your visibility — and there can be little that you can do about it. In an instant you risk losing your audience and business strategy — whereas with a website you have complete control over your content, your presence, and is much more secure.
This one’s a big bonus for the data-nerds such as myself. By studying the performance of your website and the behaviours of your customers, you can make decisions about your products and services to boost your business performance. You can tell if potential customers are exiting your page based on shipping costs — and therefore adjust, you can see if potential customers are searching for a specific product — and can source it. Data = power, and the more you understand your customers and users, the better you can tailor an experience that will boost their likelihood of conversion.
Your website will be a powerful sales tool that is open 24/7. This allows you to seamlessly funnel potential customers through from research to purchase without you having to get involved at all. Even for those websites without the ability to transact, you can still convert visitors through an enquiry form, subscriber or quote requests.
Having a website with everything your customers could need in one place, from learning more about you, your knowledge, product range, portfolio, content you’ve written, reviews etc. and allowing them to navigate their way through easily, will result in a substantial increase in sales. In fact, according to GoDaddy, small businesses report their websites have contributed as much as 25 percent growth to their business.
According to a recent study, 56% of people stated that they wouldn’t trust a business without a website. Why? Because a website acts as a strong form of authority by providing credibility to your business, and building trust with your customer. And if a customer trusts your business they are much more likely to purchase from you.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to invest thousands to get a website professionally built for you. Whilst the budget for a start up or side business is lean, there are website builders which are not that expensive. Take a look at my comparison of The Best Website Builders for Small Business Owners to help you get started.