The online world is more crowded than ever due to covid-19 and the eagerness for online services is at its highest ever.
Therefore online presence is crucial to your business. According to statista.com: In 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016.
However, if you ask most small businesses these days if they have an online presence the answer will be yes, but what sort of presence do they have?
Most think having a Facebook page, Instagram account, or lately a Tiktok business account is enough for their online presence.
Pros & Cons
First Let’s address the elephant in the room, why do small businesses start with social media platforms and not consider creating their own independent website for online presence?
The answer is that it’s easy and fast to get started on these social platforms.
- It is free “or so they think”.
- The short-term gains are more rewarding than a website in terms of instant reach.
Social media platforms are great for exposure, sometimes even free exposure, but this comes at a price in the long term if you do not balance between using social media and your independent presence (website).
On the other hand, setting up a website costs money, and requires more time and effort.
So naturally, it seems more rewarding and easier to just ignore having a website altogether and focusing on social media platforms.
The truth is, not having your own business website for online presence is a decision that has its consequences in the long term and as a professional entrepreneur, I strongly do not recommend it.
Related articles: Get a custom website with GoDaddy Website Design Service
Why is it important to have a business website for your online presence?
Over time as you grow your followers on social media platforms it will become harder and harder to reach them for free (without paid ads).
However, if you grow a direct marketing channel like an email list (Alternative on the rise: Telegram channel) from your website traffic you can reach them as much as you like with a fraction of the price you pay on social media to reach the same followers and you can reach them as many times as you want as long as you don’t annoy them.
On social media platforms, your content is obligatory to moderation by the rules of the platform and you must follow these terms that change frequently.
Your independent website has a better chance to appear in google search results if you take good care of your site’s user experience and follow best practices for search engine optimization (SEO)
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What to do?
Do both! Creating a website that represents your business is a must-take opportunity every business owner should take as early as they set up their business since aging is one of the important measurement factors to SEO.
Also, social media is still crucial since it’s a great tool to reach more customers and create attraction with your targeted customers.
Tips to follow to have a strong online presence.
The best practice steps to follow to create an online presence :
- Buy a domain name for your business.
- Create a website that attracts and provides value.
- Open accounts for your business on social media platforms to reach your target audience.
- Connect your site to search engines (Google Search Console) and invest in SEO.
- Invest in relevant content for your audience and publish it on your site regularly.
- Create short attractive versions of the produced content and share it on the platforms you chose and make sure it leads back to your site for the full version.
- Make sure your site has some sort of conversion funnel that helps achieve your business goals like signups or sales.
- Be patient and consistent as these steps will take time to bring back results but when they do it will be consistent, very rewarding, and very cost-effective.
- Utilize automation tools and post on multiple platforms at once and schedule work ahead.
- Hire freelancers to do the work if you can’t, it’s okay you don’t need to do it all of it yourself, you can decide on the strategy and allocate the work to someone better at doing it.
Rent a home or buy one?
ِِOne a good example of social media presence vs website presence.
social media presence is like a room you rent per night in any hotel. Although the price of renting one room is cheap, it’s a temporary stay.
However, having a website is like buying your own home. It might be costly at the beginning, but it is something that will last forever.
Finally, remember that investing in your online presence gives your business credibility.
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