Even though Facebook is always finding ways to be more valuable to us, that doesn’t mean it can replace the modern day website. Being that you care about optimizing your brand on the web, you probably already knew that. Those serious about their web presence understand that the seduction of rented land is just that; seduction. Even though it may be tempting to go all in on free services with plenty of value doesn’t mean we should. Because of how useful social networks are, it can be easy to forget why we don’t let them be the one place to be discovered online.
Here are a few reminders why you shouldn’t let Facebook become your website, no matter how bad they want it to be.
You Want to Control Your Brand
As robust as Facebook is, relying completely on Facebook for your digital presence limits how you can control your brand considerably. How your information is displayed and the accessibility to that information is completely dependent on the platform itself. While information like store hours and location are available, a website provides an opportunity to provide greater value to your customers through call to actions and customization that better communicates what you do and how you do it.
A website is the digital version of your storefront and brand personality. Some will visit for the first time, some for the fifth time, some for the fiftieth. Wouldn’t you like to serve each one how they deserve to be treated? Think of when you meet someone for the first time at a local event. Whomever you meet at the event will create assumptions about who you are based on what happens at the event, but that isn’t the whole story. A website provides you with the ability to educate new people about your business while delivering a different value to those who are back for more.
You Want Your Audience Informed
People go online to find information about something in particular. If you rely completely on Facebook to communicate to your audience, chances are not all the information is getting out there. Perhaps you remember when Facebook changed their algorithm and significantly reduced organic reach for business pages. If you’re relying on a few recent posts to communicate the variety of things your business is about, you’re not reaching as many as you think.
The world wide web is all about communication, and your website is a valuable communication tool that can build lasting relationships. Restaurant menus, portfolios, lead pages, blogs posts, and newsletters are just some of the content that you can use to engage your audience and deliver value; a value that leads to dollars. Your website provides this information in an organized format that is user-friendly and helps lead people not only where you’d like them to go but to where they can be most satisfied with your brand.
You Care About SEO
Before Facebook, there was Google. Chances are you have probably Googled something today, and Google likes websites. Sure, your business can be discovered by search engines as a standalone Facebook page, but that isn’t always reliable. When people search, they want to be sure they are getting quality information from the source that is relevant to their needs. And believe it or not, they aren’t always typing in your business name. They’re usually typing general terms that will yield a variety of high ranking results. Because Google wants to deliver valuable, reliable information, they’re looking for websites first.
While directory listings from third-party sources can rank in search engines, they are best used when they complement your web presence through your website. Our Local SEO and Listings Service reveals inconsistent information on these services for local businesses that hurt local SEO. Think of it this way, your website is your home on the web. When search engines know that you care about your audience enough to invite them in, they work harder to introduce you to them. Think about what your potential customers could learn from you when you allow them in your own digital “living room”. Going out to dinner with friends is great, but having people you care about in the comfort of your own home is truly special that builds relationships like no other place can.
You Know Why Customers Make Online Purchases
It’s not simply because you’re there with something to sell. It isn’t because they like your page or boosted a post. It is because you’ve met a need, eased a pain, created a fabulous product, have an amazing service AND earned their trust. Trust is the determining factor that rings the register. With the large audience Facebook has, it seems logical that setting up shop on the platform itself would be the answer, but not so fast. Brands have closed their Facebook stores shortly after opening in favor for their e-commerce websites after not experiencing the return on investment.
Why? Because while everyone trusts Facebook with their information, they don’t necessarily want to exchange money through the app. While social networks are certainly used to build trust with audiences and foster greater customer experiences, your website is the trusted storefront for the transaction to occur. Once you control that experience, you have the power to engage them via email on your terms, not Facebook’s.
If you’d like to learn more about our web design services, please send us a message!