To have an online presence: this is likely what many people would answer to the question above. Websites are often equated to web visibility. However, some would argue that establishing a presence online does not necessitate a website. Why spend time and resources on creating a website when you can just put up a social media page or a blog? Both are obtainable for free and don’t require any coding or technical skills.
However, there are compelling reasons why businesses need to have websites. As one team of experts in web design in Oxfordshire put it, social media pages are great for marketing and engaging with customers. It’s the website, though, that serves as the official online address of a company or business venture.
Websites are associated with credibility. Anyone can create social media accounts, but not many are capable of putting up and sustaining a website that exudes a sense of professionalism. Even search engines generally give more weight to websites compared to social media pages or sites created using on-the-fly website creation tools. Business websites that come with their respective domain names are perceived to have more authority over something like facebook.com/mybusiness or twitter.com/mybusiness.
It takes money, time, and effort to put up a decent website for a business, so not everyone does it. Those who do it are seen as the ones who are serious in creating their online presence and doing business. That’s why customers tend to have a more favourable impression of them.
It seldom happens that search engines put social media pages or free websites on top of search results. Your social media page or free website (something created with Wix, Weebly, or other free site creation tools) may only appear on top if you don’t have a website. This can be troublesome as somebody else may cyber squat on your brand. A competitor may register the domain name that could have been yours, create a website with it, and beat you in search results for keywords that use your business/brand name or products.
Another reason why it’s essential to have a business website is the absence of restrictions. If you have your own website, you can add any feature you want to it. You can achieve the aesthetics or appearance you prefer, not the same colour scheme and layout of the free platforms like the dominantly blue and dull look of Facebook. You can turn it into an online store with a shopping cart feature or just a simple site filled with information about your business and some pictures. You can even make your website more interactive by adding games or interactive elements.
Having a business website does not mean you will no longer have your social media pages or separate blog site. You can simultaneously maintain all of them. In fact, social media sites are designed to work with websites.
There are tangible benefits in having a website for your business. It’s not intended for vanity or just for the sake of having one. It creates a more credible online presence and helps protect your brand.