The short answer? Yes.
I can understand why some feel they no longer need a website.
There are plenty of businesses who use Yelp, for example, as their sole source of lead generation — and they are earning a living wage from these environments.
They might wonder why they would need a website if their business is doing just fine without it.
I would argue that while they are doing okay without a website, they are missing out on opportunities to grow their business.
I admit, there may be an argument out there that could win me over where a business truly doesn't need a site. I'm open to the possibility for a tiny group of people.
For the other 99.9% of us, a website is a must-have.
For the 99.9%
What if something happens to, say, Yelp or Instagram and your booming lead generator all but dries up?
What if today's social giants change the rules for businesses in a way that makes it more difficult for your business to get seen?
Let's take a look at why, in 2017, businesses still need a website.
1. You need an owned digital asset that you control.
This is the number one biggest reason.
If your digital presence is strictly on Facebook, Instagram, or Yelp. etc., your content and your assets are held at the whims of the owners of those sites.
If they change the rules on how often people see your content, you have no say in this.
This is already happening, is it not? It is getting increasingly difficult for your content to be seen organically. But, if you've been building an email list, you have a direct line to the people who want to hear and learn from you.
2. You can use the analytics from your website for remarketing opportunities.
Don't hear me say that social channels and a social strategy are not important.
They most certainly are.
They amplify the message that starts from your site.
Use your website to gather insight into what your visitors are interested in and learn about behavior of a website visitor on their path to buying from you. With that information, you can remarket to your visitors through your email campaigns and social channels.
3. You have a professional front when networking and talking with potential clients.
There’s an initial legitimacy you hold when you give someone your website with a custom domain name.
Have you ever received a business card sporting a gmail—or worse, a hotmail account—for their business? And no website to learn more about them?
Sometimes, people are just starting out and they need to do this. I understand. But know that this can create an additional barrier to get past to be taken seriously as a business.
4. You lose opportunities to rank for search.
For most people, getting a website highly ranked through industry keywords will happen through:
- Regular publishing of helpful content with some strategic insight regarding keywords.
- Building relationships with others who link to you because of who you are and the value you provide.
Without a website, you completely lose this opportunity.
You may have a social channel filled with stellar reviews — this is great. (Well done!) But, your competitors will be found on this link as well.
On the other hand, what if your website were showing up when a potential client goes searching? That click lands the visitor, a now captive audience, onto your digital space where there is information about only you.
The best sites develop and strengthen over time.
It could be that you aren't feeling like your website is doing all that much for you right now. Maybe it's not. But it is still yours.
Over time, you can learn how to guide the visitor through well thought out pages, delivering them a great website experience strengthened with testimonials and real results that you have delivered.
Where do you fit in this? Do you think you still need a website in 2017?
To victories big and small!
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