While social media is a powerful tool for businesses to engage with customers, it cannot be a substitute for a website. With a website you can:
Increase search engine visibility – People tend to search using keywords in search engines like Google. They type “Italian restaurant” for example and expect to find recommendations in their geographical area. Facebook pages or other social media profiles don’t necessarily show up in those searches and can’t be optimized for this purpose, but relevant website content does. Furthermore, you can control how content appears in these searches through effective website Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Control and own your content – With a personal website, small businesses have total freedom and control over what’s posted on it: how it looks, what content is being published, etc.. A well-designed website makes you look professional since you don’t have to adhere to the limitations found on social media. You have control over your marketing messages and call-to-action buttons. With this freedom, you can experiment and improve the user experience for your visitors and increase your conversion rates, things that directly impact your revenue. You are also the sole owner of the data posted on your website, no-one is going to profile you or target online ads based on what you post on there – your data, your rules.
Customize your site look – With a website, you can customize your tools to match your business needs and maximize success with the audience you reach. You can add features to your website like a shopping cart, contact forms, booking tools, and build an email list to launch a newsletter.
Direct sales and therefore increased profit margins – social media aside if you sell through other channels this will usually involve some kind of profit share or flat fee, adding up to the business costs and decreasing your profits. Having your own platform where you can offer in a direct manner your products and/or services is a great way to increase profit margins.
Trustworthiness and credibility – today user trust is quite hard to gain. One study found that only 21% of online shoppers would risk closing a deal with a business that doesn’t own a website. This means that even if you have other channels to sell your products/services, it would be much harder to convince the potential buyer to trust you.