In a conversation last month with a PPC client, she mentioned she thought websites were a thing of the past. This fell in line with another conversation I had with a different client late last year that said the very same thing. It has intrigued me as to why they felt this way. Some of the reasons that came up included sales funnels and social media. These are both good lead generation tactics. Social media is also good for branding. Yet I tend to disagree that websites are useless and I will present why.
Though there are some companies who use social media as their main driver of online marketing, most of those companies do have a website somewhere. Here is why. If that social media does not like what you’re posting, how you’re posting, has a policy change, etc., your audience can be turned off overnight. You do not own your Facebook group, your Facebook page, your Instagram page, etc. For example, I am watching a sales training company build an audience using Facebook groups. They have an online course they teach and a paid Facebook group as well. Even they have plans to build a community-based site to replace their Facebook Group because they know they do not own the group.
So now looking at main reasons I have heard websites are a thing of the past: sales funnels and lead gen pages. Quite frankly, those are mini-websites with a purpose. Let me say that last part again, WITH A PURPOSE. Most companies that use sales funnels or lead generation pages usually have a main company site. And Even those main company sites, have a purpose.
Here is what is dying. Websites that have thin content, no purpose and does really nothing for the business or the viewer. The influx of DIY web builder has made it easy to create and have a website. Yet in many cases, those websites die off quickly or the site owner gets frustrated because the site has not brought them business.
The solution to that problem is to think of a website as a foundation to a digital marketing strategy. It is the central space that a business occupies on the internet. Now, from that space, the strategy would be to expand into other areas such as lead generation and sales pages with audiences driven to them by such means as Google ads. A website is central to even social media campaigns as they are the links in the profile where potential customers can find out more about you.
Another piece of this puzzle is Search Engine Marketing. You might have a great website, and it might contain the most stellar content, yet it means very little if your potential viewers do not see it. Search Engine Marketing, which simply means to try to top Google search results, is a long but good strategy to make sure your website pays off.
If you just build a website and do nothing else after, you have really and essentially, wasted your time and money. To get in front of potential viewers and make them turn into leads, a website really needs to be the beginning step toward a full digital marketing plan. When a website is utilized this way, instead of being dead weight, it becomes a key ingredient in your overall digital marketing plan.