With all the free social media tools out there, you can get away with not having a website. With Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogger and all the rest you can have a full blown online presence and not even have your own website. But it’s not a good idea: A website is your online base of operations. It’s your online home. From that stable base of operations you can take advantage of all kinds of social media sites. But you always need a home. Here are three reasons why:
The number one reason to have your own website despite various social media sites is to offer clarity. Your website is all about you. You’re not sharing, borrowing or renting space from someone else. Your logo isn’t competing with Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. There aren’t ads for other businesses and organizations. You have the opportunity to make sure everything is exactly the way you want it.
At the very least your own website is a great way to introduce your business. Maybe all you have on your website is a simple introduction and links to your social media sites where the real action happens. That’s perfect because you’re offering simplicity. No one has to scratch their heads and wonder what you offer or click around to find what else you have online. It’s all right there. Bottom line: it’s easier to connect with your business.
The reason nobody really wants to think about is longevity. Having your own website is important because despite all the hype about social media sites, there’s no guarantee they’ll be around forever. There’s nothing to stop them from going belly up tomorrow and suddenly twitter.com/yourbusiness is giving an error message.
OK, that’s a worst case scenario and pretty unlikely. But what’s more likely is the slow demise of the current crop of popular social media sites. Many of these sites didn’t exist five years ago and who’s to say they’ll be around in another five? And if they are still around, will they still be a place you’ll want to point your customers?
But you own your url. As long as you keep renewing it, it’s yours. You’re not susceptible to the shifting tides of some dot com without a revenue model. Bottom line: you won’t lose connections to your business.
Almost all social media sites have a place where they ask for your website. The combined power of all those links will push your site up the search results. It’s an easy way to score some in-bound links and improve your site’s SEO.
Ideally you want the number one result in search engines to be something you own, something you control (see ‘longevity’ above) and something that easily connects people to your business (see ‘clarity’ above). Bottom line: more people connect with your business.
Clarity, longevity and search engine optimization: three reasons to have a website as your online base of operations.