In a word, YES. But that wouldn’t be very good for our SEO, would it? So let’s see why websites are still mega important.
It still surprises me how many times I get asked “do I still need a website?” or I’m told “we do most of our business through social media”. Maybe it’s because I’m old school or maybe it’s because website design and development is our bread and butter but I believe websites still play a critical role in your online presence.
Here’s 5 reasons why I believe websites are still king of the castle (and will be for a very, very long time).
First and foremost, Google is still the 1st stop for literally millions and millions of people. There are 3.8 million searches per minute performed on Google every single day. The likelihood of a new customer searching your business name is minimal, so you need to be found for something less specific than “Jimmys Lemonade Bangor Northern Ireland”. A more likely first search will be “Refreshing Drinks near me”.
To be found for a term that broad is almost impossible via social media and although your business Facebook may rank on the first page, do you really want the first impression of your business on a new customer to be your latest social media post? (More on that later!). You have control of what you’re found for by managing your page titles, meta descriptions, URL slugs and page content – something we can help with.
As well as all of that, Google LOVES it whenever you use their products. I’m talking Google Analytics, Google Business, Google Tag Manager, Google Maps and of course Google Ads. The more you use their products, the more they prefer your site over someone who’s not promoting the Google brand – again not possible via social media!
I mentioned in the previous point that if you only have a social media account, the first impression of your business may well be your last post. Some of you may be thinking “I”m OK with that” but what if you’re in the middle of a 4 week long campaign and it makes no sense to them? What if it’s something as innocent as your latest work but it doesn’t showcase to the prospective client the range of work you can offer? You’ve likely lost them.
The difference between social media and your website is that you can control the content seen by your users, take them on a journey and offer them a whole stack of content without having to worry about them only seeing one tiny portion of your offering.
Websites are made to be explored, made to spend time on and made to control the user flow. Social media, is quite the opposite of all of those things and you can get lost in the noise of your competitors very easily. Peoples attention span on social media is also drastically different than when they have spent the time searching for your business and are more likely to read the content you put in front of them.
Social media has always been (and always will be) about trends. Trends are not a long term thing… it’s what the world is doing for those few weeks that everybody else is doing. So not only is it short term, but it’s also crowded and repetitive and ultimately not sustainable to grow your brand message.
A website doesn’t rely on “trends” to be popular or to be seen. Sure, there are design “trends” but they dont change every few weeks and they arent done by everyone, they’re much more subtle and actually don’t suit every business and they certainly don’t directly improve your visibility on the internet.
Not relying on a 3rd party
This, for me, is a big one. Who remembers MySpace? Bebo? Vine? None of them exist anymore and with a huge decline of users on Facebook, it’s now not the giant it used to be. So what does this mean? Move everything to Instagram? No – because 1 day it too will slowly but surely start to dwindle and ultimately it could be “switched off” without a moments notice and guess what you can do about it? That’s right, absolutely nothing!
Your website however, is not solely reliant on one 3rd party. Although does rely on a “3rd party” in terms of your server to host it, you ultimately own the files and it can be hosted anywhere should your host decide to pull the plug but the likelihood of this happening is minimal and all of the hard work and hours spent building your SEO score and adding content is not lost.
Leading on from the previous point, another important factor of not relying on a social media platform for everything is that you can tailor your website to have specific functionality to fit your business needs rather than the other way round.
Facebook, Instagram (and the rest) offer set functionality which fits into their application. What if you need something more like a subscription based service or a paid members only resources section or what if you want to display your products in a particular way? None of that is possible with these third parties but with your website, you are in full control of not only the functionality but the design, layout, flow, experience and content shown.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-social media but I am definitely pro-website. Websites have been around for a very long and social media comes and goes. Ultimately, it comes down to experience and control. With social media, both of those things are completely out of your hands; from how they find out, what they see and what they do whereas on a site, the journey can be guided from start to finish and you can get your business personality across to new and existing customers in the way you want.