Are websites old news? With LinkedIn, Facebook and countless other social media sites offering free pages for companies, it can seem like a no brainer to ditch the corporate site and just embrace the new platforms available. LinkedIn has 128 million users in the US alone and Facebook has 1.13 billion active users every day, so why not just go where the people are?
Social Media is an important part of any company’s online strategy, but it can’t do the heavy lifting. Below are just a few of the reasons that a corporate website is more important than ever in today’s digital age:
You need a home base.
If you’re successfully using LinkedIn and Facebook, then you should be sending people to where they can get more information about your company. LinkedIn profiles and company pages on Facebook can be helpful in introducing yourself to potential clients, but they can’t tell the whole story. Posting blogs, status updates and photos to these platforms is great, but you need to be able to give someone a destination when they’re really interested in working with your organization.
Stand out from your competition.
You’ve likely spent years developing your brand. How does it look? How does it sound? What sets us apart from everyone else in the industry? So with all that thought and planning, why have your only touch point with potential clients be in the shell of someone else’s brand? LinkedIn and Facebook pages let you include information and photos, but only in the same format as everyone else. Having your own corporate site lets your brand, logo and company story shine – away from the noise and competition of social media.
It adds credibility.
As a recruiter, it can be hard for potential clients to tell legitimate, established companies apart from fly-by-night recruiters. A website provides a sense of trust and credibility to let your client base see that you’re serious and have the resources they need to make long-term placements. Your corporate site is a place you can keep testimonials, photos, client lists and other materials that help to set you apart from less qualified competition.
You’re in control.
Third party sites like LinkedIn can change how they’re structured or how they present content without notice. You’re also locked into their terms of service, layout decisions and at the mercy of their website servers. Having someone else control your hub for company information can be a risky endeavor. With a corporate site you can fully control navigation and content. It also gives you the freedom to use animation, auto play videos, adapt your site to mobile, and more.
You can build a relationship
When you have your own site, visitors are creating a relationship with your business. They see you as a valuable resource for job postings and a great source for information when you’re producing blogs and other content. Any value they find with LinkedIn, will stay with LinkedIn. That’s where they’ll go when they’re looking for a recruiter, and they’ll find many more options in addition to your page. A corporate websites gives potential clients and candidates a place to check in from time to time without the concern that they’ll find someone else while they’re browsing.
You’ll show up higher in search
It wasn’t always the case, but Google and other search engines are now prioritizing websites over social media profiles (even Google+). If you want your company to be among the first listed in SEO, then a website it the way to go. Google now scans through each page of your site and promotes those who feature the searched keywords more often. You’re also given priority when other pages (like your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles) link back to your site. Google is the new yellow pages, and if you want your business to be on the first page, a website is the best way to get there.
LinkedIn and Facebook pages should absolutely be a part of your online strategy, but they shouldn’t be the whole thing. By creating a modern, mobile-optimized brand website, you’ll increase your credibility, set yourself apart from the crowd and stand out to search engines. In this technological age, not having a website can show younger clients and job candidates that your company isn’t embracing the tools available, and that could put you farther down their list of companies to work with. You want to show a complete online presence so you stay top of mind and can utilize every corner of cyberspace. New platforms should be embraced and leveraged, but not at the expense of a business staple.