Why Is A Website Still Essential In This
Age Of Social Media?
Whether you are running a well-developed business, or just trying to establish your brand, having an online presence is essential. More and more though, I’m being asked if it’s really necessary to spend money building a website when the use of social media is so prevalent. I realise some marketers will say that social media profiles, landing pages or online sales funnels are enough, but while these channels can be useful, I believe that having an engaging and effective website is essential for successful online marketing. Let me explain.
A Website Is The Backbone Of Your Online Presence
It is the only platform that you have complete control over, and it should serve as the hub for all your online activities. You can think of it as your digital storefront. When someone visits your website, they can learn more about your brand, your products or services, and your values. You can use your website to showcase your brand’s personality and build trust with your audience. You can also use it to establish your authority in your industry by creating content that shows your expertise. I recommend using your social profiles as channels to drive traffic to your website where you have so much more control over their brand experience.
Without A Website, You Are At The Mercy Of Social Media Algorithms And Platform Policies
I’ve been there, and I’m sure you have too. One day you’re totally in control of your Facebook group, and the next day the rules change, and BOOM, you’re in a tailspin. Not to mention the draconian rules some platforms have about the kind of products you can and cannot promote. I had a client whose account was banned because she was promoting handmade doorstops in the shape of a dog. Understandably it’s against the rules to sell dogs, but the Artificial Intelligence that oversees content was triggered, the account shut down and there is no recourse. Gone, just like that. In contrast, your website is entirely under your control. You can decide what content to publish, how it looks, and how it functions. This level of control is crucial for building a sustainable online presence.
Your Website Is A Lead Generation Powerhouse
If you are using social media or other online channels to attract potential customers, you can use your website to convert them into leads. By creating a simple form, and offering something of value like an E-book, checklist or other handy download you can capture your visitors’ contact information, such as their name and email address. This is called Firat Party Data and once you have this information, you can start building a relationship with them through email and SMS marketing.
According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing has an average Return on Investment (ROI) of 3800%. That means for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38. Naturally this depends on the quality of your email marketing, with some businesses seeing much lower returns, and some much higher but on average, across all industries, this is a very healthy return and something we should all be working towards. By capturing your website visitors’ contact information, you can start building a list of people who are interested in your brand and are more likely to become paying customers.
Your Website Can Help Position You As An Authority In Your Field
When someone is considering doing business with you, they will often search for your brand online to see what others are saying about you. A well-designed website showcases your expertise and authority, and helps people get to know, like and trust you. I suggest blogging on regular basis, weekly if you can, to keep your content fresh, to appease the SEO gods and make sure there is current and topical content for visitors to read when arrive. While you can definitely post authority building content on your socials, you just don’t have the control over how it’s presented and how you can track the activity of people who visit.
Your website is also an opportunity to showcase your customer testimonials and case studies. By including these on your website, you can provide social proof that your brand is trustworthy and reliable. When potential customers see that others have had positive experiences with your brand, they are more likely to trust you.
Your Website Is The Driver Of Your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). When your website ranks higher in SERPs, you are more likely to attract website visits. This can be a significant source of new leads and customers. No matter how fabulous your social media content, it’s not going to get you on the first page of Google. Not even the second page… It might help the social media platform get there, but that’s not helping you, is it?
So to wrap this up, despite the ease and simplicity of using your social media profiles to promote your business, having a website is still essential for successful online marketing. It serves as the backbone of your online presence, provides a hub for all of your online activities, and gives you complete control over your content and brand messaging. Your website is also a valuable tool for lead generation, establishing your authority and capturing the first party data needs for effective (and profitable) direct marketing.
How much time and effort are you investing in developing and optimising your website?
Where do you think you need to put the most focus right now?
About The Author
Simon is the co-founder, director and lead strategist at Orbit Marketing, an agency the specialises in generating leads and sales for service based business by developing and implementing a customised 90 day sales growth campaign.
Simon has a marketing degree from the University of New England in Australia, more than 15 years of experience in advertising with News Corporation and carsales.com.au and is a speaker and published content writer on the subjects of marketing, advertising and the use of social media.
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