Should you use a Facebook page for your website?
A lot of small business owners avoid getting a website, due to cost and time and effort involved. Instead, they set up a Facebook page for their business and use that as their website. They say, “I don’t need a website, I have a Facebook page.”
When people say “I don’t need a website because I have a Facebook page.”
I say “You don’t have a Facebook page. Facebook has a page with your name on it.”
Own your own destiny and don’t be controlled by a fickle social site.
— Rebecca Gill, WordPress SEO Consultant & Expert
A lot of businesses make this mistake. They are starting up, with a small budget, and the thinking goes something like this: Everyone is on Facebook. Facebook is free. Let’s just use Facebook! And while I currently have a love/hate relationship with Facebook (it’s complicated) – it’s not the same as having a real website. Here’s why:
- If people are searching for your business, they are looking for information. You can’t organize all that content and information into your Facebook page.
- There’s no good way to distribute information or docs to people on Facebook.
- A lot of people aren’t on Facebook or don’t know how to find information on a Facebook page.
- You can’t control Facebook, and as they change things, you may lose the ability to show people what you want to show them.
- Facebook might lose popularity one day. You wouldn’t want your only online presence to be MySpace would you?
- Unless you are paying for more reach through Facebook ads and promoted posts, even if people like your page, only a tiny percentage of them will actually see your posts.
- Most Facebook visitors will like your page and never come back again.
The question you need to ask yourself is, when someone Googles my business name, what are they looking for? Is the answer your most recent status update on Facebook? If it’s not, then you need a real website. Of course, you can use this website in conjunction with Facebook and any other social media platforms you want (and I encourage you to do this) but don’t use Facebook as your only online presence. You’ll be losing business and losing revenue if you do.
A few other reasons to have a real website
If I haven’t convinced you already, I have a few other arguments. If you have a Facebook page for your business, how do you know how many people are going there? Yes, you know how many people “like” you, but do you know how many visitors it gets each day? What those people looked at? You don’t. You have none of that data. It is SO important to know this kind of information, because it gives you information about how your business is doing online that you can use to improve and draw more traffic. If you only have a Facebook page, you have none of that.
You can’t optimize your Facebook page for search engines. This is a huge one. If someone is searching for your business by name, they’ll be able to find your business Facebook page. But what if they are searching using terms related to your services rather than your name? The vast majority of our website traffic gets here by searching for web design related terms, NOT for searching for Sumy Designs. If you don’t have a website, then you are not getting ANY of that traffic.
Search engines want content and lots of it, and you can’t put that much content, or optimize it properly, in only a Facebook page.
LOSS OF NON-FACEBOOK USERS
Let’s also consider whether or not your customers are even on Facebook. If all you have is a Facebook page, you are essentially telling the world that you only want customers who use Facebook. “People who aren’t on Facebook can see my page.” True. But they don’t want to. If someone isn’t on Facebook, they don’t want to have to go to Facebook to find out about you.
NO SALES FUNNEL
When we create a website, we meticulously plan navigation and calls-to-action to direct site visitors into specific actions. You just can’t do that with a Facebook page.
Facebook should be a partner in your online presence, not your only online presence. You need to meet people where they are. If your customers use Facebook, great! But if they don’t? You need to be where your customers are and where they can find you.
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