In today’s world, it’s next to impossible to imagine a business succeeding without a digital presence.
But of course, there isn’t just one form of digital marketing. From apps to websites and social media accounts, there are many ways to create a thriving social media presence for yourself and your business.
But the question is, with the ubiquity of social media and the growing popularity of fast and easy to use mobile apps; are websites still relevant?
Here’s the quick takeaway answer, then we’ll dive into more detail as to why…
Are Websites Still Relevant? Yes, websites are still relevant. In fact, they’re almost a necessity. Websites provide a bug for businesses who use them as a means for displaying their services, plus online shopping experiences, software platforms, groups and communities, organizations and news outlets and a wealth of other uses.
But you may not just need a website…
This is not to say, that creating social media accounts or developing an app is a bad idea. Instead, the ideal digital marketing strategy should make use of all the available channels.
Websites require time, money and effort for setting up and maintaining. Social media accounts, on the other hand, take minutes to set up and allow you to connect with your customers faster, that too is virtually free of cost. But they do still require constant updating.
According to the chart below from the Pew Research Center, social media use is still increasing and hasn’t changed that much year on year recently.
Websites also require plenty of upkeep and maintenance though if you’re looking to create a large amount of content, data, forms, images, and links, etc. which can be an arduous task on its own – depending on the nature of your website or business.
Because of this, as a business owner, you might be thinking of forgoing an online website and sticking simply with your social media account, as the method for establishing a digital presence
Well, don’t be put off, here are some reasons why a strong, well-designed website is of immense importance for your business.
Cultivation of Authority
Establishing a bond of trust with online consumers is difficult but having a well-designed and authoritative website can play a significant role in achieving just that. In a study conducted last year, it was demonstrated that about one-third of the consumers wouldn’t consider engaging in business with a brand that didn’t have a proper website.
Simply put, a website exhibits authority, experience, and permanence; regardless of all the other changes taking place on the internet.
Your website should be one place where consumers can easily find out about your products and services. And in fact, any website on any topic could make money – if it’s created in the right way.
Also, importantly, websites provide you with the opportunity to exhibit your brand online, along with complete control over all the content and how you choose to manage it.
Creative freedom is another plus point a website offers you. I have one friend who loves to draw and has a passion for gardening, she’s been able to combine both of them on her website by talking about and drawing the flowers and plants she loves.
And what’s more, in the first 6 months, she’s already making a few hundred dollars a month from it …just from something she’s passionate about!
Even if you’re not an artist, websites allow you to be creative, they allow you to use shapes, formats, colors, animations, and designs of your choice.
This enables you to establish a more unique and engaging online presence and to present your products and services in creative and engaging ways.
As compared to the social media profiles, where customization options are rather limited. This means that you can showcase your venture in a manner that puts special emphasis on your brand, leading towards greater brand recognition in the digital market.
Social Media Pages Aren’t Truly Yours
As the popularity and the number of users on various social media platforms have increased exponentially, a number of businesses have started to rely solely on their social media pages, as the foundation of their digital presence.
What many businesses don’t think about are the consequences of when a large number of their audience hinges on their social media network, and then that network begins making decisions of its own that start to affect the business.
Social media websites have the ability to change their algorithms, policies, and regulations in an instant without any prior warning, establish new rules that might restrict your ability to advertise effectively, or even disappear off the face of the internet entirely.
Depending upon the nature of these amendments, the impact they can have upon your business can be either beneficial or detrimental. As policies are amended, and the regulations become even more strict, it becomes even more difficult to attain the results you want.
In other words, social media networks do not offer the required stability or control upon which you could completely depend, and if that wasn’t enough, they control and own the data that they gather about your consumers as well. On the other hand, when you drive traffic to the website you own, you will always be in complete control of all these factors.
Social media networks do not offer the required stability or control
upon which you could completely depend!
Social media has, no doubt, immensely changed the landscape of digital advertising in the past few years.
Although they have a lot to offer for a business, it is not wise to solely rely on social media networks to be the cornerstone of your online content, for the simple reason that you do not have ownership and control of the platform.
So, for better control and complete ownership of your content, having a website is necessary (as well), otherwise, your business will always be at the mercy of social media networks.
Social media platforms own and control all the data they collect about your business, products, and consumers.
This is a problem because it makes it immensely difficult to collect any sort of insight into who visits your pages, how they tend to interact with them, and also their value.
The inability to access this sort of analytical information makes it very difficult to devise an effective strategy for the future.
In contrast, though, a website enables you to track your visitors’ online activity and movement. This allows you to gather and understand key insights such as the geographical position of your website visitors and their activity on your website, as well as buying trends.
This information is of great importance in order to understand what is working and what is not, and then devising a better, more efficient marketing strategy accordingly for the future.
Instead of spending money to send out printed brochures and promotional literature (which might be still beneficial but on a few very specific occasions), instead, it’s wiser to put all the relevant information on your website.
That way more people can see it, they can easily access it whenever and wherever its feasible, and the best part is that you can make changes to your website whenever you want and update the information without having to discard a pile of outdated brochures to the bin, which along with your money, is a waste of paper as well.
The problem with a website
Just as a warning note though, The difficulty comes when businesses – particularly small businesses, spend too much of their time focussing on their website content. Tinkering around the edges, with colors, shapes, styles, fonts, and plugins. Instead of focussing that time on creating great content and products and getting customers to the site. It reminds me of the quote from Tony Robbins…
‘Get Perfect Later’—Tony Robbins
In fact, that’s exactly what I did for this website, you’ll find plenty about this site that I could do better, and of course, in time I will. But it’s more important that I get my message out there and get busy with the task at hand – which is trying to grow my business with helpful content.
A Website Means Better Branding
When you started your business, you probably didn’t plan to do it just for a few months, you probably started it to stay in the game for a long while.
My Website is fairly new, but I’ve been into SEO and content marketing for a long time and only recently decided to make it a website and a business.
With that commitment of a new business, comes a commitment to give it a home, and when you build a website for your business something magical happens. It becomes a ‘thing’! It takes on a life of its own and you feel duty-bound to nurture it.
Your Website is your own corner of the internet where you get to decide what you offer, what people will see and how you will shape its direction. This has a greater semantic meaning.
And, what’s more, building a website forces you to think about what it is you’re offering, what you’re trying to say and what ultimately you want to try and help people with.
It forces you to find the words to shape your marketing, your product and the whole strategy around your business.
A well-designed website, even one that may need additional work later will have a much greater and more powerful impact on your customers than you think. it will help shape your identity.
Once you’ve got the rudimentary details in place too, such as colors, strap-lines, and style, it will enable you to take this further into your branding with your online platforms.
It really does all start with a website, and these days you don’t have to be a coder to create one. They can be done in a day!
I hope this has clarified that the need for a website is still very relevant even in today’s voice-driven and instant, media-rich environment. It’s a cornerstone of your business. So don’t go thinking you can do without it. You’ll literally leave yourself at the mercy of all the other platforms you use.
If you’re ready to start your website and want to make sure you will get organic traffic to create that passive or authority website, then check out my course for more information, or get in touch if you’re unsure how to proceed, or struggling to get traffic. I’d be happy to help.