Can Your Business Excel Without a Website?
Back in 2010, my business partner and I began a small outfit designed to help companies of varying size enhance their online visibility, mainly via the means of social media. At that point in time, Twitter, Facebook, etc. were somewhat enigmatic. Many were skeptical of their true value and if I had a dime for every time someone said “Isn’t that just where I post what I had for lunch?” to me when I attempted to explain the direction social media was heading, I’d have a cubic shit ton of dimes.
One of the first steps we took when partnering with businesses was to analyze their current activity and presence. That didn’t take long. Remember…this was 2010. Many businesses weren’t utilizing social media the way they are today, if at all.
But what always took me for a loop was the number of businesses that were operating without a website. It seemed downright nuts to not have ANY presence on the platform where people spent the most time. Social media was still in its infancy in regards to a viable marketing platform, but not having a website seemed counterproductive as more consumers were ditching phone books in exchange for search engines.
Now, with 2018 right around the corner and several more years under my belt, my views, as well as the Internet, have changed. I firmly believe in social media presence and feel the effective use of these popular platforms is paramount to a company’s success. So strong is this belief that I feel businesses can replace the need for a website altogether as long as their social media presence is on point. Yep, I said it.
There’s some evidence to back up this ridiculous theory of mine. If you Google search a business and they have a strong social media presence, those profiles will rank right alongside their website. There’s also an argument to be made that people get the majority of their information from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. directly versus a direct search on Google. Not to say Google’s value is diminished whatsoever, but having content in front of people on the networks where most of their time is spent can be more powerful than a website.
Now, here’s the caveat: relying 100% on social media means you don’t own the platform. If Mark Zuckerberg woke up tomorrow and said ‘PSYCHE!’ and took Facebook down, you’d find yourself in quite a pickle if this was your biggest means of communication. While this scenario is extremely unlikely, it’s best to take steps towards ownership of your presence and building it in multiple facets.
Today, other than e-commerce sites that provide direct-to-consumer sales, I look at websites as brochures. They deliver info. They show where you’re located. They can sell your product. But by and large, most of them are not interactive. The best way to build interaction through your site is A) add a blog and create content consistently revolving around your company, industry, and products or B) operate your business from a blog platform (i.e. WordPress) exclusively. Newer blog designs and templates allow similar functionality to a website and creating new, engaging content will help your search engine presence as well. Plus, you have built-in material to share through your social networks, thus bolstering their presence as well.
Another wise move is to build your email list. If Facebook and Instagram and Twitter went away tomorrow and you still maintain the ability to communicate with your audience via email, you won’t miss a beat.
If you are just getting your business started or beginning to focus more attention on online presence (recommended), consider leading with a blog platform and incorporating your company’s mission and information through its pages. Begin establishing authority by generating worthwhile content connected to your industry and build your social platforms through a combination of this and other relevant content.
If your website has established solid presence and generates great traffic, don’t try to fix what ain’t broken. Consider adding a blog to your page to push your presence further and shift your focus towards establishing strong communication lines through the top social media platforms.
Are you looking to develop a better social media and content creation strategy? We should probably grab a beer and discuss further. Contact me today and let’s get started!