Look, I get it. I know that starting and running a business means a constant evaluation of what to spend money on. Maybe that’s why so many new business owners ask, “Do I need a website?” The answer is, “Yes.” Not maybe, not it depends, it’s just a simple, “Yes, you need a website.”
Those same new business owners are inevitably going to follow up with a big, old, “Why?”
Here’s why you need a website:
- Your Clients/Customers Expect It. 60% to 70% of people seeking what you’re selling will research businesses online before making contact. They expect legitimate businesses to have a website and if they don’t, they’ll go somewhere that does. If you have no website, you’re missing out on a huge amount of potential business.
- It’s Where Your Clients/Customers Are. Even if you don’t think so. Over 2 billion people use the Internet every day and at least 90% of them have purchased something or contacted a company online. That’s a lot of people and I guarantee some of them are your potential clients or customers.
- Social Media Profiles & Pages Don’t Cut It. Lots of businesses mistakenly believe(d) that they could skip the website and simply create a Facebook Page instead. Now, everyone is upset because Facebook is changing it’s algorithm yet again and Facebook Pages are apt to see a decrease in engagement and organic reach. Engagement on Facebook Pages had dropped 20% in 2017 and with the new changes in 2018 we can expect that number to increase. In plain English that means fewer people are going to see what you are posting to your page in their newsfeed. You may get angry if you’re one of the people that opted for a Facebook Page instead of a website, but you were warned. Putting someone else in control of your main online avenue for reaching people is a recipe for disaster. Facebook isn’t required to make your Facebook Page a priority, their priority is keeping users happy. They can not only decrease your Page visibility via algorithm, they could also simply delete your page if you do something, say something or someone complains about what’s on your Page. FB has control of your Page and thus your content. It’s never a good idea for someone or some other business to be in control of your content. Ever.
- Credibility. A good website gives the impression that you are a ‘real’ business. It can even give visitors a certain level of trust, especially if you include reviews or testimonials.
- Showcase Your Strengths. You can use your website to show others what sets you apart from the competition or build a reputation for your expertise in your chosen field. You can add whatever content you wish. Videos, audio, images or blog posts can all help you build a good reputation as a business that knows their stuff. This is a huge reason you need a website.
- Your Own Domain Name. Are you still using that Yahoo or Gmail address for business? While it might be fine for individual artists or freelancers, if you’re any other type of business it looks less than professional. When you have you own website you purchase your business domain name, which means you can have an email address that includes your business name. Like firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s much more professional than email@example.com.
- Your Marketing Hub. Lots of social media platforms have rules and regulations about marketing. Let’s face it. They want you to pay for advertising because, well, that’s their business. Doing something like running a contest can get you in hot water at places like Facebook or Instagram if you don’t follow the rules. Having your own website gives you a marketing hub. You can run contests, promote products, have an email list signup, sell and give away stuff to promote your business. Even more important, you have one place to send people where they can get the information they need about you and your biz. When you link to your website from your social media accounts, business cards, brochures, letterhead, etc., you are leading people into your ‘funnel’ with a much better chance of converting them to paying clients or customers.
Year after year I’m amazed at the number of people who still question the value of having a business website. I never hear, “Do I need business cards?” which aren’t even close to being as important. It’s 2018 folks, most of us walk around with a phone that does more than computers did in 1980’s. How can you even question it? Of course you need a website.