Shall I Close Down My Website?

Here’s a question we got today from a friend:

“Most of my leads come from one particular group in Facebook. Maybe I should just close down my website. What do you think?”

A disclaimer: Her website was not built by us. She was, however, thinking of using our Redbox Easyweb website system instead of her old website which has not been updated for a long time.

Here’s our answer:

Hi (name removed for privacy purposes)

We often advise clients to always have a website in addition to having your social media channels, i.e. Facebook.

You know why?

Facebook is not as “free” as you think it is.

Here’s some interesting data from this article: http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-tools/14-ways-new-facebook-betrays-small-business/ 

“Facebook will now allow large companies (only, for now) to purchase additional “reach” for their status updates via a new Reach Generator option. Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook’s COO – acknowledged that on average the reach of status updates is only 16% – meaning that only 16 out of every 100 of your “fans” actually see your status updates.”

The author of the blog post continues:

“Essentially, Facebook has said that companies need to spend time and money (on apps and such) to acquire “likes” but that the vast majority of those fans won’t typically see updates from the brand,unless the brand pays for it (our emphasis). This is the end of Facebook as a “free” option for brands, and demonstrates such gall and guile it makes me want to scream at my laptop.”

Don’t be too quick to jump out of websites.

Think of your website as your HQ and all other channels (Facebook, Google+, Twitter) as you channels or pipelines leading people into your HQ.

The mistake most small businesses make is to think Facebook is “free” and there is no cost to acquiring a customer.

Think of the time you’re spending on Facebook trying to get those needed eye balls.

Is your time “free”? If you weren’t on Facebook, you could be doing other productive stuff with your time – creating your newsletter, emailing prospects, talking to customers etc. So there is an opportunity cost to everything that you say yes to.

But deep down Facebook is a business and an IPO-ed business at that. It needs to survive and it does so by selling ads to businesses on Facebook especially those who totally rely on Facebook (and have no website). You can’t blame them for going down the advertising route.

Just don’t relinquish control of your website that easily. After all you don’t want people thinking your business has disappeared especially if they can’t find your FB page (especially for people new to you).

Maybe the problem is in the website?

If your website isn’t getting you the leads, it may have something to do with the website – the way it is designed, the way it is written, the way it persuades (or not) and if it is built from the get-go for marketing.

Let me show you can example of a website we built, wrote and manage for a client in the insurance industry: http://unclekhor.com

Compare this to a typical insurance agency website.

Which would you prefer? So there are websites and then there are websites.

It’s like a Kancil versus a BMW. Both are cars but one has better performance and higher quality.

The websites we build are the ones that bring you visibility, credibility and profitability.

Uncle Khor’s website has a higher initial investment outlay but it is also due to the expertise we bring to the client (crafting a personal story, creating the right concept – not the typical insurance agency – you don’t find the flashy Mercedes Benz photo or even photos of his gleaming office in Menara Northam).

However, what you see is the man himself – Uncle Khor – with an authentic story and a keenness to help you succeed as an insurance agent in Penang.

Imagine him getting even 1 new agent and that agent selling a RM1 million policy. This itself would have more than recovered the costs of the website investment.

So yeah, don’t be too much in a hurry to throw out the website.  It is still relevant.

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