In today’s social-media-rich world we all live in, you may be asking, “Why do I even need a company website anymore since I’m doing everything to drive traffic to my social media pages to try and build a community there?”. I’ve actually been asked some variation of this question quite a few times by business owners over the last few months and the answer may strike you as interesting:
Some things in marketing never change and this is one of them. Your customers always want that warm, fuzzy, inviting feeling of your sales center, or “home base”. The place where they can go and they immediately know what they’ll find, where its located, and how it will benefit them. For some, it is simply because they are intimidated by social media sites and don’t know how to use them. Don’t get me wrong, building a huge online community on Facebook and Twitter is great, but always keep in mind that your customers see value in also having access to your company website. It may be for accessing your brochure, directions to your physical store/office, reading more about your company, or downloading digital media such as podcasts or white papers. So while this may be difficult for some of you more tech-savvy folks to understand, there is still a huge percentage of the public that sees value in reviewing a company’s website before doing business with them.
Building a huge Facebook fan base is great, but who really “owns” those connections? I would argue that Facebook owns them more than you the business owner does because they are the ones that get to benefit directly from marketing ads to them (from other companies, by the way) and if/when Facebook ever changes its platform or goes away entirely, you’re left with nothing. On the contrast, when you capture visitor’s contact information voluntarily on your company website, those are essentially your customers that you get to market your products and services to indefinitely (unless they opt out of your email correspondence, of course). Ask any real marketer and they’ll tell you that “owning” a big, exclusive database of your customers and prospects is worth its weight in gold. Again, there is obviously a ton of benefit in having thousands of loyal fans on your Facebook Business Page, but don’t lose sight of the fact that technically Facebook owns your fans just as much as you do. Also focus on growing your email list through your company website and you’ll be able to cultivate that growing list for new deals forever!
In Google’s last algorithm change, they claim that a lion’s share of the bogus backlinks had been wiped out. In plain terms, the “cheating” that had previously been used to boost many sites to the first page of Google search results has been put to an end. So what does this mean to you? This means that legitimate ways to get found on Google have been made even more powerful and effective. Specifically, writing a well-crafted blog post about each of your products and services can often appear as a search result on Google. If you get into a good habit of writing Google-friendly blog posts on a regular basis, each of those links that now appear in Google search results act as a mini-advertisement of sorts. You can create a powerful blog for free using a platform like WordPress and that blog can even be attached to your existing company website so you can fully benefit from all of that new traffic. This type of powerful “search engine marketing” strategy cannot be built on any social media network and this is one more reason why its important to still have a company website as part of a well-rounded marketing strategy.
Author Joe Karns is a marketing guru with Chicago based Forward Progress. Contact us today for a free consultation on why you still need a website in 2014 and specific strategies on how we can help you leverage your website to grow your business.
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