In the age of mobile apps and social media, it's easy to fall into the thinking that a website isn't as important as it once was. As a business owner, you may even be thinking about forgoing a website altogether and simply sticking with your social media accounts. However, although consumers do have a lot of options these days when it comes to finding products and services online, there are still three big reasons why a website is not only helpful, but essential to your digital marketing strategy.
1. A website gives you authority. It can be difficult to establish trust with consumers online, but having a well-constructed and authoritative website can go a long way toward building that bridge. In fact, a study last year by LSA and YP showed that nearly a third of consumers won't even consider a business that doesn't have a website. It's a matter of demonstrating expertise, authority, and permanence - regardless of what else changes on the internet, your own site should be the one place where people can always find you, and find out about you.
2. Your social media pages aren't really yours. In recent years, many businesses have chosen to rely on their social media accounts, and particularly their Facebook pages, as the cornerstone of their internet presence. But what happens when your entire audience hinges on a social media network, and then that network starts making decisions that negatively affect you? Social media sites can change their algorithms without warning, create rules that restrict your ability to market effectively, or even disappear off the map entirely. In short, social media sites don't offer enough stability or control to be your entire internet presence, and to make matters worse, they also own and control the data they collect about your visitors. When you drive traffic to your own website, however, you are and always will be in control of all of these factors.
3. Your SEO depends on your website. It's no secret that search is essential in connecting consumers with business, and that means SEO makes a big difference, especially if your business relies on finding customers who are local to you. According to the 2017 Moz survey of local search ranking factors, all ten of the top factors for organic search ranking are related to websites, and particularly the authority of a website, which is particularly difficult to establish on a social media page. You need your own domain and independent content.
4. You get more bang for your marketing buck. Are you still spending money to send out printed brochures and promotional materials? While there may be a few very specific instances where this is still beneficial, it almost always makes sense to put the information on your website instead. More eyes can see it that way, they can access it whenever they like, and best of all, you can make updates and changes whenever you want without having to throw away a stack of outdated brochures.
5. It's the home base that connects everything. Social media sites certainly have their place, but your website is the true center of your online presence. You can display your products, provide informational or educational materials, and demonstrate your expertise in your industry. It's not just for your customers, either - a website can also serve as a resource hub for your employees and a showcase for potential partners or investors. Anytime people need to know what you're about, the first place they'll look is on your site.
Even in 2018, the message is clear: don't skimp on your website! Creating an authoritative, autonomous space where customers can find you is always important, and should be a major factor in your digital marketing.
Cogo Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and nationally.