Online marketing is becoming a critical tool for businesses to generate sales. Quite interesting, because just a few decades ago, a lot of companies were quite hesitant putting a lot of money online. The view back then was more, “Why would I need to have a business website when I don’t have any plans selling online?” Back then, that was actually a valid question. However, the times have radically changed.
Google forever altered the game with their sophisticated search engine. Amazon just blew up as an online reseller, and social media got more and more people online. Just think about it, the internet reached its 1 billionth active user in 2005 and is now on track to reach 4.5 billion users.
Way before the boom of social media and online retailers, having a website was your best bet to have an online footprint. The number of online sites has grown by leaps and bounds ever since the internet was made public. Can you imagine that in 1992, there were only 10 websites on the internet and now that number has grown to about 2 billion as of today? That is a truly amazing feat!
However, there is a disconcerting trend about websites that we should discuss. While there are billions of sites nowadays, the number of active websites are just north of 170 million. This means that there is a massive chunk of websites that have no activity or are not even built yet.
A considerable part of this trend could be attributed to the rise of the above mentioned social media and large online resellers. Some companies feel that using these sites kills the purpose of having a business website. So they either stop updating and promoting their websites or not build one at all.
This is a huge mistake as a website is still extremely useful in today’s online market. Let’s explore the various reasons why not having a website can mean a death sentence for your business.
The Dangers of Not Having A Business Website
You Won’t Look Legitimate
Even if you have a social media profile, customers are still going to check if you have a website to just feel comfortable about your brand. This feeling of ease is especially true if you have a great looking site. Customers will just trust you more if you have a fully functioning website complete with updates.
I mean think about it, most consumers would like to know more about your brand before trusting you with their hard earned cash. Without a website, it is going to be difficult for them to check up on you.
You Will Get Left In The Dust When It Comes To Search
Google search is so important when it comes to online marketing. While it is still possible to be seen in Google even if you do not have a website (granted you are part of the local listings) you will really have to ask yourself as to where your customers will go once they click on you?
As I stated above, customers are leery in doing business with you if you do not have a website. Websites act as the main showroom for your business. Without that, your customers might check on your competitors who have a site and looks more credible than you.
Plus, websites with a lot of great content is still the best tool you can have to propel your SEO efforts. If your site has a rich content of blogs, videos, pictures, community, etc. then there is a more significant chance that Google will start ranking you higher. Without a website, it might be a bit tough to get that coveted top page result on Google.
Your Customers Won’t Pay Attention To You
If you have customers going on your website, chances are they are going to stay in there. When it comes to having your own site, other distractions won’t be much of an issue. Compare that to Facebook, where customers might go to your page only to see a paid ad that takes their attention away. Plus with all the games, messages, and updates hovering around, it might be a bit tough for your customer to focus on your brand.
And if you are banking on online retailers, well keep in mind that your competitors are probably there. Customers will see their products right next to yours. They will be able to compare prices, reviews, looks, much more than if they were on your website.
You Will Have A Much Less Effective Email Marketing
So, you do email marketing yet you do not have a website? Well, you better need to rethink that strategy. Because over 50 percent of email campaign responders go to that brand’s website. That’s a massive chunk of wasted customers!
So if you are thinking about doing email marketing, then think about creating a good website first!
You Are Missing a Low-Cost Advertising Opportunity
A website won’t cost you as much as let’s say a billboard or a TV spot. With proper SEO and a treasure trove of site content, having a website is as effective as traditional advertising.
Plus it can be a goldmine of valuable insight on your customers. Just use an analytics tool on your website. Find out what your customer likes, what they don’t, how much they spend on your site, etc.
You Can’t Rely on Social Media That Much
Social media has grown so much that it will be wrong for your brand not to have any presence there. However, relying on social media has its drawbacks. A big one is, what if social media starts changing their algorithms and rules and it directly affects your business? The answer is that there is not much you can do about it.
Remember the website Multiply? Well, it used to be big as an online marketplace. Years ago they shut down and was never seen again. Can you imagine if your whole livelihood was based on that site? You will have to do some massive restructuring, and all your marketing will have to restart somewhere else.
A website protects you from moments like this. When a social media site shuts down or changes some of its policy that affects your page. When that happens, your loyal customers will always have your website to go back to.
Your Online Branding Won’t Be As Effective
Even if you have an presence on all social media platforms, your branding will still seem incomplete without a website. It will be difficult to stand out in the crowd of social media pages as the interface remains the same for everyone.
Standing out is extremely important for businesses. That is why companies like McDonalds and Nike pay a lot to have unique store designs and packaging. A website allows you to show people what your brand is all about.
Don’t Turn Your Back On Your Business Website!
Creating a lasting online footprint for your brand is becoming easier and easier now that there are large platforms like social media and online resellers out there. However, as listed above, having a website is still essential in today’s online marketing landscape.
So don’t forget about your site! Give it some TLC, and fortify your branding on the web!