A reader wrote:

My partner and I have a great Facebook page and a (relatively) popular (in our niche) Twitter account. But we don’t have a website. In 2013 (and beyond) is there any incentive to focus our (limited) time and resources (growing, hopefully) on a website when we could be focusing all of our attention on FB and Twitter?

I’m going to tell you a secret. You’ve been sold a bad bill of goods, and because you’ve been neglecting your website, your business is suffering. Maybe not a lot, but it is.

Horse

You’ve been listening to all the experts. They say need to be spending your time on Facebook. And Twitter. And Google+. You’ve been told of social media is what’s important and it’s where you should spend your time. You’ve faithfully made your 1 – 2 posts to Facebook day in and day out; and 22 tweets, just like the experts recommend nearly every single hour of every day. But your website, it’s just sitting there neglected.

Sure, you might occasionally post an update to your blog. Or change your hours with the seasons, but for the most part your website sits there static and unchanging. Gathering dust and cobwebs.

Heaven forbid, you might even be one of those 52% of all businesses that don’t have a website. ‘website builder What’s your problem? Is it that websites, with all their gobbly-gook of HTML, javascript and css are too difficult for you? Surely you’re joking. There are tons of web apps for creating drag and drop websites. IMcreator.com is a nice simple website builder that I recommend often. But there are tons of options for making/creating/building a website.

I think that the real problem is that you’re lazy. It’s just so easy to bash out 140 characters for a tweet, or to share that over-cliched (and over-shared) funny cat photo on Facebook. It just seems like it takes real work to update a website.

But here’s the truth. Creating and updating a website isn’t hard. Especially if you use one of the tools I’ve mentioned above, it’s almost the same amount of effort to update a page, or to create a new one.

You no longer need to hire a designer to craft good looking pages for your site either. You can drag and drop your content right into one of their professional designed templates and immediately post the page to your website. No more broken links and no more spending the day fighting with the html.

And unlike Facebook and Twitter, when you publish something on your own website, it’s there until you remove it. No more scrolling off the page and missing 95% of your customers. That information, whether it’s special prices, or technical specs, or your sales page, that content will be there for ever.

Another reason to build a website is that, in my mind at least, just as it looks unprofessional to reply to a customer’s email with your the-dragon-slayer-1966@yahoo.com email address, it looks just as bad to direct someone to facebook.com/yourCompany when you could be directing them to yourCompany.com.

Look, having a website is jut a cost of doing business in the 21st century. You wouldn’t have considered starting a business in the 1980s without business cards and a telephone, would you? Nor would you have started a business in the 1880s without first hanging a shingle out above your door. How many big, successful, companies don’t have a website today? I’m guessing none.

In twenty years, the idea of a business website might seem as dated as the shingle or the rotary phone, but for now, it’s an absolute necessity. Don’t scrimp on it. Don’t be lazy. Setup and update a website for your business today.

 

Originally posted by Dane Carlson on December 23, 2013 in Ideas / Mailbag.

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