Social media is big. Recently, a new study by Local Search Association found that if small businesses had 2x the budget on marketing they would spend it on social media. Last year, this answer was SEO, however, as social media has become so popular, businesses don’t see the importance of websites let alone SEO. Capital One conducted a survey of 400 small businesses and discovered that only half of them had a company website. On top of this, fewer than 30 percent of business surveyed had a mobile-optimized website. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I like a website, similar to the enjoyment of reading a physical book rather than a kindle. I don’t think a Facebook page will give your customer the same information about your business as a custom website.
This is the first reason, your small business needs a website. Often times there are a lot of good people out there that do what you do, but your comparative advantage is the experience you give your customer, every time, consistently. Everyone has a Facebook page, that looks just like yours with more or less “likes”, it’s not the same as custom website that has been crafted for your company and for your marketing goals. A custom website that has been strategically planned out from its font selection and typography, photography and messaging will make your business stand out on the web. On mobile each button’s location is debated over how intuitive it is or how easy it is to tap on a mobile device. I’m not alone though. According to research conducted at Stanford 46 percent of people say a website is the biggest determinant of whether of not they trust a company. So, if you don’t have a website you just lost a fair amount of business from the start. With the rise of technology, a lot of things have changed, but information has only grown, people check at least three sources before they make an opinion on your business or you make a sale. Research from YP and LSA found that 30 percent of consumers won’t consider a business without a website.
Social media is still big. I recently started following Wendy’s on twitter because, well their clever, but I haven’t eaten there in 10 years or plan to. My point being, twitter is fun, SEO on the other hand, well, it can be confusing and a moving target. However, BrightLocal found that 95 percent of consumers use search engines to find local business. Facebook pages won’t show up above most websites that have been built well, because Google doesn’t care how many likes you have, Google sees you as every other Facebook page. While on the other hand, a carefully crafted custom website can influence Google to list you in their top results for your location and specialty. So, even though sometimes SEO can be confusing, and not very fun, its important and vital for your business.
There are many reasons why a small business might not have a website or maybe you’re not sure if your business needs a website. Facebook pages are safe, Instagram is easy, but I would like to challenge you to rethink your digital marketing strategy because 63% of consumers use websites to find or engage with your small local businesses. Social media might be more impactful, and it is sure easier to update and maintain, but social media is more effective to compliment your business as a glass of wine is for your steak dinner. You could just have social media be the face of your company, but it seems to lack some depth, some meat.