How many times have you heard a business owner or manager say something along the lines of “I use Facebook as my website.” Or, “I’m active on social media so why would I want a website?” In the ever-growing age of social media, many businesses are thinking that an official website is old hat and an unnecessary expense. What they may fail to realize however, is that a website is a valuable, and still highly relevant, marketing source. Consider the following reasons why…

1. Your website is often the first impression for a new customer

Buyers today are more informed than ever, due in extremely large part to the web. One of the first things a prospect will do is look for your website. What if they don’t find it because it doesn’t exist? Can they find the information they want via social media? Probably, but is the short-form, and often bare-bones styles of social an accurate reflection of your business? Or would you rather have your potential customers’ first impression be a virtual lobby to your place of business?

2. SEO

Your prospect might be new in town and not know the exact name of your business, but you happen to sell what he is in the market for. Therefore you want to be on page 1 of his Google search don’t you? Of course you do. Having a current, updated and relevant website with keywords that are properly indexed will help your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and help your business get to those top results on page 1. Linking your site to all your social media and back will help improve your SEO as well. This will make you easier to find and keep your phones ringing and doors opening.

3. Ownership

YOU own your website. Facebook owns Facebook. Twitter owns Twitter, and so on. The social media platform(s) you use for your business is just that. It’s not your website. Sure you can have plenty of relevant info and photos on them, but the creative control you have is minimal, and the ownership is zero. With a website, it’s all yours.

4. Lead Generation

This is a no-brainer. A simple form on your website can give you the names and contact information of your prospects, instantly generating hot leads. Why hot? Because they sought YOU out. They came to YOUR site and took their time time to fill out YOUR form because they are interested in YOUR product or service. This is a much more effective and streamlined tool than sending messages through social, and it provides you with trackable data to be analyzed as part of, or in addition to, whatever analytics platform you use.

5. Relevance

If you’re a prospect looking for a certain product or service, and you come across a business that does not have a website, what impression does that leave with you? Will you be more likely to make a purchase from someone who has no site but a few Yelp reviews and maybe a Facebook page? Or would you rather invest in a business which is found on page 1 of Google that leads you to a slick, easily navigable website with all the relevant contact info, photos, and information on what you’re looking for? The answer seems fairly obvious.

Websites are still relevant, and they will keep your business relevant too.