Do I need a website?

Do you need a website for your business?

If you are just starting out in business it’s probably a question you’ve asked yourself already.

Surely you can start by promoting your business on social media, get some followers and then get a website when [insert the goal you think you need to reach in order to need a website]? Or when you can afford it? Or when you get serious about your business?

If you are setting up a new business then it is time to get serious about your digital presence. Here are the pros and cons of a social media first approach to getting your business on line.

Social Media is quick to establish and relatively easy to use

Yes, it is – you can get a page setup for your new business in under 10 minutes, you can most likely do it yourself and you can share it with all your friends and family and get page or profile likes by the end of the day.

However, your friends and family may not be your target audience so they may not be the ones you want to attract to your social media – they may just be likes for likes sake. Which doesn’t really give you any idea if your product or service is of any value to anyone.

A website takes longer to establish and may have a steeper learning curve, but you can attract the right audience to it by using Search Engine Optimisation, blogging and subscription-based memberships.

Social Media profiles need a website as a foundation

Most people have a social media profile and around 80% of us check our social media more than once a day. The algorithms mean that people will see more of what they engage with and less of what they don’t read, click, like. And you can target paid ads to reach more of the people who are in your target audience.

There is a LOT of competition on social media – meaning your content is not necessarily going to get in front of your followers, despite how good that image and content is. An hour of scrolling through social media can present a reader with over 1000 pieces of content – how are you going to stand out?

Paid ads can be helpful – but as a small business you are competing with businesses that spend big dollars on advertising every day – some major social influencers and online course creators will drop $1000 per day to get their content in front of you and your target audience. It is difficult to compete on that scale when you are just starting out.

A website can be used as a landing page or more and you can push people to your site from social media, google ads, and your Google Business Profile.

Social Media is fleeting, you need a website to stay present

You can be in someone’s fed one day and not the next based on the algorithm of the platform which you can’t control. This might be great if you are looking for instant engagement. Stories and reels only last for 24 hours giving you a short burst of exposure to your audience – things can move quickly and you can rapidly build a brand with short snippets served in small bursts.

Here today and gone tomorrow – that beautiful post or image you spent hours creating in Canva will most likely be seen and forgotten by the end of tomorrow. So much effort, so little potential exposure.

A website on the other hand is here to stay – the content you create can form the basis of your email marketing, can be shared to social media more than once in different formats and can be pinned. The time you spend creating beautiful images and keyword-rich text is time well spent – as long as your website is around, your content will be there for people to find.

Social media advertising is disruptive

Those ads on social media. Disruptive. There you are sitting on the couch watching Netflix and scrolling and then an ad scrolls in. On Facebook and Instagram, it’s normally there right after the first post in your feed and then again at around every 5th or 6th post a new ad comes up. Disrupting the scrolling you were doing, bringing your attention to something you may not even have known you ‘need’. Telling you why you need to buy it today because the price is going up “soon”.

Encouraging you to click through to someone’s site or page to get the thing which is either going to end up in landfill before next Christmas or not do the job as advertised. There is a lot of junk out there being sold as the solution to a problem you didn’t even know you had.

Websites on the other hand are generally accessed when someone is deliberately looking for a solution to a problem and they go to their favourite search engine and put in what they are looking for, or ask a question. Built right, with great Search Engine Optimisation, your website may be just what they are looking for and Google will show them the way. Bringing qualified leads to your website, people who are genuinely looking for your products or services.

When your business vision is small, and focused on those people who spend a lot of time on social media, then you probably won’t worry about a website. If you are just trying out a business idea, then social media can be a great place to do that.
If your target audience is a little bit larger, or doesn’t hang around on social media, and you know you can make your business fly, then getting your own, custom-built website is a no-brainer.

A website will take more time and cash to establish, however standing out from the crowd and growing your sales through a well-designed customer journey which leads your site visitors to take the next step in doing business with you is important in a crowded digital market place.

Whether you want site visitors to ask for a quote, book a call or purchase from your online store, once they are on your website, you can decide how you want them to proceed. 

If you are considering paying for social media ads to grow your business, it is worth considering how much website that advertising dollar could provide you with and how long that investment will last on each platform.

Not sure which one is right for you?

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