Why do I need a website when I have a Facebook page?
When you are in a web design business, there are many questions that get asked. One of the questions will inevitably be “Why do I need a website when I have a Facebook page?” A valid point you may think considering Facebook is free. So why should you shell out money to pay for a professionally designed website, seeing that there are currently 65 million businesses (October 2017) that have Facebook pages.
But the truth of the matter is:
Nowadays potential customers use "Google" instead of phone directories, you therefore have one opportunity at making a lasting impression. Even a poorly designed website will be better than having no website at all, as this will hurt your brand and credibility. 85% of consumers use google to find the product or service they are looking for. I have heard many people saying “if I can’t find a website for a company I don’t use them as they don’t have credibility with me.” When it comes to google ranking your Facebook page you may find that your rank is pretty high in Google search results, but the question is: Will your customers use the Facebook link to connect with your business?
Not everyone uses Facebook and I have some friends that have no profile or have deleted their profile from Facebook, many people have become anti-Facebook for whatever reason, so if you only have a Facebook business page you are now losing potential business to people/businesses who do not have Facebook pages. A lot of companies have also blocked Facebook on their networks to discourage employees from wasting time at work. Therefore during those business hours you will have a drop in visibility.
Another question that you have to ask is: Is your Facebook page delivering the sales you need or could you do with a boost? With the Facebook algorithms changing constantly is your business growth sustainable? When you have a website you have the flexibility to build links and in addition to this create content. These are two major components of SEO. Then we may need the reminder that you are bound by all of Facebook’s rules and terms and conditions when you sign up for a Facebook page. Not long ago Facebook announced it owned all of your content on your pages which created total public outrage.
Your website is your silent salesperson and represents your brand. Websites offer more brand identifiable freedom, Facebook limits you in your colours, fonts and way you can display your content. A customised website allows your business to stand out from your competitors by utilising your brands identity.
Facebook places limits the amount of words that you can use in describing services whereas a website has no limit. There is a limit to one post that you can pin at the top of your page so therefore if you post your product information as a post then as time goes on the post goes down the line and the information gets “lost” especially if you are posting once a day or 3 times a week. It is better to send a client or potential customer to your website to download your product sheets and to view the product information page then to tell them to go and look at Facebook. Many people under estimate the power of mailing lists. If you have a blog or a newsletter which people can subscribe to via your website, you are able to grow your database of clients who have been to your site and are interested in your products or services. If you have visitors to your webpage that don’t necessarily follow your Facebook page there is no way of contacting them directly.
With Facebook you will struggle to increase your visibility organically without paying for Facebook adverts. The stats in 2015 were that approx. 2% of the posts you post on your Facebook page are being seen organically. Out of these fans or followers only 0,1% actually engage with your post. Since then the algorithms have changed dramatically in January – May 2016 there was a 42% drop in organic reach. It would be interesting to see the stats in 2017. Most of the small business entrepreneurs I have been in contact with have complained about their posts having zero to very little interaction in 2017 compared to previous years.
You won’t have any of these issues if you employ a web designer and get professional SEO to get your business ranking where you want it to be. I won’t deny that one of the first things I tell our clients is to open a Facebook page as it is a great social media site for business and important in expanding their digital marketing strategy which is what you need for business. However, this should not be your sole form of digital marketing, your Facebook business page should drive traffic to your website where you can turn a lead into a conversion.