Concept inspiration for logo, branding and website design for BRI Greece, by Reform.

Do I Need a Website or is Social Enough?

The digital marketing dilemma of our decade

December 21, 2020

Is your business very active on social media but doesn’t have a website? Do you have a site but feel that it is outdated? Are you wondering whether a website is actually worth the cost for your business?

Listening to the moguls in Silicon Valley, you’d think the website was a dying trade. Whether it be the old guard of Facebook and Twitter or the new kids on the block of Instagram and TikTok, social media dominates the web. Companies are compelled to set up accounts, pushing their services and products into new markets.

Going viral is the name of the game.

But as Mark Twain famously quipped, ‘reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated’. The same is true with websites: the spine of the internet.

Far from being innovated out of existence, websites are as popular as ever. Businesses that imagine they can stay afloat amongst the choppy waters of the internet relying on social media, do so at their peril. But a website will always be a hub from which their business is secure: an island in the ocean.

Not convinced yet? Well, here are the top reasons your business is in dire need of a website.

1. Searchability

Social media is like fishing. You throw your account out onto the water and hope a customer takes a bite. For local businesses, you’re relying on finding local people. It’s a shot in the dark.

But consider, when you’re looking for a specific product or service do you open Facebook or Google?

The answer is so obvious it’s become a verb. You Google it.

Being high on the search rankings with a website can transform a business. It’s instant success. When people want something, you’re a click of a button away. Considering 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine, you don’t want to miss out on the action. After all, almost half of the searches are for local businesses. Having a well-tailored, SEO (search engine optimized) site is the key to connecting with your customers.

2. Build Your Brand

Once they’ve found you, your website does the talking. Marketing every aspect of your brand, it can sell potential customers on your services. It acts as your very own digital business card. Your storefront to the online world.

Americans spend, on average, 23.6 hours online per week – the numbers aren’t much different globally. Giving potential customers ample time to discover your brand.

Social media accounts are useful for generating buzz and excitement. But they lack depth. It’s hard to describe the totality of your business in 140 characters or a photo on Instagram. Websites give your space to breathe and establish your business ethos and brand.

3. Local Websites for Local People

When searching for local businesses, search engines are the first port of call – 4 out of 5 people use them for local information. Around 88% of those customers intend to call or visit the business in the immediate future. Being ready and available with a website will get you that sale.

Moreover, when searching via a smartphone, Google will give preference to proximity. If your business is local, then you’ll pop up at the top of the rankings. Without any effort at all, your website helps your network with your local community.

4. Expand Your Market

Given the buzz, you’d imagine everyone has a social media account or is hooked to their Instagram account, looking for new businesses. Not so. There remain large swathes of internet users without social media – or who use it infrequently. Devoid of a website you are cut off from these potential customers.

Considering your competitors likely have a website – 64% of small businesses have websites – you’ll be missing out on the custom.

Plus, even if you’re relying on word of mouth, you’ll still need a well-made company website – most people won’t recommend businesses with poor mobile sites. On the other hand, a beautifully-designed site is a perfect opener when customers recommend your company. It gives your instant credibility.

5. Effortless Communication

The key to good communication is to embrace the active and the passive. Social media accounts take effort. Everyday they require fun and exciting posts. They’re as much a product as your actual business. However, there’s no doubt that companies can yield significant benefits from such active communication. It helps drive traffic to a website and improves your overall ranking. But you can’t answer every message nor respond to every customer.

That’s where the passive communication of a website comes in. Websites are effortlessly accessible: twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. If customers have a question, your site can hold the answers. If they need to place an order, sites can even host shops. It allows you to stand toe-to-toe with industry giants.

Websites place you in the driving seat. You can set the message and shape the narrative. By selecting everything from the design to the wording, you can stamp your website with your identity.

The Power of Web Design

Having a website is a start; having a well-designed website can lead to a rapid rise in business. In one survey, 75% of consumers admitted to judging a company based upon the quality of their website design.

With increasing numbers of sites and services available, you need to hold people’s attention. Using homemade sites from WordPress or Wix is no replacement for a professional web developer. First impressions count.

Customers who arrive at your site, need to be greeted with a professional image. They need to trust that you can deliver the services you advertise. That you have a passion for your business. Doing so won’t just secure more customers; it will also ensure loyal customers.

By understanding these five key features of web development, you’re ready to start enjoying the benefits. Don’t put off building a quality website. Invest in your future. Here at Reform, we’re ready to help.

December 21, 2020