Why a Business Website Is Vital
in Today’s Digital World
Have you ever Googled a business during a moment of panic, trying to find someone, anyone, nearby who can help? Maybe you need a doctor (fast!), a gas station (hello empty tank!), or a plumber (flooded basements are no fun!). You thank Google for the auto-correction of the jumbled words you punched on your phone screen, pull up the Google results, and see a high-rated option…but when you click for more details, you’re redirected to a Facebook page that pops up in your phone’s default browser window. Now you need to enter your social media login credentials just to see more information about the business you need.
Whether in a hurry or not, nothing is more frustrating than chasing down information. A professional, designated website does more than ease the process for customers, it sets a business apart from the competition and speaks volumes in terms of professionalism and building trust with potential customers. Are you still convinced a free social media business page is the best use of your business’ time and energy? Read on to learn exactly why your Facebook page should not replace a website.
Time is Money
Imagine you’re given only 2 minutes to meet with a potential customer to explain why your business is unique and deserves their hard-earned dollars. Would you begin by challenging them to drive around a 5 mile radius to try and find the coffee shop you’re at? It doesn’t make sense to send potential clients on a scavenger hunt from the very beginning. Your client’s time is valuable. Each click they have to take, every page they need to move past, and every second spent waiting for screens to load is an investment your customers make in terms of their time. If they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, their investment takes on a riskier theme of “time wasted,” which ultimately means lost sales and dollars for you as customers move on to more accessible options.
Facebook Isn’t Ageless
Social media is fluid and subjective; what one target audience may see as “current” or “helpful,” another target audience sees as “outdated” or “full of fake news.” Customers organically form opinions about your business based on your digital presence. If your only online presence happens to be on a platform they don’t align with, they’re likely going to assume your business is also misaligned with their needs. Facebook, in particular, is swiftly losing popularity among younger generations – meaning if you’re using Facebook exclusively for digital marketing, you’re missing entire swaths of current (and future) customers.
Additionally, not every customer participates in social media. Gathering all of your online eggs in one social media basket means you’re exposing your business to a much smaller breakfast table. Diversifying your digital presence through a combination of digital modalities (*cough cough* professional websites) extends the invite to a larger group of people and allows you to meet customers where they’re at.
Social Media is Unpredictable
Be honest – have you ever actually read the terms and conditions of your social media accounts? Do you connect your social media pages to other platforms, like Facebook to Instagram? How does that kind of connectivity affect your reach, privacy, and follower lists?
Social media platforms aren’t in the business of making you money – they’re concerned with their own financial goals and will stop at nothing to protect their interests above all others. Despite your perceived compliance with their legally shrouded terms and conditions, the social media powers that be can choose to deactivate your account with no warning or ability to recover data, information, and time invested.
At the end of the day, we place almost infinite trust in social media platforms and invest hundreds of hours in developing strategies, images, ads, and marketing campaigns. We are given very little insight or control over how those hours translate to actual growth and sales. Sticking with social media as your only connection to your customers is a risky investment; social media servers crash, algorithms change constantly, and there’s no path for resolution if and when they decide to kill your account.
Optimization is Impossible
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a customizable way to improve access to your online customers through the use of keywords, descriptions, and other strategies that trigger positive results in search engines like Google. Facebook pages don’t allow users to adjust things like keywords to improve Google rankings; the vast, secret technical language that comprises Facebook’s algorithm simply doesn’t align with Google’s search criteria.
What does this mean for business owners? Simply put, Facebook limits how many people see your business TWICE, once through their complex newsfeed prioritization and algorithm, and again by constructing a barrier between your business page and Google. Your exposure to your target customers just got severed twofold!
If that isn’t enough fuel on the fire of digital destruction, consider Facebook’s reporting and analytic capabilities. Are you up to date on how to access them, what information they gather, and how to maximize the tools to make the most of your marketing strategy? Chances are if you’re already familiar with digital analytics, you’re frustrated with Facebook’s reporting limitations, unreliability, and how iOS privacy updates affect reporting. And if you’re unfamiliar with analytics and how important they are in driving social media campaigns, you’re not using Facebook’s lackluster tools anyways. Designated websites offer optimization options far beyond a few line graphs filled with guilt-inducing guesstimates aimed at getting you to post (and pay) more.
Facebook hosts millions of business pages in every business genre imaginable. How can you ensure your business shows up in the newsfeeds of your potential customers? Targeted ad campaigns can get expensive, especially when your competition has a limitless budget and stellar marketing team to make the most of advertising dollars. Even with the most sophisticated, high-dollar ad budget on the platform, you’re still fighting Facebook’s algorithm and the quick-swipe from users who are sick of seeing ads pop up in their feed.
You may be thinking, “No worries, my Facebook page is so unique, people will easily find it anytime they search for products or services like mine.” Not quite! Facebook funnels you into a “pay to play” effort to rank above the competition – which really just fills their pockets (not yours). Combine that frustration with Facebook’s ultra-character-sensitive search bar and the vast, global sea of business accounts that also specialize in your products and services, and you’ve got a surefire recipe for digital invisibility.
Luckily, a solid, professional website doesn’t need to break the brain or budget. GreenCup Digital specializes in developing responsive, accessible business websites with transparent navigation, proven SEO tools for higher Google rankings, and a client-focused approach to getting your business in front of your target audiences. We help you stand apart from the competition by delivering strategic digital marketing resources at a pace and investment that fits your long-term business goals. Are you ready to step beyond the time-consuming chaos of developing and managing a business website? Free up your future by connecting with GreenCup Digital today.