In this era of social networks, it’s tempting to think that traditional business websites are going the way of the dodo bird and other extinct species.
When you consider that over 600 million people visit Facebook on a daily basis, you may find yourself wondering, “why on earth would anyone still need an old-school business website?”
Isn’t a Facebook page all anyone needs anymore?
Actually, no! There are plenty of good reasons why the traditional website is still an essential online asset for businesses.
Here are four reasons why you still need a business website
1. Ownership. You don’t own your Facebook page or followers. The presence you build on any social network is built on someone else’s platform. In essence, you are a digital sharecropper.
Social networks change terms of service constantly. There are plenty of examples of people losing their Facebook page without warning.
When Facebook kills your page, you not only lose your Facebook presence, you lose your followers. If you’ve invested heavily in driving traffic to your Facebook page, that can be a huge loss.
A website running on your own domain name is yours to keep, and no one can ever take that away from you.
2. Your website is a permanent destination, and it’s easy for others to link to your site. If you are active on social networks, you understand the value of having a permanent destination where your audience can consume your content.
There’s only so much you can say on Twitter anyway. And given what we know about Facebook and the fact that your page might just vanish tomorrow, you’re better off using your social profiles to share links to content published on your website.
By the way, there’s also some evidence that social links contribute to search engine rankings. The virtuous cycle works like this: 1) blog about a topic of interest to your customers, 2) share links to that post through your social accounts, 3) enjoy better search rankings as the link gets shared through your network of followers.
3. Your website is a destination for search engine traffic. When someone searches for your business in Google where would you rather have them land: on your website or a Facebook page?
While social networks are incredibly popular, search engines are still one of the most common ways that people look for information online. When your business website ranks well in search engines, you’ll see a steady stream of traffic and new prospects as a result. Better to have that traffic go to your website than your temporary home on Facebook.
4. Nothing lasts forever. There’s no doubt that Facebook is huge. But MySpace was huge before Facebook. And Friendster was huge before that.
The Internet is constantly evolving. Every day there’s some new diversion to attract (and distract) your audience. Just because Facebook is popular today doesn’t guarantee that it will be a dominant force forever.
When your audience moves on to the next social network, you face the prospect of building your following all over again. This, by the way, is why I recommend that business owners use their website to build a traditional email list so they can keep in contact with customers and interested prospects. Remember email? In some ways, it’s the original social application. After all these years it’s still the best way to stay in touch with followers. Like your website, your mailing list is something Facebook can never take away from you.
This isn’t to say that social networking is a waste of time. You can still use social networks as a tool to meet new customers, build relationships, and interact with customers. Through the course of that interaction, you want to get your customers into the habit of visiting your website to read your content.
The power of social networking is magnified when you conduct your social activities around the hub that is your business website.
Have you been putting off building your business website because maintaining a social network presence is easier? If so, you should know that web design isn’t as complicated as they used to be. These days all you need is a WordPress site and domain name.
Creating a business website with WordPress is easy. And there are plenty of reasons why WordPress is perfect for your business. And you don’t need to be a web programmer or tech genius to pull it all together.