(Updated for 2022)
“I don’t need a website in 2022, I can run my business through social media”
I know, I know, I’m a website designer so of course, you think I’m going to tell you must have a website. But there’s more to this story and I want to explain to you why having a digital shopfront is so important for every small business.
You don’t own your social media pages.
I often see people in online business groups proudly tell others they have no need for a website, they run their entire business through Instagram or Facebook. They find all the customers they need through these channels and don’t want to worry themselves about a pesky website.
Won’t that just cost them money and be something else they need to keep updated.
Yep, it will! But it is also your own space. A space where, if you can get your customer to it, you will be able to deliver them the exact experience you want them to have. You will be able to clearly communicate your brand and ethos and most importantly you will be able to create brand loyalty without the deafening roar of all the competition that clouds all social media experiences.
Even more importantly than this, you have to remember, that you do not own your followers, or even your page or the content you post on Instagram or Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg does. If for some reason he decides that you are no longer worthy of featuring on one of his incredible platforms he can pull the rug right out from underneath your incredible shopfront and just like that you will be left with no way to communicate with your customers or sell your products. Just like that, it could all come crashing down.
I’m also constantly amazed at the posts I see in social media business groups from people who have had their social media accounts hacked and are being held to ransom by some hacker wanting thousands of dollars to return it. I have even seen people who have had their ad accounts hacked and tens of thousands of dollars spent on social media advertising that they didn’t want to run.
Unfortunately, it seems Meta isn’t too willing to help rectify the situation when this happens.
Customers expect it
If they can’t look your business up on a smartphone, does it even exist?
I’m quite serious here. How often do we quickly Google a business to find out when it’s open, get the price of one of their products or services, share something about it with a friend or get their contact details on the fly? Even with brands that do most of my interacting with on social media when I’m quickly wanting to know something about them, it’s Google and their website that I turn to and expect answers from.
Choosing not to have a website could be losing you opportunities every day and will absolutely be decreasing your visibility to potential customers.
A great website will give your business credibility and will effectively make your business appear established and trustworthy.
Three little letters, S.E.O.
If you haven’t heard of SEO then be prepared to go down a rabbit hole of internet searches on how to improve your Search Engine Optimisation. Great SEO is the thing that gets you to the holy grail of Google Page One!!!!
A fairly popular joke in the world of website design is “where’s the best place to hide a dead boy? Page 3 of google of course!”
Hilarious I know, but absolutely accurate. You have to search for something REALLY specific to get past the first couple of pages of a Google search. The search engine is so intuitive these days that it manages to find what we’re looking for even when we don’t really know what it is we’re trying to find!
SEO can only be achieved on your own website and being discovered by an organic search by someone is literally GOLD when it comes to new leads.
It’s the ultimate way to market your business, essentially for free and it’s open 24/7
Websites, when designed correctly, become the ultimate sales tool. A good website should take visitors on a journey that you have created and should lead them to the ultimate goal that you have set.
Your website is there for potential customers any time they want a question answered or a desire to buy your product or service. They can act as your business’s personal concierge, always there to answer questions and lead people in the right direction.
They allow your customers to interact with your business in the comfort of their own homes and create a relationship with your clients in a digital world where we’re all looking for connection and familiarity.
IT WILL SAVE YOU TIME
Having all the important answers to your potential customer’s questions on your website in the form of information pages and blogs means either they can find the information they need when they want it, OR you can point them in the direction of exactly what they need to know without having to prepare answers every time you get a similar inquiry.
I find about 90% of my customer inquiries can be solved by pointing them to a specific page on our website. I imagine many enquiries don’t even get as far as me as people find the answers they’re looking for on our website themselves. Then we just hear from them when they’re ready to book!
I’m often amazed when what feels to me like a random person calls up to book us for a photoshoot, or brand refresh and they sound like they know me. But that’s because they have spent time getting to know us through our website long before we’ve ever spoken to them.
Ok, so now I’m sure I’ve convinced you that you need a website. The next question is, what platform do you choose?
With a veritable smorgasbord of website platforms out there, which direction do you choose?
Well, everyone has their own opinion on this and there’s actually no right or wrong answer, but for me and my clients, I recommend Squarespace or WordPress for service-based businesses and Shopify if you sell products. Not sure whether to go with Squarespace or WordPress? Check out this article.
If you need a website then I would love to chat with you! Get in contact and let’s talk through your dream website and make it a reality!