The world has changed drastically in the last 30 years – we no longer rely on storefronts and catalogs to make potential customers aware of our businesses, we now rely on the internet. Another interesting change since we’ve moved online is the number of businesses who simply use their social media profiles to run their businesses, solely or in tandem with a selling platform. But, is this the right move? And if you do start a business this way, do you ever need a website?
Do I need a website for my business?
You can run a business via social media alone, but if you fail to get a website up and running, you’re making a huge mistake. Here are 5 reasons why you need a website:
- It increases your authority. This is the big one – and it’s that if you have no website, some of your potential customers simply aren’t going to trust you, especially if you operate online. It’s one thing being a local store with a storefront, but it’s quite another operating online with no online “home”. When you fail to have a website, you fail to establish yourself as a trustworthy entity. Your customers need to be able to go online and find out information about you on your own online home, not through social media.
- It increases your ability to be found. SEO (search engine optimization) is the way to ensure you keep bringing new traffic (AKA new customers) to your business. SEO is the way you get found by people during searches, and Google will nearly always put a real website before social media profiles unless you’re searching for a specific business. For example, if you search for “contractors in Prescott”, you’ll see all the websites with the most authority come up, which are directory sites and then individual contractors. A social media profile doesn’t show up until page 3, by which point your customer has already seen a ton of links to other contractors, including in the map pack, which is essential for local businesses.
- It gives you more security. Imagine you’re doing roaring business – you’ve become the business in your area or industry for what you offer. You perhaps step on too many toes, and someone decides that they want to take your business down a peg by hacking into your social media accounts. This is much easier to do than it is to hack into a website, and even just a short time with access to your social media accounts could seriously disrupt and harm your business. A website is much more secure, you can backup your content, and you’ve always got somewhere to update your customers should Facebook or Instagram be subject to an attack themselves.
- You can carefully design the customer journey. Say you solely operate your business through your Instagram account. How do your customers find out how to work with you? Can they find out about all the services you offer without browsing through a ton of different posts or sending you a message? When you have your own website, your designer can work with you to carefully design the customer journey. They’ll identify potential entry points and help you streamline the content so it guides your potential customers through what they need to know to work with you and how to buy from you.
Should I design my own website or hire a professional?
Your website is your digital storefront, so it needs to look the part. When someone lands on your website, it needs to wow them and convince them to stick around, not scare them away. You need to remember that a professional designer will think about your website and design it for the people landing on it – they’ll design it to convert your customers, not just to please you. We all have our personal preferences, but wouldn’t you prefer to have a website that actually converts visitors to one that has all the bells and whistles?
You also need to remember that designing a beautiful website often takes weeks – weeks you should be putting into growing brand awareness and making sure you can deliver an incredible customer experience. If you have the means, partner with a website designer who can bring your brand to life online.
If you’re looking for that partner, you’re in the right place. Pixel Parfait has been designing stunning and effective WordPress (the leading website platform) websites for years and has many happy customers to prove it. If you’d like to view our portfolio of past projects or learn more about working with us to create your home online, click here. We’d love to help you create a website with impact.