You might be wondering if you need a website for your business, and the quick answer is yes. I’m a web designer, so I’m sure you’re not surprised I said that! 😉 But maybe you’re wondering why.
Maybe you’re already selling your services on Instagram and doing okay for yourself. Maybe you’ve got enough of a word-of-mouth line of referrals that your inbox is staying nice and full. And to that I say- congrats! You’re killing it.
Buuuuut… you still need a website. And let me tell you why!
Let‘s get right into it.
Anyone can make an Instagram page or a Facebook page. They’re free! A website on the other hand, is not free. At the very least, you have to pay for a domain name and hosting, and put in time to create it. Just the fact that you had to put time, energy and money into your business gives you a sense of legitimacy to a potential client who otherwise may not be familiar with you!
And this might be a hard truth to hear, but if you’re solely running from an Instagram page or another social media– you’re treating this venture like a hobby not a business. Let’s be honest: if someone doesn’t have a website, it gives off the vibe that they’re maybe a little more new to the game than they maybe actually are! Established businesses have websites.
Put yourself in your potential client’s shoes. If you’re searching for someone to work with, and every brand you’re checking out has a website that gives in depth information about their services, includes testimonials and case studies and gives you a super easy way to contact them, except for one, which do you think will be the first crossed off their list?
A great website = an established, credible business. Period.
And hey, let’s be honest: having a gorgeous website is kind of a status symbol too. Everyone loves to be ooh-ed and awed over sometimes, even for our digital presence!
Your website is actually one of the few platforms you actually can own online. Your email list is another, but that’s a post for another day.
What exactly do I mean by ‘own’? I’m glad you asked!
I mean that your website doesn’t depend on the whims of others. It contains content and information you can easily uproot and take elsewhere. It operates on your terms, and no one else’s.
Take Instagram for example. Hardly a month goes by without people complaining about the change in the algorithms (like the recent change from 30 hashtags being optimal to just 3-5 that has everyone up in arms). When the algorithm changes, your content is at risk. I’ve seen countless accounts say that their reach dropped dramatically seemingly overnight despite putting out the same high quality content. And to a certain extent, you have no control over this.
Facebook is another culprit. Years ago, just having a Facebook page and being active was the golden rule. Nowadays, Facebook is a very pay-to-play platform, requiring monetary boosts behind your posts to show it to anyone who follows your page.
Now. I want you to close your eyes for a second and imagine if you’d built your entire business strategy on selling on Facebook, and now you need to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month to get your content in front of the audience you already freakin’ built for yourself!
And absolute worst case scenario, imagine if you built your entire biz on Instagram and one day the app decides they’re shutting down (rip Vine). Because yes, that is a thing Instagram/Facebook could theoretically decide to do one day.
You can choose to collect emails for an email list. Or you can choose to blog consistently to reach a wider audience. You have the power to choose to invest in SEO to improve your Google search ranking. You can choose to invest in a gorgeous brand and website that has your dream clients dying to work with you. It’s all your choice.
Your website will always be a place where you can connect with your audience, and serve as a place where you can direct people to, to make sales. And that will never change from some guy in an office in San Francisco deciding the algorithm needs an update today. It will only change when and if you want it to.
As I mentioned in #2, you can choose to use your website to create content and build SEO. These are powerful, powerful strategies that can result in long term, sustainable growth.
When you make a post on Instagram, or Facebook, it’s relevant for what? A couple of hours? Maybe a few days at the most? And once that time runs out, the platform will no longer push that post out in front of people. That piece of content that you spent time and energy creating will become totally irrelevant, unless someone decides to randomly scroll back through your old content.
But when you create content on your website and SEO optimize it? Oh baby.
That piece of content can be recommended to people for months and possibly even years to come, all thanks to our old friend Google (does anyone else remember Ask Jeeves?! No? Okay).
Most likely, you already share incredible, useful info on Instagram, but it’s not searchable. Once it’s a few weeks old, odds are high only a handful of people will even see it. Put that info in a blog? And it’ll come up on Google for years, or be pinned to dozens of Pinterest boards. It makes your content timeless and it will grow your audience with less effort.
How many times have you been tossing and turning, unable to sleep, so you pull out your phone and just start Googling everything under the sun? Just me? Okay. Noted.
But seriously- in your sleep people could be googling questions like the very ones you have answered on your website. People on the other side of the earth could land on your page, 8 months after you published it, with zero extra effort on your part. That’s pretty amazing, right?
And it all starts with having your very own website.
And by brand, I don’t just mean ‘logo’ or ‘color palette’.
Your brand is how people feel when they interact with your business. It’s your reputation, your vibe, and the way people talk about your business to their friends.
Social media will only give people bits and pieces of the full picture, and oftentimes, in a disjointed way that they have to piece together themselves (like having to click through a million different stories in your highlights just to know what you actually do, or who you serve, or see your past work).
Your website can show off your voice, through the copy (written content!) on your site. It can tell your story on your about page, and what that means for your ideal clients. Your website can lay out exactly how you can help people, in a detailed services page, full of testimonials and examples of your past work. And most of all, your website can swiftly and smoothly guide people where they need to go- your ‘book now’ page.
And while your website is doing all of that? It is also showing off your aesthetic, exposing people to your logo, your colors, any graphic elements associated with your brand. Whether they realize it or not, your website will give them a really dang good understanding of who you are, and if you’re their kinda people! (Which is why it’s so important to make sure your brand strategy and web strategy is on point, but that’s a post for another day).
A good website will be working overtime to show potential clients just how awesome and original you are. It will seamlessly communicate what you do, why that matters, and what your brand values.
So there you have it! If you weren’t convinced before, hopefully you are now with these 4 reasons you need a website in 2022! Websites are such a powerful piece in your marketing plan.