Why You Still Need a Website and SEO
by Al Gomez
Every SEO consultant out there has probably had a client or two ask this question:
‘Why do I need a website when my social media page is ranking?’
We all know how crucial social media marketing is in today’s competitive environment. If a business is not on any social media platform, it can appear dodgy to many consumers. However, NOT having a website could signal the same thing. The reason why a lot of entrepreneurs choose only one of the either (instead of both) is usually due to budget constraints. That’s understandable.
But when it comes to future sales, business, growth, and audience reach, could you really afford NOT to consider your very own website?
Social Media Platforms Have Its Own Algorithm, Too
Similar to search engines like Google, Facebook and other social media networks have their own algorithm. Stuff simply doesn’t appear at random: those are determined by dozens if not hundreds of factors that personalizes the content people see on their Feeds every day. In fact, when Facebook announced that it was going to remove inactive Likes from business pages, hundreds of brands were affected.
Big names like Nestle Pure Life (U.S.), Chrysler, and Herbal Essences suffered major losses. It certainly felt like the Apocalypse. If your business relies on social media, don’t expect to sidestep algorithm updates.
Social Media Is Not As Cheap As You Think
From a business perspective, it seems as if pursuing social media marketing will be more cost-effective. After all, creating a business page is free. Meanwhile, promoting content can be easily adjusted based on budget. Twitter for example, charges anywhere from $ .50 to $4.00 for a Promoted Tweet. That’s definitely tempting compared to $1,000 to $3,000 for a website, right?
It might be – but did you stop and ask yourself what percentage of your Fans or Followers have bought from you? At the end of the day, it’s NOT how many Likes you have – but how many purchases were completed.
Social Media: It’s Complicated
You bet. In 2014, although key players like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest were exploring shopping opportunities for their users, responses were inconclusive. Advertisers and social media marketers were excited of course, but the same cannot be said for consumers. According to Social Media Examiner, social media platforms are a great place to gain and nurture customer relationships; however, it’s NOT exactly a great place to buy from.
When a brand is present on Facebook or Twitter, they are expected to tell stories, share updates, answer questions, be engaged. To a Fan, nothing’s worse than a business that constantly promotes itself. As much as social media has become a huge part of our everyday existence, trust issues will usually get in the way of purchasing decisions.
In a 2014 survey from Edelman.com, they found out that people are more likely to trust ‘regular folks’ compared to brand or business pages. That’s because people naturally gravitate towards someone they can easily relate to. That means a Google developer is more approachable than the Google page itself.
Will a Website Solve All Your Business Problems?
Let’s not get carried away: although having your own website is awesome, it won’t help you succeed IF they are not aligned with your business goals. That, is the most important thing. Beware of web designers who are only concerned about aesthetics (a beautiful website doesn’t always equal sales); or of digital marketers who claim that having your own site will double your profit (they need to explain HOW first).
The best thing about owning a website is FREEDOM. For one, you won’t be tied to a social network’s look and feel. Do you want a cool carousel to display photos? Easy. Need individual pages to showcase products and/or services? Consider it done. Social media will require you apps if you want to deviate from their standard design. Most of these are free, others are not.
Second, having a website conveys trust and professionalism. It shows your consumers that you have the time as well as resources to host your own domain where they can find out more about your offers in detail. One of the main reasons why people hesitate to buy directly from social media is due to privacy issues. It’s easier for them to make a purchase if they have the assurance that their personal information is safely encrypted.
Lastly, once your website is up and running, you don’t need to update it as frequently. On-site blogs for instance, can be updated once or thrice a week, as advised by your digital marketing consultant. Unlike Facebook or Twitter pages that constantly need updates, your website won’t suffer if you can’t attend to it for a certain period of time (just make sure that all inquiries are sent to your email).
Where Does SEO Come In?
SEO strategies are aimed at increasing web traffic to a website by helping it rank on search engines, like Google. The higher your ranking on search results, the better the chances of people going to your website. In a new 2014 study conducted by Moz, the first five websites on the first page of Google get 67 percent more clicks than those in the second or third page results. This is a reminder of how important rankings are in the world of digital marketing.
By tying your website to your social media page, you increase your chances of profit twofold. One, visitors to your social media page that are redirected to your website would be able to complete purchases with confidence. Second, online users to your website will be convinced to buy after visiting your social media page. Think of it as a give-and-take relationship between two powerful digital marketing platforms.
Don’t be intimidated by website costs. You have plenty of options when it comes to creating your own business site. The first step is always to be clear about WHAT you want for your business. Try getting in touch with a local web design company and ask for their design packages. Don’t forget to inquire about online marketing inclusion in price quotes.
Once your goals are clear, the road ahead won’t seem so difficult anymore.
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