Bees Creative Content
rants, theories etc
Do I need a business website if I have a Facebook page?
Is it worth having a business website if I already have a Facebook Business page?
That may be the answer you’d expect in a blog by a web designer, but it’s also the actual answer.
You do need a business website whether you have a Facebook page or not. In this blog, though, I’m going to look at a number of the reasons behind that answer, and – hopefully – help you make a decision which is right for you and which you believe in. There’s no point doing something if you’re not convinced of it.
So let’s get started.
Reason 1: People like looking at a website before deciding whether or not to use your business.
This is a simple fact. Whether you cater for members of the public, or for other businesses, the first question people will ask you when they’re considering buying from you is “Do you have a website I can look at?”
They will do this for any number of reasons. One might be because they want to look at examples of your work; another might be because they want to see if they can afford you; another might be because they want to see how professional you look and whether you’ve got any testimonials they can read.
Yes, if you don’t have a website, at this point you can answer: “No, but I’ve got a Facebook page” and, in many cases, people will go and look there instead. But let’s get onto reason 2….
Reason 2: Having a Facebook page and not a website doesn’t seem quite so professional.
It just doesn’t. I know it sounds ridiculous to say “it just doesn’t” but having a website gives your business a respectability that a Facebook page just doesn’t impart.
When people ask “Have you got a website?” (which they will), you can’t say “yes, it’s at johnthegardener.co.uk”. You’ve got to say “No, but I’ve got a Facebook page. If you go onto Facebook and search for ‘John The Gardener’ it should come up.”
And yes, I know that you can give your business page a Twitter-like tag (@johnthegardener) but a lot of people don’t know exactly what that means and it doesn’t really make it any easier to tell people how to get to it.
Plus – and I know this may sound ludicrous to many Facebook users – but not everybody is on Facebook. My mum isn’t. My sister and my brother-in-law, both professionals, barely touch it. By not having a website you are potentially excluding a huge, huge audience.
Reason 3: Facebook isn’t always as cheap as it seems.
Now this may seem like a completely stupid thing to say. Creating a Facebook page, is free, right? And posting is free too, right?
Yes. But bear with me.
When you’re starting a business, not bothering with a website and just having a Facebook page may seem like the most economical option.
But it doesn’t always work out like that.
Facebook (I know the parent business is now called Meta, but that’s neither here not there) wants to make money. That’s a given. And when you create a business page, you’re effectively telling Facebook that you want to use its platform to make money for yourself and your business.
What does it want you to do? Does it want you to create posts which are going to be seen by thousands of people and get you loads of business, but not earn Facebook a penny?
No it doesn’t. And that’s not a criticism of Facebook – it is a business which wants to make money.
What it actually wants you to do is pay it to show your posts to thousands of people and get you loads of business.
So you will find that when you post as a business page, Facebook will not show your posts to as many people as you want it to, unless you start paying to “boost” posts, or create advertising campaigns.
Now I’m not suggesting that Facebook ads aren’t worth doing – they absolutely are and they are relatively inexpensive too. But if you’re going to use Facebook as your sole online marketing tool, then you are going to have to pay.
Reason 4: Changing your name can be a nightmare on Facebook.
You might think that this isn’t something you need to worry about. You’ve got a name, you’re going to stick with it.
But nothing is forever and life changes. When I started my business in 2015, it had the extraordinarily unwieldy name “Andrew Greenhalgh Design and Communications” and, as a former newspaper journalist, I felt that most people would hire me for my writing.
It turned out that I was pretty good at web design too and that more people wanted to pay me to build websites for them. Which was fine by me.
Eventually I realised the name had to change and I became “Bees Words and Websites” before eventually settling on “Bees Creative Content”.
Changing the business name on my Facebook took days and I even had to set up a “we’ve changed our name” page on my new website.
This might not seem important to you now but if you decide to focus on a specific area (known as “niching”), then you may well want to change your name to make that area crystal clear. Child’s play with a website; not so much with a Facebook page.
Reason 5: You can present yourself exactly as you want to with a website.
A Facebook page lacks individuality because every page is set out in almost exactly the same way.
The phrase “customer journey” may seem pretentious marketing twaddle but a website gives you the opportunity to impress your potential customers immediately and dictate in which order you want them to see what you do.
So if you’ve got a special offer running, you can put that up front and centre on your website. You can tell people whatever it is that you think will most persuade them to buy from you right at the top of your home page.
Perhaps that’s the price, perhaps that a particular service you offer, perhaps it’s the number of testimonials you have.
You can use colours (yes, they do make a difference) which will make people feel comfortable and relaxed. You can put pictures of yourself which present you in the way you want to be seen. You can direct them to contact you in whichever way you would like to be contacted.
In short, a website allows you to control how others see you and WHAT they see in a way that a Facebook page doesn’t.
Reason 6: You can work on your SEO much more effectively with a website.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimisation”, and is the process of making it easier for people to find you on search engines like Google. By optimising your pages, you are effectively trying to persuade Google and other search engines to list your site as high up as possible when people type in whatever service you provide.
Yes, you can use the principles of SEO on a Facebook page. But with a website you can have different pages and different posts (there’s a difference), which are each optimised for certain searches.
So, for example, Apple might have one page on its website which is optimised for “best computer for families” and another which is optimised for “best mobile phone”.
If you, for example, are a gardener, you might find that some of your clients live in one town in your area and another in a different one. With a website, you can have one page specifically optimised for people searching for “gardener in Liverpool” and another specifically optimised for people searching for “gardener in Chester”.
I could go on – I had intended to stop at five. But I hope I’ve given you enough reasons to make you at least think about having a website for your business as well as a Facebook page.
At the moment, I’m running some special offers for one-man and one-woman business owners, including one with a free website. There are more details here.
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Claire House is a Wirral-based children’s hospice which helps seriously and terminally ill children live life to the full by creating wonderful experiences and bringing back a sense of normality to family life, offering specialist nursing care and emotional support to families in the toughest of circumstances.
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