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Do You Need a Website When You Have Social Media?

Website or Social Media?

In several of my posts over the next few weeks I will be talking about how to market your business online, from the role of a business website to the marketing tools and sites that will help you build your reputation and competitiveness (like facebook business pages – scroll down to see that post).

Chris Green, web developer for Design Web Studio, has shared this article with us on why you might need a website.  Many thanks to Chris, a friend from LinkedIn!

There is much talk these days on whether a business needs a website, what with social networking sites like facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Some people advocate that that’s all you need.

Social networking sites are places you go to promote your products, services, skills and expertise; in other words to let the world know about you and to keep your name in front of all the potential customers you can possibly reach.  The trouble is, when you run your business from these platforms, they are limited with regard to what you can say and how you can say it.

Incrediflix

A professional look adds excitement and energy

When someone actually needs your product or service and wants to learn more about your company, that’s where your website comes in.  Your potential customers will want more details about what you sell, and you want to tell them your features and benefits.  If you have an actual store or office, they need your address and map.  If you want them to make appointments or call to ask questions, they need your contact info. The best way to deliver that info is via a website devoted solely to you and your wares. Customers will  find you easily by either clicking on your web link (that you had in all of your social media posts) or use a search engine like Google.

In real world terms, your website is like your shop or office –  the place your customers go to buy your products and/or services. It is your base where you do all your marketing and selling without having to be very careful to keep your content brief and non-salesy like you do in social media sites.  Everything should stem out from your website and filter back to it – it is the focal point of your business, and all your social media marketing should be directed back to it.

Your website is your marketing tool, and just like any business, it needs to stand out and be competitive. The image of your website is crucial.  A professional and attractive design can convince customers that you sell a top class service or product – you can look as large and competitive as any major business.  (Or sometimes the opposite is true — you may want to look like you are the cheapest, most discounted product available, but even that takes skill, especially if you want to have an online store.)

website design

Chris Green’s website design is clean and clear

Just like businesses that have physical locations, the décor and ambiance of your business should be incorporated in your website. Off the shelf websites and social networking sites are okay for non-technical people to start their web presence, but if you are serious about getting customers and selling your wares, you will need your own custom-designed site — not just to make your business stand out from the crowd of competitors, but to use the advantages of good SEO (search engine optimization) to get you to the top of the search lists.

Web designs can come in all shapes and sizes

Web designs can come in all shapes and sizes

Another very important ingredient of your website is engagement.  On your site you need to engage your visitors and tell them about your products or services in detail and in a friendly manner.  It’s no good just to say who you are and what you sell; this should already be done through your social networking. You need to talk with your website visitors, explain exactly what they get from your products or services, and engage them using plain English — techie talk or abbreviations can make your visitors feel overwhelmed or worse, not understand what you are saying (and feel stupid to ask).

There are two core factors which you should always consider when you are promoting your business online:

  1. Linking back to your website. To get good high quality links back to your website you need to actively use social networking to its fullest extent.  All of your social networking content should produce links back to your website and consequently improve your search engine ranking position, making you more competitive
  2. Up to date content. Search engines constantly look at your site’s content to see how relevant and up to date it is.  If you constantly update your content you will further improve your search engine ranking and your competitiveness.  (You can even use a blog like this one as part of your website so that you can post something new every few days.)

The whole point of an online presence is…

       *to market your products or services,

       *to build up your reputation,

       *to make it easy for potential customers to find you, and

       *to actually sell your products. 

To make this happen, you’ll use keywords and search engine optimization (SEO) targeting your website so that when a customer searches for products and services that you sell, they will be directed to your website and not your competitors. Then you’ll engage your customer, make sure they understand how great you are, and sell!

Once again, thanks for tuning in!   If you found this post helpful, please subscribe and

help me spread the word by sharing with your friends….

You’ll also want to read Chris Green’s excellent article on Getting the Perfect Website Design plus how to spend only $350 for a Great Website

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