Do you really need a website for your small business or is social media enough? I get asked this question a lot and in my opinion, having your own website is essential! It’s completely necessary when it comes to positioning you as an expert and building trust with your audience, upselling your services, attracting (and converting!) new clients, and more. So if you’re wondering about the benefits of a website for businesses, I have six for you!
A website is more reliable than social media
You don’t own your social media accounts. Social media platforms are prone to ‘going down’ – glitches server failures or security issues mean that platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram become unavailable for periods of time. You can’t log in or you can’t post, you can’t send messages or you can’t respond. The platform is rendered useless and even though it is usually only temporary, if you don’t have a website then it means there is a chunk of time where customers can’t contact you or even buy from you. And who knows – one time, it might *not* be temporary!
Social media also comes with rules and regulations. If you promote your business in Facebook groups, then you are often subject to approval from admins. And when you post your services on Instagram, you run the risk of getting “shadow-banned” for using particular hashtags.
But none of this happens when you have a website because you OWN your website.
And not everyone is on social media anyway! While it’s true that social media is a huge space, with various platforms and billions of users, there are still some people who don’t actually use social media. I’m also seeing more and more accounts taking extended breaks from social media or just stop using the platform altogether, even though they have accounts. And even those who do use it, may not trust it when it comes to shopping, booking services and making purchases of any kind.
So while social media is great for businesses, you still need a website that you own and that people can find if they aren’t on social media!
A website helps to build trust
As websites have been around longer than social media, many consumers see brands and businesses with a website as being more professional and reliable than businesses which exist solely on social media, especially with how many fake, spammy accounts are on social media these days (does anyone else get bombarded with messages from fake accounts on Instagram every day?). Despite the popularity of social media, websites do add a layer of authority which translates to trustworthiness.
Owning your domain with your website also allows you to create a branded email address, such as hello @ yourbusiness.com – rather than, for example, yourbusiness @ gmail.com. This is another way of making your business look professional and trustworthy when you’re communicating with potential clients.
Everything about your business is in one place
One of the biggest benefits of a website is that everything is in one place! It’s so much easier to navigate a website with a clear menu to find information about your services, who you are, your products, how to work with you, etc. rather than having to scroll through a bunch of Instagram posts and piecing together what you do. It’s so much easier and quicker to convert someone new to your website where you have full control over the site navigation than someone new to your social media profile.
And a website is the perfect place to showcase client testimonials and reviews for your business! Display some on your home page, some more on your about page, and you could even include a dedicated page just for reviews. Even just a sentence or two works well, so make sure you’re collecting testimonials from current and past clients. Reviews and testimonials humanize your brand, showing how you can deal with the pain points you’re there to solve; research suggests that people are 31% more likely to spend money with a business that shows positive testimonials.
So make sure your website has all the information for potential clients to easily convert them – and make sure your site is set up for a great user experience in order to increase conversions!
You can easily implement SEO
I bet you were wondering how long it would take for me to mention SEO! I could go on and on about the benefits of SEO, so I’ll try to keep this brief. A website is the perfect place to use SEO techniques and get your business seen by search engines and, ultimately, by your ideal clients searching for your services.
SEO helps Google understand what your website is all about, and ensures users can see all of the important information you want them to see. Through keywords, title tags and meta descriptions, compelling website copy, user experience, and so much more, your website is a playground for SEO. Put it in place and watch as your optimized website draws in fresh eyes who you can turn into clients!
With a website, you can easily track analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t. This means you know what to work on to improve, and what to do more or less of in order to show up on Google time and time again. SEO is the gift that keeps on giving. One page or blog post can send traffic to your site for years! Just make sure you routinely update old posts and ensure your information is always up to date.
You can create long-form content with blog posts
Blog posts are beneficial for many reasons. They are somewhere to place keywords – both short and longtail – in order to boost your SEO, for starters. And on top of that, they allow you to share your expertise on your business niche!
You can write blog posts like this one I’m writing now, giving your readers tips and advice on a certain topic linked to your business. This is one of the ways in which a website makes you look more trustworthy and authoritative on a topic to potential clients. And you can say a lot more in a blog post than you can in a social media post.
When you provide entertaining and informative blog posts, users will spend more time on your website – clicking around and, hopefully, making a purchase or checking out your services. And the longer people stay on your site and the more pages and posts they visit, the more it will benefit your SEO.
Your website can drive sign-ups to your email list
An email list is another way to connect with your audience, and make potential sales. You can be a bit more personal with email marketing campaigns, and you can use lists to target and re-target advertisements to specific sections of your audience, meaning these offerings are displayed to the people most likely to want them!
You can add a place encouraging users to sign up to your list – often by offering them something free like a template, e-book, video training, etc. These are known as lead magnets. Make them high quality, informative, entertaining and relevant; they should provide an insight into your business and how you work, so people get an idea of what they’ll experience when working with you.
So these are six of the many benefits of a website for your business, no matter what it is that you offer. A website is so important, and it doesn’t have to be a source of stress and misery. You can do it. And if you need more website and SEO guidance, you can check out my Seeds for SEO Success course!