Facebook is an excellent tool to help increase your business’s visibility and engage your existing customers to potential customers. It’s easy to use and cheap to run. However, Facebook controls how people see and interact with your brand. So, you will be missing out on a lot of benefits of having a website.
Websites gives you absolute control over your brand and online presence. Developing a website does involve an investment and requires ongoing maintenance and quality hosting.
Here we explore the pros and cons of having a professional, business website versus using a Facebook business page for your business.
1. Reach and Visibility
Having a website allows you to establish a unique online presence for your business. With a well-designed website, you can showcase your products or services, provide valuable information to your customers, and create a strong brand identity. Additionally, search engine optimization (SEO) techniques can be applied to improve your website’s visibility and attract organic traffic to your site.
A professional website will go through a research and design phase to make sure your content and design meets accessibility and user-friendly experiences that highlight your products and services while promoting your brand identity.
On the other hand, using a Facebook page for your business provides instant visibility to over 3.05 billion monthly active users on the platform. It allows you to reach a large audience quickly and easily, as Facebook’s algorithm promotes content based on user preferences and engagement. Moreover, with features like Facebook Ads, you can target specific demographics and increase your reach even further.
Facebook is meant to create a community around your brand. The organic search on Facebook averages at around 2%. And given the number of followers you might have, the percentage may be as low as 1%.**
2. Customizability and Branding
Having your own website gives you complete control over its design, layout, and overall branding. You can customize every aspect of your website to align with your business goals and aesthetics. This level of customization helps you create a unique and memorable brand experience for your visitors, enhancing credibility and trust in your business.
While a Facebook page provides limited customization options compared to a website, it still allows you to showcase your brand through profile pictures, cover photos, and consistent branding across posts. Although you won’t have as much freedom as with a website, you can still create a visually appealing page that reflects your brand identity.
3. Features and Functionality
One of the key advantages of having a website is the wide range of features and functionality it offers. From e-commerce capabilities for selling products online to integrating booking systems or contact forms, websites provide numerous opportunities to streamline business operations and enhance customer experience. Blogs, resource libraries, and interactive elements can also be incorporated into websites to engage visitors and provide valuable content. Adding SEO analytics, you can track how your visitors are consuming your information and interacting with your website.
While a Facebook page has its limitations compared to a website, it does offer some useful features for businesses. You can create events, run contests or polls, share videos and images, and even set up an online store using Facebook Shops. Additionally, the platform provides analytics tools that allow you to track the performance of your posts and gain insights into your audience’s behavior.
4. Cost and Maintenance
Creating and maintaining a website involves certain costs such as domain registration, web hosting fees, web design or development expenses, and ongoing maintenance costs. However, there are various budget-friendly options available for small businesses, including website builders and content management systems (CMS) like WordPress.org.
Facebook page for your business is free of charge. It allows you to create and manage a page without any upfront costs. However, keep in mind that if you decide to use Facebook Ads or other paid promotional features, there will be additional costs involved.
5. Control and Ownership
Having your own website gives you full control and ownership of your online presence. You have the freedom to make changes, add or remove content, and implement any desired features without being restricted by platform limitations or policies. Additionally, you own all the data collected through your website, giving you complete control over customer information.
When using a Facebook page for your business, it’s important to remember that you are essentially operating on rented land. Facebook has the power to change its algorithms or policies at any time, which can significantly impact the reach and visibility of your content. Furthermore, since Facebook owns all the data collected on its platform, you have limited control over customer information.
6. Trust and Credibility
Having a well-designed website can significantly enhance your business’s trustworthiness and credibility. A professional-looking site with clear contact information, customer testimonials, secure payment gateways, and privacy policies can instill confidence in potential customers. Additionally, owning a unique domain name adds authenticity to your brand. And if you only have a Facebook page, your competitors most likely will have a custom website and a Facebook page.
While having a Facebook page can help establish an initial online presence for your business, it may not be perceived as professional or trustworthy as having a dedicated website. Some customers may question the legitimacy of businesses that rely solely on social media platforms.
7. Customer Engagement and Interaction
A website provides various opportunities for customer engagement and interaction. You can incorporate features like live chat support, comment sections on blog posts or product pages, contact forms, and social media integration. These functionalities enable customers to easily connect with your business, ask questions, provide feedback, or make inquiries.
Facebook pages offer engagement features such as likes, comments, shares, and direct messaging. These features allow for quick communication with customers and provide an avenue for immediate feedback or inquiries. Additionally, customers can leave reviews on your page, which can influence others’ perceptions of your business.
8. Analytics and Insights
With a website, you have access to more comprehensive analytics tools that can provide detailed insights into visitor behavior. You can track metrics such as traffic sources, bounce rates, conversion rates, time spent on site, and much more. These insights enable you to make data-driven decisions to optimize your website performance and improve user experience.
While Facebook does provide basic analytics tools like Page Insights that offer information on post reach, engagement metrics, and audience demographics; they are limited compared to the advanced analytics available with website analytics tools like Google Analytics.
9: Mobile Experience
With the increasing use of mobile devices for browsing the internet, having a mobile-responsive website is essential. A well-optimized website ensures that it adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes and provides an optimal user experience across devices. And most web developers already know this and will automatically optimize your website for mobile devices.
Facebook is already optimized for mobile devices; thus it is mobile-friendly without any additional effort required.
In conclusion, both having a website and using a Facebook page for your business have their own advantages and disadvantages. While having a website allows for more control over branding, customization, functionality, data ownership, and trustworthiness; using a Facebook page provides instant visibility, cost savings, ease of use, customer engagement features, and mobile optimization.
Relying on just Facebook for your business may have worked when you first start out, but as your business grows, it’s important to add a custom website where your potential customers can research your products and services.
Also, the choice between having a website or using a Facebook page depends on factors such as your industry, target audience preferences, budget constraints, desired functionality, and long-term goals. It is often recommended to have both a website and an active social media presence to maximize reach and engage with customers effectively.
Your website is the hub of all of your content, using Facebook and other social media platforms to make quick engagement announcements and ads that take users back to your website to learn more, and to potentially become paying clients of your products and services. Everything starts and ends with your website. Don’t miss out on a huge part of your online presence.