Social media is huge, attracting over 1.5 billion users around the world (Statista). It is also now the number 1 activity on the web. And best of all, most social media sites are free. So people are wondering, “Why am I paying for a website when I could create a free Facebook page?” While social media sites boast a lot of benefits, there are a few major reasons why you should still invest in a website for your business. We are going to break down the top 5 reasons why having a Facebook page isn’t “enough”.
- Your Website is Your Digital Storefront
Nowadays people use the internet to learn about a company rather than calling in or going directly to your place of business. Your website is your digital storefront. It is your online location where people expect to find contact information, a list of your products and services, images, reviews, pricing, and more. Not having a website would be like not having a physical place of business. For example, if you saw a flier for a clothing company nearby, and you were in need of a new pair of jeans, you would probably swing by their store. However, if you discovered that this company does not have a store but rather keeps their jeans in the trunk of their car in a nearby parking lot, you probably would not go. Why wouldn’t you go? It does not seem trustworthy! This is the same feeling people have when they come across your company online only to discover you do not have a website. Once a potential customer discovers that you only have a Facebook page, they will question your legitimacy.
- If You Only Have a Facebook Page, You Will Struggle to Rank Organically
Companies require new leads to grow. While our loyal customers are great for business, new customers are necessary for keeping up with your competition. One of the best ways to generate new leads online is through search engine optimization (SEO), actions taken to increase your presence in search engine results. More and more, people are relying on search to find products and services. Thus, the goal of every business is to organically rank in search results for their keywords. Websites are absolutely necessary for SEO. Facebook and other social media sites will help you to rank, but without a website you will have little luck of ever ranking on the first page of results. With a website you will have the flexibility to build links and create content, two major components of SEO.
- Facebook Does Not Offer a Lot of Flexibility for Sharing Information
Facebook pages, and other social media sites, are very limited in the amount of content you can add. While you can add a nice description and post daily updates, you cannot create pages and pages of content about your company history, services, and examples of work, like you can on a website. Your website gives you the flexibility to structure how information is displayed. With a website you can dig down into second level navigation, third level, and even further, displaying endless amounts of content. You can also integrate a blog within your website, whereas with a Facebook page you would have to link off to it. And the more steps a person has to take, the less likely they are to take them.
- A Website Offers More Creative Freedom
Similar to content flexibility, a website also allows for more creative freedom. From layout to colors to navigation, you can design a website that is unique and fits your goals. Facebook allows for little creative freedom. Forget about cool rotating images, “donate now” buttons and interactive graphics on your Facebook page. If you want a truly original design that will reflect your business goals, you are going to need to invest in a website.
- Facebook Has Limited Analytics
Although Facebook does have some awesome analytics, they are nowhere near as awesome as what Google offers.Google Analytics, as well as other major statistics packages, offers amazing insights into how users are interacting with your website. Web Analytics will show you how a sale was made, what path a visitor took through your site, bounce rates, number of visitors at a specific time of day, and so much more. Facebook’s analytics cannot tell you all of this, leaving you with much less information than that of your competitors who have websites.
There is no denying that Facebook is a great social media site for businesses looking to expand their digital marketing strategies. However, Facebook should not be your home base. Facebook should support your website, helping to drive customers and leads to a unique, highly functional location, where you have all of the control.