With all the hype around Facebook, blogs and Twitter, I often get asked whether a business still needs a website. YES! YES! YES! (seriously) Having a good website for your business is even more important now that technologies like Twitter and Facebook make it easier for more people to find you. Here are my reasons why having a website for your business is still vitally important:
1. Being Found – The #1 goto place when someone is looking for your business is your website. People search through search engines like Google or Bing, not via Facebook for fan pages.
2. Search Engine Optimization – Websites (and blogs) are important for ranking well in search engines. Much of Facebook is still a walled garden that is invisible to search engines.
3. Primary Activity – People are on Facebook for entertainment or to see what’s going on with their friends or family. They’re not there to hear about your latest promotions (which doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t necessarily have a Facebook fan page, but it certainly shouldn’t be your main online presence).
4. Control – You need a place online that you own, where you control the information and the data. Facebook can change their site or terms of service at any time (they’ve already done that numerous times).
5. Opportunity – A website allows for a much more robust experience for visitors than most other platforms. This means that you can be more efficient at providing visitors the information that they’re looking for, as well as the opportunity to create web applications for more value to your visitors.
6. Branding – Websites also allow you more control over your branding. While sites like Facebook allow some customization, it’s still inside Facebook’s shell. Companies are able to control all aspects of a design with a website.
7. Measurement – Metrics and measurements to know how well your digital tactics are working are much easier to get via a website. Facebook and Twitter do provide some metrics (as well as some provided by third-parties), but the metrics are not as business oriented, making it more difficult to measure specific tactics and promotions.
I also believe that it is vital for a company to have a website (or sometimes a blog can work too) that is working well in terms of providing potential customers with the information they want, being easy to use, and having the right calls to action to lead people down the sale funnel.