Beyond Social Media: 15 Reasons Your Business Needs a Website in 2023
In today’s dynamic digital landscape, having a dedicated business website remains paramount despite the abundance of social media and online marketplaces. Here are 15 reasons every forward-thinking business needs to invest in a website, regardless of company size.
Cultivate Your Brand Authority and Identity
A website serves as the digital headquarters of your business, a platform where your brand identity can shine without the constraints of uniform social media profiles. It’s a canvas where you can paint a complete picture of your brand, showcasing your values, mission, and unique selling propositions.
Having a custom domain is akin to owning digital real estate. It signals that you’re serious about your business and are here to stay. It also makes it easier for customers to find you online and remember your brand.
A unique, professionally designed website further enhances your brand’s distinctiveness. It allows you to control every aspect of your brand’s visual identity, from the color scheme and typography to the layout and imagery. This level of control helps ensure a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints, which can increase brand recognition and loyalty.
Moreover, a website provides a platform to demonstrate your expertise and authority in your field. By publishing high-quality content—such as blog posts, white papers, and case studies—you can provide value to your customers, build trust, and position your brand as a leader in your industry.
A strong brand identity can be a powerful differentiator in the digital sphere, where competition is just a click away. And a website is one of the most effective tools for building and reinforcing that identity.
Take Command of Your Online Presence
Maintaining control over your online presence is crucial. While social media platforms offer valuable opportunities for outreach and engagement, they come with limitations. On these platforms, you’re essentially a tenant. Their rules and algorithms bind you, and any changes they make—whether it’s a tweak to the news feed algorithm, a redesign of the user interface, or even a shutdown of the platform—could significantly impact your visibility and audience reach.
Moreover, your followers on social media are not truly yours. If a platform decides to suspend your account or a user decides to stop using the platform, you could lose your audience. On July 26th, it was reported that the newly branded “X” – formerly Twitter, started reclaiming user handles that contained the letter x and renaming them without consent. Imagine if you had spent thousands of dollars marketing a particular handle in both print and digital, and it was taken from you overnight.
Conversely, a website is a digital asset that you own and control. You’re not just renting space; you’re building your own property. This means you can design the user experience, optimize for search engines, and implement marketing strategies tailored to your business needs. You can decide what content to publish, how to present it, and how to guide visitors toward a conversion.
Furthermore, a website provides your audience with a stable, reliable point of contact. No matter what happens to any social media platform, your website will always be there. It’s a digital home base that your audience can return to again and again.
In short, while social media can be a valuable part of your online presence, a dedicated website is essential for maintaining control and stability in the ever-changing digital landscape.
Catering to All Customer Segments
While social media has a broad user base, it’s important to remember that not all potential customers are active on these platforms. Many people, particularly those in older demographics, still prefer engaging directly with a business website. They appreciate the convenience, security, and direct communication that websites offer.
For instance, older generations who may not be as comfortable navigating social media platforms often find websites more straightforward and user-friendly. They can easily find the information they need, browse products or services at their own pace, and make purchases securely.
Moreover, a website offers a more personalized shopping experience. Customers can create accounts, save preferences, and receive recommendations tailored to their interests. They can also contact your business through contact forms, live chat, or email, which isn’t always possible on social media platforms.
Websites also offer more robust security features, which can reassure customers about the safety of their personal information and payment details. This is particularly important for online purchases, where trust plays a significant role.
While social media can help broaden your reach, a website ensures you’re not missing out on potential customers who prefer a more traditional online shopping experience. This underscores the enduring relevance of websites for e-commerce, catering to the preferences and needs of all customer segments.
Narrate Your Brand Story Without Restrictions
Websites offer the flexibility to share comprehensive information about your business, services, history, team, and portfolio. Unlike social media, which imposes space and format limitations, a website provides an unrestricted platform to weave your unique brand narrative. Your only limitation is your imagination.
Harness the Power of SEO
Websites offer the opportunity to fully optimize various elements—URL structure, page titles, descriptions, headings, alt text, site architecture, and page speed—all critical for improving search rankings. Social media platforms, on the other hand, offer limited SEO capabilities. A website built with SEO best practices inherently provides a competitive edge.
Demonstrating Your Business’ Legitimacy
In the digital age, having a dedicated website is a crucial indicator of your business’s legitimacy. While social media profiles can provide a snapshot of your business, a comprehensive, well-designed website signals a serious, established business. It shows potential customers, partners, and investors that you’ve invested time and resources into building a digital home for your brand.
A website also allows for more extensive branding than social media platforms, helping to build your brand’s identity and reputation. It provides a platform for showcasing your expertise through blog posts, case studies, and other content, further enhancing your credibility.
In contrast, businesses that rely solely on social media risk appearing less professional or established. They may also miss out on opportunities to reach customers who prefer to engage with companies through their websites.
While social media can be a valuable part of your online presence, a dedicated website is essential for demonstrating your business’s legitimacy in 2023 and beyond.
Leveraging Valuable Analytics
Websites provide access to comprehensive analytics through tools like Google Analytics, offering insights into traffic sources, visitor behavior, conversions, and performance. These insights are instrumental in optimizing your website, marketing strategies, and overall business approach.
Enhancing Your E-E-A-T Score
Websites offer complete control over improving their Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) – key ranking factors for Google. You can optimize these factors through high-quality content, robust policies, security features, and more, something that social media platforms cannot offer.
Diversifying Your Digital Presence
Relying solely on social media is a high-risk strategy. If a platform shuts down or changes its policies, you could lose your entire online presence overnight. A website acts as a safeguard, ensuring your digital presence remains intact regardless of the fate of social media platforms.
In an era where mobile internet usage is prevalent, having a website optimized for mobile devices is crucial. It ensures a seamless user experience across all devices, something that cannot be fully controlled on social media platforms.
Integration with Other Marketing Tools
Websites can be seamlessly integrated with a wide range of marketing tools and platforms. This integration streamlines your marketing efforts and provides a more personalized experience for your customers.
A website can grow with your business. As your operations expand, you can add new pages, sections, or features to your website, which is much harder to do on social media platforms with their more rigid structures.
Inclusivity and accessibility are more than just buzzwords; they’re essential components of responsible and successful business practices in the digital age. A well-designed website can—and should—be made accessible to people with disabilities, ensuring that everyone can interact with your business online.
Accessibility involves a range of considerations, from color contrast and font size to keyboard navigation and screen reader compatibility. By implementing these and other accessibility best practices, you can make your website usable for people with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive disabilities.
This is a good practice from a moral and ethical standpoint—it’s also beneficial for your business. Making your website accessible can broaden your audience, improve your SEO, and enhance your brand’s reputation. It shows that you value all of your customers and are committed to providing a positive user experience for everyone.
Moreover, in many places, web accessibility is a legal requirement. Laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in Canada require businesses to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities. Non-compliance can result in legal action and fines.
Investing in web accessibility is not just the right thing to do—it’s also a wise business decision. It ensures that your website is truly for everyone, reflecting the diversity and inclusivity of the online world.
Opportunities for Content Marketing
While platforms like Patreon, LinkedIn, or Medium allow you to publish content, doing so primarily benefits these platforms. They earn revenue from your content, and they control how and when it’s displayed. Moreover, the audience you build on these platforms is not truly yours. If a platform changes its rules or shuts down, you could lose access to your audience.
In contrast, a website provides a platform for publishing blog posts, white papers, case studies, and other types of content that you control. You decide when and how to publish your content and reap the full benefits of your efforts. This can help establish your business as a thought leader in your industry, attract organic traffic from search engines, and provide value to your customers.
Moreover, the content you publish on your website can be tailored to your audience’s needs and interests, helping to build a deeper connection with them. It can also be optimized for search engines, helping to increase your visibility and attract more visitors.
While third-party platforms can be part of your content strategy, a website is essential for maintaining control over your content and reaping the full benefits of your content marketing efforts.
Mitigating the Risks of Platform Dependence
In the fast-paced world of social media, new platforms can emerge and gain popularity rapidly, potentially drawing users away from existing platforms. If you’ve heavily invested in a particular platform and a significant portion of your audience migrates to a new one, you could find your reach and engagement levels dropping overnight.
For example, consider the launch of Instagram’s social site, Threads. Threads could potentially draw users away from Twitter (X) as a direct competitor to Twitter, impacting businesses that have focused their social media efforts on that platform.
Having your own website mitigates the risks associated with platform dependence. Your website is a stable, reliable platform that isn’t affected by the rise and fall of social media trends. It ensures that you maintain a consistent online presence and can continue to reach your audience, regardless of which social media platforms are currently in vogue.
While it’s essential to keep up with social media trends and go where your audience is, it’s equally important to have a constant digital home base amidst the ever-changing social media landscape.
In Conclusion: The Enduring Relevance of Websites
In the ever-evolving digital landscape, having a diverse online presence is crucial. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter (now named X), content-sharing sites like Medium and YouTube, and e-commerce platforms like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon offer valuable opportunities for outreach, engagement, and content marketing. They can help you reach new audiences, build relationships, and enhance your brand’s visibility.
However, these platforms should be seen as complementary to your website, not replacements for it. While they offer various benefits, they come with limitations and risks, from lack of control to potential loss of your audience due to platform changes or shutdowns.
Your website, on the other hand, is a digital asset that you own and control. It’s a platform where you can fully express your brand identity, engage with your customers, showcase your expertise, and sell your products or services. It’s a stable, reliable point of contact that is always accessible to your audience, regardless of what happens to any social media or e-commerce platform.
In 2023 and beyond, a website remains an essential part of any business’s online presence. So, while exploring and leveraging the diverse opportunities the digital world offers, don’t forget to invest in a robust, user-friendly, and accessible website. It’s not just a digital home for your business—it’s a cornerstone of your online success.