25
Jan

In this first part of the series on Why You Need A Website For Your Small Business, Toyin Alagbe, a Website Developer with over six (6) years of experience shares why small businesses shouldn’t depend solely on social media to reach their potential audience and advertise their businesses. You can watch the first part of the series or read excerpts in this article. 

WHAT IS A WEBSITE?

A website is your story or business on the global market. For people to know about your business or what you do, they either have to travel to physically access or contact you by phone. But with a website, you can put everything about your products and services without having to call you, it is the first contact your potential customers have with you.

DOES HAVING A WEBSITE MEAN YOUR BUSINESS  AUTOMATICALLY APPEAR ON GOOGLE?

There is a process to this, when you build a website, you need to tell Google what your website, you basically CRAWL it on Google Search Console, by doing this, Google gathers information about your website such that when people search your business name, it automatically pops out on Google search results.

Another way your website can show on Google is if/when your business has a Google My Business account. For example, when you search for Supermarkets near me, a list of supermarkets around the location you are at pops up. Some of them may not have a website but because the locations have been marked on Google, they are easily searchable. Now, imagine if they claim their business on Google and link their website to the Google My Business page, it increases their ranking on the website.

If you are not sure why your business needs a website, below are five  (5) major reasons why you should consider building one

1. WHY DOES MY BUSINESS NEED A WEBSITE WHEN MY SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS ARE ALREADY SHOWN ON GOOGLE SEARCH

Okay, let’s use this scenario,  imagine you sell fashionable wears and items on Instagram and I go to Google to type in CASUAL SHOES for men, your page will never come up in the search results,  the potential customer needs to search your business name in the Google search bar for your business to pop up in the result.

Having a well-optimised website not only makes your business look professional but also helps your business rank for keywords in your sector and makes your business look legit.

2. HAVING A WEBSITE SEPARATES YOU FROM SCAMMERS

Many Instagram and social media shoppers have been victims of countless scams from Instagram sellers/vendors with many followers.

If you have a business with a website gives you autonomy and choices. You can add as many items you want, categorise your products and services, add review pages and many more.

3. SOCIAL MEDIA ALGORITHMS ARE NOT IN YOUR BUSINESS FAVOURS

Another reason why you should consider having a website is that social media algorithms change all the time and they are not in your business’s favour.  For instance, a Facebook page with 100,000 followers will most likely reach about 500-1000 followers each time they publish a post, except of course they run an advertising campaign, 90% of their followers or potential audience won’t see the page.   This is also applicable to Instagram, posts don’t appear chronologically and it may take a follower between 2-5 days to see a published post on an Instagram page.

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4. YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES CAN BE DEACTIVATED ANYTIME.

If you run your business solely on social media, your page can be taken down if you violate any of the platform’s policies. If you post a copyrighted picture or video and it is reported, your account be deactivated and you lose all the followers and audience you have accumulated over the years.  THIS IS VERY BAD FOR BUSINESS.

5. YOU ARE A TENANT ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS  – YOU DON’T OWN THE SPACE

I can’t count the number of pages that have backup pages.  The best analogy to use for this is that these social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) are landlords and you & your business are tenants.

Lastly, social media platforms have been set up to make money. So the algorithm most likely doesn’t work in your favour. So imagine Twitter and Instagram go down for 10 days, does that mean your business will also be down for the number of days?

You need control for your business online, your website is meant to be the virtual house of your brand.

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HOW MUCH SHOULD A WEBSITE DESIGN COST?

Well,  there is no rule as to how much a website design should cost. In fact, you can design one for yourself if you have the time to learn the skills.  You can also reach out to professional website designers to help you create a befitting website that suits your business brand and fit into your budget. Find out more about this in the next article. 

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