Increasingly, entrepreneurs particularly are hesitant to invest in website development. Especially with the enhanced ability to sell through Facebook, many business owners think that websites are simply not necessary. The fact is, this is still not the case. You DO need a website, even with platforms like Facebook and Instagram making it easier to spread the word about your business.
Four Reasons You Need a Website
Why exactly do you need a website? Four reasons immediately come to mind.
- Often, the first way someone seeks a product or service is to Google what they are seeking. While your Facebook page may come up in the search results, searchers have become accustomed to looking for a website first. A website gives you credibility and lets people know you’re not just a “fly by night” operation.
- Websites give you more control over your business. Having all of your eggs in the Facebook basket means that if Facebook goes down for a day (it’s been known to happen) you are simply out of luck. Use your website as your main hub, and then Facebook and other social media outposts can serve as your back-up.
- Websites offer more information and branding opportunities. When you are on Facebook looking at company pages (if you ever do), how often do you click on the “about” section? Probably not very much. More than likely, people are experiencing your company through an isolated post, not through your entire page. Having a website means people can learn how you got started, what your mission is, and why they should purchase from you.
- A website can work as your central “hub.” By driving traffic to your website, you can compare different marketing methodologies. Which is sending you more traffic, Facebook or your enewsletter? While Facebook does offer good analytic insights, it is simply not as detailed or comprehensive as what Google Analytics on a website can give you.
Saying that you need a website is all well and good. How do you know whether your website is a good one? How do you know if your website is working for you?
Often times, the best way to learn what NOT to do is by thinking about your own experiences as a customer. What have you complained about when visiting websites? What kinds of e-commerce mistakes have you encountered that inspired you to turn away from that company? Once you can identify what you don’t want your customers to go through, you can test your own website to make sure you’re not making those same mistakes. It is of the utmost important to view your own website as your customers would. You know what you want to accomplish, but they do not. You might want to ask a family member or a friend to go through your website if you feel you’re too close to it. Get an objective but caring opinion about whether your website is easy to use.
Google Analytics, of course, is a more technical way to determine if your website is working for you. You will be able to learn what marketing tactics are effectively sending traffic your way, and on an e-commerce store you can even tell how many people are dropping off after going to the shopping car. Noticing trends or recurring issues in your analytics can signal that there is a problem that needs to be fixed. Don’t view that as bad news. Every fix is a step forward.
Are you interested in learning more about the world of websites and what makes websites work? Feel free to contact us at any time. Also, tune in to our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/claymanandassociates/) because on Tuesday, September 12, we will be live streaming a presentation that will be given as part of Marietta Main Street’s Boost Your Business Series (locals can attend in person from 8-9 in the morning at Huntington Bank on 3rd Street, Marietta). We hope to see you there!