I counted my browsing history just now. Yesterday, I visited 598 pages in my Chrome browser. This includes various sites such as this one, Google Analytics, Facebook, and a whole lot more. And this one doesn’t include my browsing history in Safari and on my phone.
Why is this significant? Because despite the rise of social media and home speakers, I still visit a lot of websites. And I don’t think of myself differently. My guess is you do the same thing too. That means, we’re all relying on various websites to get through the day—whether that’s working, checking email, finding information, and doing what needs to be done.
In a business context, a website is a prerequisite.
According to Wikipedia, a website or web site is a collection of related network web resources, such as web pages, multimedia content, which are typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server.
I’m not going to discuss the technical aspects of having a website. There are already tons of resources out there explaining that. What I’ll write about is the only reason you need why you need a business website.
THE Real Reason Your Business Needs a Website
I spoke with a lot of business owners over the last 5 years. One thing they have in common is they hesitate on creating a website for their business.
They argue that they don’t need it because their business is doing okay. They have a following on social media and is continuously growing. They don’t really have customers online.
Well, that’s short-sighted thinking.
The problem with this kind of thinking is you assume that other people are different from you. Which, if you think about it, simply isn’t true. We all use the internet. We check different websites to get the information we need. We google questions to find answers.
What makes you think that your customers don’t do the same thing?
Unless you’re market is in the most remote parts of the world where there is no internet access, then sure, you don’t need one.
If You’re Not on Google, You Don’t Exist
The biggest reason why your business need a website is if you aren’t found online, then your customers can’t find you. Most business owners argue that having a social media account is enough.
But that can’t be farther than the truth.
Let me ask you a question.
When was the last time you were searching for information and did not use Google or other search engine to look for answers?
If you’re in a country with access to the internet, the answer is probably never in the last 5 years. Sure, you might have asked a question on Facebook or Twitter, but it’s mainly because you want to create some sort of engagement around your brand. Not to really find an answer.
Now, do you think your (potential) customers are that different from you?
If you answer yes, then you’re out of touch with reality.
Yeah, people browse continuously scroll through their Instagram feeds, but that’s not how people find you.
Other Reasons Come Second
I’m not going to list a bunch of other reasons and statistics why you need a website, because really, it boils down to whether or not you can be found by people.
Remember, the purpose of a business is to create a customer. If you aren’t serving them, then you’re serving yourself.
Focusing on your customers is the best way to differentiate yourself in the market. If you don’t have a website, that means you are losing for the battle for attention.
And in case you didn’t know, attention is limited. It’s a zero-sum game. That means you don’t just compete with direct competitors in your industry. You compete for everything else —Netflix, Spotify, YouTube. Everything that competes for the attention of your potential customers are your competition.
Without a website to act as the hub of all your online activities, everything will look fragmented.
Relying on social media limits you to what you can do—from branding to reach.
That’s why the phrase “pay to play” is used to describe sites like Facebook since the algorithm limits your reach to ~5%. With a website, it’s fair game. All you need is follow these three principles to succeed in online marketing.
Over to You
Everyday, people use the internet. If you are not present in that process—by not having a website or a proper hub for your online presence—you’re already fighting a losing battle.
No matter what your business or industry is, a website helps you generate business, promote goodwill among customers and prospects, and deliver strong marketing messages.