There’s a good chance that you’ve visited a few websites in your time. If you’ve been on the Internet at all in the past decade, you’ve likely encountered a number of advertisements that read something like “Get your .com domain name now,” or “Start building your website today – no coding required!” After seeing a few of these banner ads, I’m sure you’ve thought to yourself “maybe my business does need a website,” and you start by signing up with some web host offering free website templates with their services and put together something resembling a website for your business.
Then nothing happens.
“Okay,” hypothetical you says, “that didn’t work. That was a waste of money.” Then, as you browse your Facebook feed one day, you recognize a Facebook page for a small business near you. Perhaps you visit their page, and see that they don’t have a website, yet their page and business appear to be thriving. “Alright,” you think to yourself as you begin to walk through the Facebook business page setup, “I’ll give this a try.” After a couple of hours you get it looking at least halfway decent, by your standards, and you continue to run your business while hoping that your new ‘online presence’ helps your business grow.
With free Social Media pages available, why have a website at all?
Many people fall under the impression that they don’t need to have a website for their business or, worse, that the Internet is a waste of time as a whole – social media, websites and all. More often, though, a page on Facebook is considered “enough” for a business’ online presence. But is it, really?
This is a common misconception. Facebook (and other Social Media channels) are an important part of your brand’s online identity, however a unique web presence for your business or organization provides you with many benefits, including:
1) Complete control over your brand’s image
Your social media business profile will have some customization options – logo & images, usually, paragraph descriptions, hours, and contact information. The overall brand of the website, however, will be Facebook’s brand, or Google’s brand, or Twitter’s… you get the picture. With a website that you own, it can look however it needs to in order to accurately portray the goods & services your brand provides.
2) Full Search-Engine Optimization (SEO) capabilities
SEO is possibly the most important benefit of having your own website. People are more likely to enter your business name (or something close to it) into a Google search bar than they are to write out your URL and go directly to your website. Without proper SEO on your website, they’ll find your business on Facebook instead, or on the Google map right alongside your competitors – if you’re really unlucky, your business name will have entries in online directories that you didn’t even know existed. (If you’re unsure if you have this problem, Schramm Marketing can check & standardize your brand across hundreds of online directories).
With good SEO on a website which you own, not only will you show up in Google searches for your brand, but also for searches related to your industry, services, and products – next to, and possibly above your competition.
3) A more reputable first-impression for your brand
If you’re not marketing your business online, you’re likely marketing your business in your local community networking circles. Imagine that you’re handing a potential new customer a business card for XYZ, Inc. – your business. Which do you think makes a better first impression when your customer looks at the email address: [email protected], or [email protected]?
Failing to show on your business card that you have a unique online presence for your business will mark your brand as amateur and behind the times.
This is the 21st century. Show your network and your clients that you are living in it with a website that you own and an email address with your URL at the end of it.
“So I need a website, got it. I’ll use a DIY service and save money”
Let me ask you 1 question: Are you a graphic or web designer?
If your answer is ‘yes’, then sure – go ahead, give it a shot. If your answer is ‘no’, consider this: no matter how awesome the templates are on the service you choose, you will still need to be able to choose the right words, colors, photos, and graphics to portray your business correctly. Many people who choose this route spend many hours trying to figure out the service they’re using, with its limitations & proprietary interface, and in the end still need someone else to do it for them. When time is money, this method often wastes both.
Your website is a critical component in a complete brand identity and marketing strategy. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, come and partner with a team who can help you with the whole process, including design, production, and search engine optimization of your website – partner with Schramm Marketing today.