When you start a small business, often you try to cut some corners. One of those corners that we see is often the website. A common response I hear is: Why do I need a website, I already have a Facebook page. And for some businesses that may work well.
But there are some limitations to having only a Facebook page. Let’s dig into those limitations and help you to better weigh your needs of a website. From budget to control, look at the reasons behind why every business needs a website.
Facebook has created a platform for the masses. But with that comes quite a few restrictions. Every page you create will follow the same template as every other page. Sure, you can change your logo and banner image. Adjust some buttons and sections here and there. Yet, your page is still one in the sea of others.
A website offers the exact opposite. From a design perspective, pretty much anything is open to change. While there are some awful designs out there, the ability to create will give you freedom. This freedom brings total control of your brand. You have choices from how it looks to what content you post on it.
Loss of Control
Businesses are scrambling to decide what to do about their page with the recent news. Facebook’s new direction on the news feed leaves a lot many questions on what it will mean for businesses. With an emphasis that is less on business and more on friends, you may not show up so well there in the future. And it is already projected that ad spend will go way up to compete.
But this is something you have much more control over with a website. Yes, Google and the other search engines will be sorting your site into the sea of others. But with a more impartial eye. Facebook drives revenue from ads, so if they lessen organic reach, you might spend more. Google, while still selling ads, provides the service first. They know that if the service is good, you will spend more time there. And to them, time is money.
Facebook, while getting better, still restricts much of the analytics data. The info you can get from your page is very limited. This, in turn, makes it hard to get your page targeted to your ideal client. Since the platform is the point of origin, you cannot speculate where your clients came from. Or determine how they found you.
A website changes all this. With installed analytics (we use Google) you can get down to the nitty-gritty. This allows you to learn quite a bit more about your visitors. It can help you to target proper keywords and easier re-targeting campaigns. And those extra data points are all tracked back to something specific on your site.
Low Organic Reach
Your Facebook page is one in a sea of others. Since there are few spaces to put any text it can be very hard to rank a Facebook page and gain organic reach. You also cut down on the number of spaces that you can put your website address for organic reach.
For example, when you create a directory listing, many ask for a Facebook page and a website. This gives you a reach of two instead of one. The more ways people can find you the better. And the backlinks count towards Facebook only, if all you have is a Facebook page.
With a website, the content is all yours. No shared pages, and no generic backlinks. Every link you get is yours and yours alone. While Facebook has a leg up in size, your website can be nimble and outpace the cookie cutter behemoth.
Limited selling and services
Facebook has added the ability to sell products through their platform on your page. But it will never be the same as having it on your own site. The range of control is not there. Plus, do you want to pay a slice of everything you make to Facebook, or keep it for yourself?
A website allows you to add all kinds of features that you could not do with Facebook. It is not only shopping carts. You can add booking, various contact forms and many ways to pay. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. With so many options, I can’t even begin to name them all.
Could a Facebook page do the job? Sure. Will it stack up against a full well-built website, stocked full of content? No. In the end, it comes down to the ability to control your content, who can see you and when. Do you want the control and ease of ranking? Or do you want something easy, with little to no maintenance, that might not be doing anything for you anyway? The choice is yours.