Name a successful company. Easy, right? Now, name a successful company that does NOT have a website. Not so easy, is it? Oh, there are a few. They’re likely small, perhaps one-person businesses or mom-and-pop shops who’s owners are content to keep their business small. But if you own a company and you want it to grow, a website is essential.
Here are four reasons you need a company website if you want your business to grow. This article originally appeared on lightningstrikestudios.com. If you’re reading it anywhere else, it’s stolen. Please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 – A company website provides a primary all-in-one point of contact and information for your customers.
Most social media platforms allow you to post a few details about your company. But none allow you to post comprehensive information and to organize it the way you need to.
A company website saves your customers the hassle of trying to glean information about your company from multiple social media channels. That information can include team bios, case studies, white papers, and testimonials. It can include in-depth information about your products and services, beyond what would be practical or even possible on most social media platforms.
Your company website can list everything, in any order and in any format you wish. Most importantly, it can tell your customers how they can work with you.
2 – With your own website you’ll get your own domain name and a professional email address.
Imagine you receive an email message from John, who claims to work for Acme Inc. John’s message does not include a link to his website, so you do a search for Acme, but you can’t find their website. And John’s email address is email@example.com.
How likely are you to do business with John?
Having a company website with a matching domain name and matching email addresses instills more confidence than a generic Gmail or Hotmail address.
3 – Social media alone does not clearly represent your business; your message is diluted with everyone else’s content.
While on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn looking at your feed, your customers will likely see content and ads from your competitors. They’ll see content that has nothing to do with your business. Wouldn’t you rather have them focused on your content alone?
On your own company website you can direct your visitor’s attention as you wish, to specific aspects of your business. Want to highlight a recent win? Put a link on the Home page to your case study. Want to promote a new product or service? Link to the applicable detail pages.
Properly designed, your website can function like a friendly greeter, taking your visitors by the hand and leading them where you want them to go.
4 – Your company website gives you greater control over your message than you have on social media.
Imagine that something unfortunate has happened. Maybe it was the fault of your company. Maybe it wasn’t. In any case, people are upset and they’re voicing their displeasure on social media.
You try to respond on the same platform, as you should, but your response is not well-received. What should be a polite, respectful discussion deteriorates into a shouting match.
Of course, you can’t prevent people from posting negative comments about your business on their social media channels. But if your only web presence is on those same channels, the impact to your reputation will be amplified by those negative comments.
While you should still engage with your customers – even the dissatisfied ones – on social media, by directing the public to your own website where you’ve posted full and accurate information you can often deflect any negative interactions.
More Than Just a Website
A modern, responsive business website conveys credibility and professionalism. Customers expect a business to have a website. If your company doesn’t, it may cause your potential customers to doubt its legitimacy. And you could be left behind as more and more businesses are going virtual, reducing their static brick-and-mortar real estate in favor of a dynamic online presence.
It’s worth noting that having a company website does not eliminate the need for a strong company social media presence. They are complimentary, not competitive. Social media is useful in building relationships and interacting with customers, but it should be used as an adjunct to your website, not a replacement for it.
It’s also important to remember that your company website should not be a static document. You need to feed it with a steady stream of quality content.
Do you have a company blog? When you post to your blog, which you should do regularly and often, be sure to promote those posts on your social media channels to drive traffic back to your site.
A word of caution: As soon as it goes online, your website will be the target of attacks. And the more poplar it becomes, the more attention from hackers it will receive. So you need to keep your website backed up, secure, and up-to-date with the latest patches and fixes.
Hosting, design, ongoing content production, and security costs money. But don’t think of it as an expense. A well-designed, attractive company website with quality content is an investment that will draw customers to your business.
Does all of this seem overwhelming? You just wanted a simple website to represent your business, and now you’ve got design, content, and security to worry about. If you need help, contact us. We’ll get your company online and noticed, hassle-free.