When it comes to starting a new business, many of us head straight to the social media platforms that best suit our audience and ply our trade from there. Whether the intention is to direct existing and potential customers to an online store, or simply promoting our services in some manner, social media platforms have revolutionized the way businesses and brands interact with the consumer.
It wasn’t so long ago that the only way to promote anything online was to have a website. It was one of the first moves any business made in the online space, as the other options for digital promotion were extremely limited. With the rise of social media platforms and the huge reach associated with them, websites took a back seat, as small businesses ploughed all their efforts into these new platforms and their potential to reach the customers these new business ventures needed.
This is still the case for pretty much everyone trying to make a success of any online business, but many are starting to realize that the importance of having their own website never went away, and there are some very good reasons for making sure you have a great looking website, one that responds quickly and specifically adjusted to the device it is being viewed on. For the aesthetics, plenty of website builders are available these days (many of them are extremely simple to use), and If you’d like to gain better traffic to your site, it must load quickly. Performance optimization is the most important factor here so make sure you pick the best web hosting provider for it. it’s significant to own a website that runs fast and displays the entire content of the pages on your site, that way your visitors won’t get frustrated and look for alternatives.
Put your eggs in multiple baskets
Perhaps the most important reason you should have a website for any business, is that relying on social media platforms alone, is a rather foolhardy way of plying your trade. Some platforms are not going to be around forever, while others can change their ToS (terms of service) at will, meaning that you could find yourself disconnected from your users and potential client base in the blink of an eye. A quick look at the current news will show you that even the giant social media platforms (we are looking at you TikTok) can be even be banned from (sometimes) entire countries, leaving those who use them for business, blowing in the wind.
Now, it isn’t likely that Facebook or Twitter are going to be banned in all but a few countries, but there is a separate issue regarding their ToS that may well cause you grief. The same goes for anyone using Amazon as the main outlet for their product, or other similar digital marketplaces. If you fall foul of a current, or yet to be decided term of service, your account can be suspended, or even revoke in its entirety. ToS are there to cover these companies in the event of misuse by users, but it isn’t without precedent that these tripwires can fell even the most diligent of new businesses.
So how do you avoid the perils of social media platforms and digital marketplaces? You need your own website. Having a website can insure you against any problems that may occur that we mentioned earlier. This doesn’t mean you should avoid using other platforms, on the contrary, use them to their fullest. But having a website as a hub for your business products or services is a good thing on many levels.
Discoverability and trust
The aforementioned insurance policy against removal from another platform being top of the list, but also, it just makes your business seem far more legitimate than those without. Most consumers will trust a business with a website far more than one that only resides on Facebook. There is also the fact that having a website that is constantly updated will also push your brand higher in the search engine rankings (SEO is hugely important for discoverability), alongside the fact that you can develop your brand in a far more customizable way than if you use other platforms alone. Sure, you can upload a banner, and put up a few pictures here and there on your Facebook page, but to show the world just what sort of company you are, a website is infinitely more powerful.
Finally, there is also the important fact that not everyone uses social media. For a whole host of reasons, some people do not want to be part of the social media revolution, and it is also worth noting that not all social media platforms are growing in numbers either. To reach those who are not present on a platform, you need a more ubiquitous way of showcasing your wares, and there is nothing quite as ubiquitous as your own website.
Websites are far cheaper to host than they used to be, and substantially easier to build too (using some of the drag and drop template website builders). With so much going for them, and no drawbacks to speak of, websites are a ‘must’ for any new business looking to increase traffic, build a brand, and gain the trust of any potential new customers.
Even in the modern era of digital marketplaces and social media, your social media accounts can act as lures, but your website should be the hub of your online presence, those who ignore the need for one can find out the hard way, as to why it is best to get one implemented as soon as possible.