Why Facebook is not an adequate replacement for a website.
If you’re a small business looking to expand your reach, you may think that a Facebook page is all you need. Admittedly, setting up a Facebook page for your business only takes a few minutes. The platform’s highly structured format means you don’t have to hire a designer and you can do it yourself. However, is Facebook enough? Will it drive the business you need?
Which is better: a Facebook page or a website?
Don’t get us wrong. Having a Facebook page is important. But it isn’t one or the other. Facebook and your own website have their own individual benefits. We believe that in most cases, a business will benefit from having both.
Facebook is a quick and convenient way for customers to find business hours and contact information. People expect a legitimate business to have a Facebook page. In addition, customers can like your page and that can reflect well on your business. However, what Facebook does well is limited. There is so much it can’t do.
The question is – why isn’t Facebook enough?
Websites Provide Legitimacy
Having a website is just one way for someone to verify that you are a real and legitimate business. If someone does a Google search and you’re not there, they may wonder, “Why?” Having a website is one way of establishing credibility. Your website can show off your work, provide testimonials and pricing, and offer contact information. And when you don’t have a website but your competitor does, guess who looks more authoritative and professional.
You are in complete control of your website design. The space and attention given to each aspect of your business is determined by you. You choose the calls to action and determine when and where to place those calls to action.
Facebook’s highly structured format, on the other hand, severely limits your design. This lack of options can make using your branding elements difficult.
Having a website is one of the most cost effective ways to market your business. Unlike Facebook, your website is not also trying to convey Facebook’s own company branding. And your website is not streaming other people’s ads. When you have your own website, what your site visitors see is entirely determined by you.
Not Everyone Uses Facebook
For those on Facebook already, it can sometimes seem inconceivable that everyone else isn’t also tuned into the Facebook world. But the truth is, not everyone has a Facebook account. Not everyone wants to do business on Facebook.
If you have an active Facebook account, you probably are not aware of what nonmembers go through to see your page. When someone without an account tries to open a Facebook page, a popup appears at the top and bottom of their screen, obscuring most of the content. The popup won’t go away unless they sign in or sign up. Want to see it for yourself? Sign out of your Facebook account and then try going to a Facebook page. You’ll see that it’s terribly frustrating.
The Value of Search
According BMMincorporated.com, even Google recognizes that official websites are more important than a Facebook page. That is why they generally place Facebook pages lower than standalone websites in search results.
Additionally, Facebook does not allow you to optimize your content for specific keywords. This can limit your organic growth. On Facebook, you do not have access to meta title or meta descriptions. This can reduce the number of people who are enticed to click through from the organic search engine results page.
Facebook Reach Has Changed
According to a study from Edgerank Checker, organic reach for the average Facebook Page dropped from 16% to 6.5% between February 2012 and March 2014. This means that as few as 6.5% of the people who have liked your Facebook page are likely to see an individual post.
While Facebook does offer some insights about who is viewing your page and when, it isn’t nearly as comprehensive or useful as the analytics that come from having a website. When you have a free Google Analytics account, you receive significantly more information about traffic to your website. This information is invaluable for improving your online marketing.
Why Facebook should not be your sole business website.
Is Facebook enough? The answer is no. Facebook business pages are not intended to replace a standalone website. They are meant to supplement it. Simply put, Facebook is a free tool that you should be using to complement your business website, not replace it.