If not, I would say you need a website because your serious competitors will have one, your customers will expect one and you are missing out on business if you don’t have one.
The other variation on this theme is usually: “Yeah but I have a Facebook page so why do I need a website?”
The F Factor
Facebook is without doubt the biggest thing to hit the internet since email.
It dwarfs all other social media platforms and is responsible for driving 75% of all social referral traffic.
So the question is valid: Why do I need a website?
Well for some in all reality Facebook may be enough, but to me it all depends on how you want to be seen by your customers, and competitors.
If you are looking for a product or service where would YOU look first? Google (or another generic search engine of your choice) or Facebook?
Personally I’ll go straight to Google, however that could just be a generation thing. I would be interested to know what any younger people would do.
Either way, if I see a Facebook listing for a company V’s a website listing, I will always give more credence to the person who took the time to put their business first and develop a web presence outside of social media.
It tells me they are serious about their business and therefore are going to be serious about mine.
That’s not to say someone who only has a Facebook listing won’t, it’s just a perception thing and having spoken to a number of business people I know I’m not alone.
I’ve said it before, first impressions count.
Twitter and other messaging platforms are overtaking email with young people
Who Takes Email Seriously These Days?
In the last few years, serious threats have arrived for good old email.
It’s hard for me to imagine sometimes that there are people alive today who do not know a world without email or even SMS for that matter; 20 years old this year.
I on the other hand am old enough to remember when AOL ruled the internet, there was no such thing as broadband and “You’ve Got Mail” was this wondrous new phrase being thrown about by techies.
Now though email is showing the strain.
With Twitter, Facebook, BBM and various other messaging platforms it’s use among the young has dwindled.
As a 20 something I would have sent a humorous email to all my friends. Now it’s up on social media and out to the world in seconds… from my phone!!
So why worry about email?
If I’m dealing with a business and I get an email from firstname.lastname@example.org or they only have a facebook page I can message them on, warning bells start ringing.
Why don’t they have a proper email address?
Why are they not sending me email through their domain?
Don’t they have a website?
To me all of these things smell of a lack of professionalism and also a lack of belief in their business.
One argument I hear on this is “I’m just running a craft stall, I’m not a big company so why would I need a website?”
So what? Yes you are running a craft stall but why not engage the people who buy from you? Entice potential buyers by telling them all about you, who you are, your products and your up-coming fairs? Why not have a calendar on your site with details of the events you’re attending going forward? Why not share with them the ups and downs of running your own stall and making your own products etc?
Still not sure if you need a website?
Another argument I hear on this is that it’s all too expensive but in all truth that’s a cop out. These days .co.uk domain names cost less that £10 for 2 years and with CMS systems like WordPress you can set up a site by yourself for minimal cost. I know people who have.
Even if it’s a simple site with your details and services AND ADDRESS!! That’s still 100% better than nothing.
“Erm… are you trying to tell people to build their own sites? Won’t that lose you business?”
Frankly, no it won’t. People who wan’t to build their own site will do so and won’t look to us for those sorts of services.
The people who engage us know that like most other industries: you get what you pay for.
If you wan’t to go down the D.I.Y. route that’s fine, but the result is not likely to be to the same standard as a professional job. There is way more to building a site than making it look nice and have the right information on it. So much goes into design, SEO, content and structure that you usually risk a poor result on a self build project.
Anyway, I digress. Getting back to my main point: email sent through a purchased domain with an accompanying website speaks volumes about your commitment to your business.
So Why Do I Need a Website?
So to summarise, a website says:
I take my business and the business of my clients seriously
I believe in my services/products.
I am available when you need me at this address
That’s why you need a website if you want to be taken seriously by customers and other businesses alike.