It amazes me how many companies do not have websites -- or have essentially ignored their website -- and have focused their efforts on building a Facebook business page. I'm constantly finding businesses that they need to either create a website or put more emphasis on what they've got. Whether it's a simple, two or three page website or an elaborate site including a blog, your company needs to have a website and not just a Facebook page. So I've put together six reasons you need to have your own website as your primary online presence.
- You lose control - My number one reason was actually spotlighted within the last two weeks when Facebook posted an statement regarding their future plans. In the upcoming months, they will focus on their original mission which was bringing people closer together. It seems that most users have spoken, and they don't enjoy seeing page posts and advertisements over their friend's and families updates on their timelines. What does this mean for your Facebook page? Well, likely the small percentage of your followers that are still seeing your Facebook page posts, won't be seeing it at all in the future.
- What results? - A big, ongoing issue that we have with Facebook is the stats and results that they provide. These results can be tricky, making it harder to show lead generation results that you may be getting from your Facebook business page. With a website, you have so much more access to your data and results.
- You need a landing page for paid ads - Even if you don't think you will need to run paid ads, I tell my clients to always be prepared and set-up to successfully run paid ads. You might change your mind, and they can be very beneficial for future campaigns. You can link Google AdWords to a Facebook page, but it's definitely discouraged for many reasons, such as: historically lower quality scores for Facebook landing pages, Google often limits how many ads for a top-level domain (such as Facebook) will show in the results, Facebook trademark violations are possible, you can't use AdWords conversion tracking, and you must be logged into Facebook to see content of most Facebook pages.
- Barrier to entry - Not everyone has a Facebook account. Especially since the younger generations are decreasingly using Facebook; it's estimated that only 41% of millennials (aged 18-34) are using Facebook daily. I have a 22 year old sister that refuses to use the social media platform at all, and this is pretty common for the 18-24 year age range. This means that if someone has to sign in to a platform that they aren't familiar with or don't have a log-in for you've instantly lost them.
- Show off your style - Gone are the days of customizing your MySpace page, and honestly, I don't know about you but I don't want to go back there. So since you can no longer customize social media platforms complete with Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" playing in the background, it's better to have your own website that shows off your style and your product. Whether you are a serious accounting firm, a creative sign shop, or a homey coffee shop, with your own website you are able to give visitors a sense of your business before they even step through the doors of your physical location or receive your product.
- Credibility - For years, studies have shown that a good website instantly adds credibility to a product or service. I want to be able to go to a website, find what I'm looking for, learn about the company, and see what they are all about. A Major Purchase Shopper Study by GE Capital Retail Bank revealed that 81% of shoppers do online research before making a purchase, with 60% going directly to the retailer's website to check out various product details; such as warranty, pricing, availability, and shipping information. A standard Facebook page that looks like everyone else's Facebook page doesn't give me a good idea of what your company is about, or make it easy to find information that I might be searching for before purchasing your product or service.
Get Started: Create a Website
I'm not telling you to get rid of your Facebook page; after all, there are 2.07 billion active Facebook accounts. By all means, keep your Facebook page live, active, and part of your social media strategy until we get final word on what we can expect the future of our Facebook business pages to be. (You may also be interested in reading our blog: Social Media for Business: What's Right for You?)
However, you should not be putting all of your metaphorical-online-presence eggs into one big blue and white Facebook colored basket. You need to have a website that you control, contains content that you own (when you post it on Facebook they get the credit with the search engines, not you), and is specifically dedicated to helping you grow your online presence and your business for the future.
Bottom line: Every business needs its own website. And it should do more than simply show the world that you exist. Be sure it supports your values, showcases your company culture, and helps you reach your company's sales goals. Download our free booklet for some ideas on key things to include in your website. Contact us for an evaluation of what can be done to create a website that helps your business grow.