You might think a website is the last thing your business needs, that it’s old hat, and that a social media page or mobile app is more than sufficient to carry your marketing efforts.
But there are 7 reasons I think a website is a necessary tool in your online marketing arsenal.
How much does it cost to develop an app? Would you believe anything from R50,000?
But that’s just the app.
What about upkeep?
What about marketing?
You’ll still need a web page and social media presence to push the app.
So for a small or medium business it makes no sense to even glance at app development, especially not while you can get an SEO optimised, mobile-friendly website for R200/month (with no upfront costs). (Read on for more details about the deal.)
Any monkey can create a Facebook page or Twitter account. Same goes for Instagram, Snapchat or whichever social media platform you can think of.
But a well crafted website with an about page and contact page adds trust to your brand.
Because people still search for company names to see if they appear in Google. And people still check websites to see if they can learn more about suppliers they may have to deal with.
Add a branded email address and you’ve removed another hurdle between you and potential customers.
When you post to your Facebook page without posting to your own website, you’re creating content for another company, at your cost.
Mark Zuckerberg is laughing all the way to the bank because other people are posting millions and millions of pieces of content to his website.
What does he get? Insane amounts of traffic which he turns into cash.
The same goes for Gumtree, which seems to have people believing it’s a GREAT platform for selling.
Because Google ranks Gumtree posts high.
But there are multiple problems with that strategy.
If you’re engaged in it, you don’t seem to care about long-term success.
You’re building someone else’s platform for them, just like with Facebook. But Gumtree goes one further. They delete your listing after a while. This means you have to repost all the time.
You’re throwing your time into something that has no longevity.
But the fact that Google ranks Gumtree posts well shows a glaring hole in the market.
If a player in a niche that relies heavily on Gumtree wakes up and starts posting to their own website, those posting to Gumtree will start seeing some real competition.
In other words, it’s not that Gumtree is good; it’s that its competition is pathetic.
People engaged in posting to Gumtree alone are fattening their enemy.
But there’s another problem.
What if Google decides to pull the plug on Gumtree listings?
There goes all your “hard work”.
When you have your own website, the content on it is YOURS. And if you build content better than your competitors, you’ll start seeing an upwards curve in traffic.
And where there’s traffic, sales lurk nearby.
A study by Halverson group a few years ago showed that the average blog post has a far longer shelf life than social media posts. A blog post produced traffic up to 2 years after it was written, while the average Facebook page post lasted a measly 5 hours.
A Facebook post has 0.03% the lifespan of a well written blog post.
Doesn’t it make sense to invest in getting your own content onto your own website?
And if the person building your website knows what they’re doing (they should be focused on conversion) they’ll set up your blog to automatically post to your social media channels. This gives you the best of both worlds.
That’s social media in a nutshell.
Facebook—and all the other social media platforms, no doubt—gear your page likers’ timelines to suit their investors’ pockets.
Whether that’s wrong or not, I don’t know. What I do know is, it’s business.
That means your content is not front and centre in people’s minds on a social media platform, unless you pay for it to be there.
You’re competing against an onslaught of cuteness, and there’s no way your free page post will beat an adorable kitten.
Get people to your website and you have their attention. You can address their problems and present your product or service as a solution.
There are no distractions, save those you’ve put their for your own reasons.
Sometimes it’s not easy to get people to your website. But if you have a great offer and a website that shares what visitors want to know, you’ll give them reason to visit.
And if your website loads fast and works well on a mobile screen, you’ve got a winner.
The online world is filled with people who take offence at the slightest difference of opinion.
If Twitter, for instance, were a human, it would be a rude six year old boy who shouts at other kids and grabs their toys, but starts crying and running to his mommy the moment he’s dealt a spoonful of his own medicine.
Facebook and the like gear their usage terms to protect those who are easily offended by words.
I’m not condoning being an arse, but if you say the wrong thing or post a picture of yourself wearing the wrong clothes on these platforms, you’re slaughtered by keyboard warriors. Lives have been destroyed by people who “take offence” and retaliate. Not to mention Facebook pages and Twitter accounts deactivated. (Milo Yiannopoulos lost his Twitter account overnight.)
The offence is not the problem. The problem is, if you’re reported, you could lose years of work in a heartbeat.
But if you inadvertently create a little controversy on your own website, due to not knowing what the offence of the week is, and you ruffle some feathers, and you can handle a bit of criticism, the “negative” attention is worth gold.
Click through rate
The bottom line in your business is how many customers buy from you.
To get more people to buy from you, you need more people to get to your product.
One crucial metric to determine conversions is click-through rate.
This metric has proven to be abysmally low on social media platforms.
If you pour the same amount of effort into a website that you pour into maintaining a social media presence, you’ll find a much greater return on investment.
But you can take your web presence a step or two further too.
If you create a conversion optimised landing page and couple it with a fantastic email marketing campaign, you should see returns free social media usage can only dream of.
And you can do a similar thing with social media.
Create a landing page on your site and launch a paid social media campaign to get people to visit your site where they can take a valuable action, such as purchase a product or join a mailing list.
I know many business owners wouldn’t be interested in a website since they’re convinced that social media is sufficient for their needs.
But I’d argue that many small to medium business owners are throwing away money because they don’t know the power of an optimised website (and the powerful marketing campaigns you could build on a such a platform).
They put together their own website (often a terrible idea) or employed someone who paid no attention to what the website’s purpose was in the first place, and take the resulting silence as a sign that a website is a waste of time and money.
But if you get yourself a conversion-driven website that’s geared towards turning visitors into customers, you might start seeing the value of a proper website, and perhaps even spend less time on social media, which is a dangerous time-suck.
For a limited time, get an SEO-optimised, mobile friendly website for a measly R200 per month, with NO setup fees or upfront costs.