Does your business really need its own website?

You may have noticed me talking about social media a lot lately. You may have also noticed me refer to ‘brand pages’. It may also surprise you to know (it surprises me) that there are still businesses out there that do not have a social media presence or their own website.

Sunday, 10th May 2015, 3:07 pm
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

With more people than ever reaching for their smartphone, tablet or PC to search for information on businesses and services in their area, it is imperative that businesses maintain an active presence online.

However, given that social networks like Facebook and Google+ allow you to have brand pages, the question I find myself asking on your behalf is this, do I need a website for my business?

In short the answer is, yes!

Here are the reasons why.

When you have your own website, you generally have your own domain name too. If you haven’t, go and get one quick! Anyway, domain names are important in that you can link them to your company brand. This will usually be the name of the business, making it easy for people to remember. For instance I have for my business. Nice and easy to remember, plus I can include it on business cards and advertising with ease. Another benefit to having a domain name and your own web hosting, is that they usually come with your own email hosting as well. That is great for promoting your website, because every email you send will be a reminder of the domain name.

Anyway, domain names are one thing, but there are other reasons why you need your own website. Like owning your own content. There have been a string of concerns relating to copyright issues and social networks, but that isn’t the only problem. What happens to all of your magical content and your faithful following on a social network if the creators decide to shut the doors for good? It has happened in the past and I am sure it will happen again. With your own website you do not have that worry. If your web host decides to close it’s doors, you just choose a different host and move on. Nothing is lost.

Another important point to remember is that search engines generally have a hard time crawling content on social networks, the exception being Google Search and it’s integration with Google+. So if you want to be found via search engine results (whether it be Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo or one of the others), your own website is a must.

I mentioned branding already as it relates to domain names, but as you may have guessed by me mentioning it again, there is more. If you have your own website, a web designer has total freedom to create an experience that uniquely reflects your brand. Social media brand pages on the other hand may offer you some scope for personalising your page, but not much. It is much easier to stand out from the crowd with your own site.

Those are just some of reasons why you should have a website. Others include freedom to create the content you want on your own site without restrictions imposed by a third party, ability to go in depth and provide rich content and so on. If you haven’t already got a website for your business, you really need to consider getting one soon.