Today, the creation of a website and its visibility on Google is not at the center of the digital strategy of many companies. While it should be for several reasons …
In the age of TikTok and Instagram, the humble website seems like an afterthought. Old school. Even unnecessary, perhaps. Here are eight reasons why that’s totally wrong and why a website for your business is more important than ever.
I meet a lot of people who run their business exclusively on LinkedIn or Instagram, no problem, thank you.
They get a critical mass of business from one platform and then convert that business into a steady stream of referrals. That’s fine as long as it works. If it stops working, it’s disastrous.
Here are some reasons why it’s still important to invest in a professional website and why your business needs its own digital home.
1. There is nothing more powerful than a professional website to create a knowledge, appreciation and trust factor.
If for some reason your rented platform (social media) stops working, there is no digital home that sells for you 24/7.
No place where, under one roof, someone can learn who you are and what you have to offer.
If you’re selling services, services that require a significant investment from the customer, potential customers need to get to know you, like you, and trust you.
Of these three elements, I would say “trust” is the most important.
My clients are all over the world, and I have never met most of them in person. Yet they pull out their credit cards and send me thousands of euros or dollars over the internet.
Why do they do this?
Because they can check out my website.
They can browse my portfolio, read all the testimonials from my clients. Get an idea of who I am on my “About” page.
On my website, a potential client can look at large, clear photos of my face. If they want to go further, they can read one blog post after another.
Some of my articles are informative and relate to the topic of putting up a website, others are more personal, like the story of how and why I left my job.
Last month, a client told me that she finally decided to hire me after reading this article.
2. You need a website for SEO
If you don’t have a website, nothing will bring you leads and customers that aren’t already part of your referral network.
The simple fact is that when most people are looking for a service, they are researching and basing their decisions on multiple Google searches, not passively scrolling through Instagram.
The only digital property you can optimize for SEO is your website.
Even if your business runs on referrals, you should still build your list, authority, and brand recognition beyond your referrals.
Driving traffic to your website helps you achieve this goal.
If part of your marketing strategy is to create content (which it should be), you might as well optimize it for SEO to add an additional stream of leads.
These leads need to land on your website.
3. A website showcases your expertise
There is no better platform to showcase what you do than your website. You can create portfolio pages, publish lots of blog posts and articles. Include a podcast or video stream that speaks directly to your ideal client.
Your website content gives you the opportunity to show your potential clients that you understand them.
You can solve their problem. You can help them.
4. Your website stands out from the crowd
Not only can a website show what you can do, but it does so without distraction.
You don’t stand side by side with a bunch of other accounts trying to do the same thing and fighting for the same attention.
Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. are all big, loud, busy carnivals.
Visitors can move from person to person, room to room, or just passively consume an endless stream of information.
When people land on your website, they are in your home. It’s just you and them, without distractions.
If designed well, your website can hold the visitor’s attention, which is the most valuable resource there is.
5. A professional website gives legitimacy
If someone tells me they don’t have a website for their business, right or wrong, I think, “Oh, they’re not serious.”
Even if they don’t, I make assumptions: they don’t want to spend money, they’re afraid to put themselves out there, they don’t understand how a business should be online these days.
Having a website created is a big deal.
6. A website allows you to sell products and book services on autopilot.
At some point, you may want to sell products or information services online.
Or you may want to allow customers to book your services or sign up for your mailing list. The best way to do this is on your own website.
All major website platforms now have an e-commerce component, where you can integrate a booking or newsletter sign-up.
Your website is the best place for people to do this, for all the other reasons mentioned in this article.
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7. A website is the home of your brand.
Often, the clients I work with have businesses that run 100% on referrals.
They aren’t trying to generate leads or business via their website. Maybe LinkedIn is their biggest platform and their potential customers are checking them out on that site to see who they know; that’s the mechanism for building trust and legitimacy.
But you also have to consider your brand.
You don’t want to be the person who drives a Lamborghini but lives in a shack.
In this analogy, the “cabin” is your website. Your website is an essential digital presence that communicates who you are and what you do.
If you don’t need a website to demonstrate your thought leadership, you can at least refer people to it.
If you create a lot of written content, I think it’s better to host it on your own platform rather than someone else’s, over which you have no control.
One of my clients does most of her writing on LinkedIn. She didn’t want to duplicate all her efforts with a blog on her website.
I found a tool that allows you to transfer your LinkedIn posts to your website. You can do this with any social media platform.
Even if your site is just a business card or brochure, it’s important that it has a presence, looks professional and communicates your brand.
8. A website allows you to collect crucial data
A website can give you access to information that you can’t always get on social media platforms.
Where did people find you, what content did they click on the most, what content is ranked highest by Google, what access point on your website did they sign up for your email list?
You can also get metrics on how people booked you. This gives you important data on which to base your budget and your sales and marketing activities.
So yes, I’m a web designer telling you that you need to have a website, what a shock.
Anyway, these eight reasons should be enough on their own to support my point.
If you don’t have the budget to hire a web designer, the least you can do is buy a domain and create a website, that way your domain will start the aging process to help your SEO.
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