Despite the emergence of social networks and local listings websites have continued to be the cornerstone of the internet. Here are five reasons why having a website is more important than ever in 2019.
1. You need to be in control of your own data.
If you've been paying attention to the news the last year than you already know Facebook and other companies have been in a heap of trouble for sharing your data without your permission. It turns out people don't want information about themselves to be sold to the highest bidder. When you send people to something like a Facebook page, Instagram page, or Google Places page you're setting your customers up to have their data harvested. When those companies don't respect that data it hurts your customers and damages your reputation.
In addition when you use free tools like Facebook, Instagram, and Google they're the one's who are controlling your customer data. So they end up knowing how much your customers are willing to pay for your products and services. They know where your customers are coming from and how they find you. They use all of this inforamtion against you by raising their advertisement prices to the maximum you can afford to pay. It's crazy to think all of the information we let companies like Google, Instagram and Facebook have about the customers we work so hard to get. All in return for saving a few bucks by using their 'free' product. We need to be thinking about what's the true cost of using those products.
2. You need a central hub for your online presence.
Chances are you've created a Facebook page and a Twitter page for your business. There can be some value in doing that. For example, it's hard to get those first few links to a new website and linking social media back to your website will help it get crawled by Google. But once again you need to be in control of your channels. Having a scattered presence across the web is confusing to your customers. They don't know where to go to talk to someone or buy your products and services.
When you create a website you're creating a centralized hub that can link to all your online listings and vice-versa. This will help you direct customers to where they need to go to get their questions answered and buy your products and services. This also gives you control over the way your brand is displayed and helps ensure your customers are conducting business with your official website.
3. You need to be in control of your funnels and workflows.
Websites are a huge help when it comes to conveying information about your products and services. They give you the opportunity to create workflows for people to get answers, learn about what your selling, and ultimately do business with you. They also give you the opportunity to do things like create customer expectations and the experience they have with your business.
If you're relying on things like Facebook, Instagram, and a Google Places listing for people to find your business, you're not going to be in control of the their experience. They will. That leads to unclear customer expectations and inconsistent experiences with your company. Somewhat ironically at times those same problems result in negative reviews left on those same channels.
4. You come off as serious and professional instead of cheap and unprofessional.
When I'm looking for a service onlne and I find one that doesn' t have a website I'm immediately turned off about that business. A website seems like the first thing you'd create if you were a serious business. After all someone who is good at what they do will be in demand. People who are busy working need websites because they can't afford to answer the most basic questions someone might have personally.
The only reason I can think why someone doesn't have a website is simply because they're uncommitted to being in business or their too cheap. And if I'm hiring someone for a service I'm more concerned about getting the job done right and on time than I am about getting it for the lowest price. After all you can pay someone a few bucks to cut your hair, but you're not going to have a hairstyle.
Websites aren't expensive to build. Here at WebStarts a business can create a website for less than $100 per year. It doesn't require any special skills either, so there's really no financial reason someone shouldn't have a website. It's cheaper than ordering business cards.
5. Its' still the best way to get found online and offline.
The final reason you still need a website in 2019 is the most obvious. A website is still the easiest way to get found online and offline. Whether people are finding you when they're searching Google or they meet you in person. Giving someone the address to your website is the best way for them to get more information about your product or service, get in touch with you, place orders, or whatever business objective you have. It's discrete, non-intrusive, and efficient. It's really the best way to do business.