Do Small Businesses Still Need A Website?

21 Oct 2016
Alan Martin

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With the plethora of social media channels and publishing platforms available, for the budget conscious entrepreneur looking to boot-strap whenever possible, it can be tempting to think that you don’t really need a website any more.

That would be a big mistake however, and here’s why!

Simply put, a website and a social media account such as your Facebook Page do different things.

Why Do You Need A Website?

Apart from the fact that your customers will likely expect you to have a website, a website is a place where potential customers go to:

  • Find out your contact details
  • Find out detailed information about your products/services
  • Buy from you (if you sell online)
  • Read customer testimonials
  • Find out about the people behind the company – experience etc and the type of clients that you serve

This list is not exhaustive but I am sure you get the picture! A website is the place that your customers go to get facts about your company.

You also need to build a content hub, somewhere on the internet where you can store your content assets in one place, and benefit from search engine optimisation.

What About Your Facebook Page?

A Facebook Page on the other hand is for:

  • Creating awareness of your business/products/service
  • Establishing a dialogue with customers and potential customers
  • Creating relationships and a sense of community
  • Getting to know the people behind the brand and their personalities
  • Establishing trust and credibility through sharing useful information relating to your industry
  • Driving traffic to your website

Again this list is not exhaustive but I hope you can see that your Facebook page is more about engagement. It’s about establishing and building relationships and dialogue with your customers and potential customers, rather than providing them with the hard facts about your business. That’s the job of your website!

The big problem with focusing on Facebook, or one of the other social networks, rather than developing your own website is that you don’t own Facebook, so you are at the mercy of the frequent changes to the platform. That would be like building your house on rented land. Not a great idea!

Conclusion

I hope that you can see that you need both a website and a Facebook Page (feel free to replace Facebook with your network of choice) but it needn’t cost you a fortune. If you can’t justify using the services of a web designer and you don’t mind a bit of D-I-Y, you can set up a WordPress website quickly and inexpensively. For more on this, check out ‘How To Launch A Self-Hosted WordPress Website in 10 Minutes‘ on YouTube.

A WordPress based-website is a great alternative to the more traditional HTML based sites and you don’t need any coding to create one. 26% of websites on the internet are built using this platform so you are in good hands if you decide to go down this route.

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