Small Town USA – “Why Do I Need A Website?”

My business is located in a rural area just outside of Atlanta and I still run across business owners who ask me ‘Why do I need a website?’ We’re in 2020 and it blows me away that this question is still asked. But, their question is reasonable — if their customers are local and their business is local, why should they bother with the ‘World’ Wide Web? Here’s the answer: Google is locally focused — why? Because that’s where their users find the best websites that are most relevant to them.

Photo by from Pexels

Do you know that Google passion is local? Google is so focused on providing the best user experience that although the Internet is world wide, Google knows how to focus just on your corner of the world, putting blinders on everything else. Google’s ultimate goal is to show its users the best answer to their search queries whether it be a product or a service and 9 times out of 10, that’s from a local business. As often as possible Google will show nearby businesses in your search results. So, the Internet does touch your business and your competitors businesses in your locale.

But do Businesses Need a Website if They Have a Facebook or Google Listing?

Even in today’s digital marketing environment, business owners often think they don’t need a website as long as they have Facebook or Google My Business listings to advertise their business. But their thinking is faulty for a couple of reasons:

  1. Facebook is a great brand-building tool: While Facebook is a great tool for staying in contact with your customers and clients, you should not put your entire online marketing strategy into this basket. Facebook is useful for keeping your brand front and center for your current customers! These Facebook followers are mostly your current clients and they know your brand. 
  2. Google My Business can attract people who don’t know your brand: This is true. Google My Business is a great starting point to help people find you online that don’t know you especially in local search. Google has pretty much created a listing for all businesses in the United States and most of the time, you just need to find your business listing and claim it. The question is ‘what control do you have over these third-party tools?‘ 

Your Website is the Only Property You Own and Control

The only online property you have control of is your website. Your Facebook or Google listings may disappear tomorrow if either of these companies decide to change their focus and go in an entirely new direction. And where does that leave your business? — without any internet presence at all. You would be left out in the cold wondering how you were left behind in this dynamic internet marketing arena. So, how are YOU reaching out to people who have no idea your business is in existence?’

Your Primary Internet Goal — Own an SEO’d Website

Creating an optimized website for your business provides the foundation for a successful online marketing strategy. Neither your listings in Facebook nor your Google listing builds your full credibility better than your own website. You have to take control of your presence and that is through building your own website that has the capability of being found by Google — an SEO’d website. It’s a combination of designing a website that is easily accessible to Google so it has the ability to achieve good rankings for your important keywords, and it’s your compelling content that is found by your best customers that will compel them to pick up the phone and call you. 

The answer to ‘why do I need a website?’ is your customers expect you to be present online. They are no longer looking in the yellowbook — in fact, is there a yellowbook any more? If you’re not in control of your online presence, you will eventually lose control. If you place 100% of your marketing budget with a highly specialized digital marketing agency that truly understands SEO (search engine optimization), your business will win!