3 Reasons Why a Business Website Is Still Vital in 2019

The exposure you get to potential customers through things like Google Ads are all the rage these days, but it’s still important to maintain a quality website. Here’s why.

3 Reasons Why a Business Website Is Still Vital in 2019

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Your company’s website has two main purposes: to educate your customers and sell your brand.

But with the rise in importance of Google My Business Profiles (formerly known as your Knowledge Panel/Graph), the increasing weight of reviews, the introduction of Google Local Service Ads and, of course, traditional pay-per-click ads, some folks are claiming that you no longer need a website. That websites no longer matter.   

We don’t disagree that Google wants to be your new homepage. They don’t want searchers to have to look anywhere else; they want them to find everything they need to make a decision on which contractor to hire right there in the search results. Does that mean you no longer need a website?

No. 

It’s still important to have a website in 2019, and here’s why.

1. Organic search results still get the most clicks.

BrightLocal’s Local Service Ads Clicks Study found that “Organic results receive the most clicks of all SERP (Search Engine Results Page) types,” and that “Organic position 1 receives the highest number of standard SERP clicks.”

What that means is that you shouldn’t abandon your organic efforts and focus solely on paid results. Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads can have great ROI and help give you a competitive edge, but having a well-optimized website that can rank in organic should still be an important part of your marketing plan. People are still looking and clicking on websites.

Can you show up in organic search results without a website? Sure. If you have listings on Yelp, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, or other platforms and niche sites, you can make it on the “Best of” and other compilation lists that sometimes rank No. 1 in organic. But wouldn’t you rather be on those lists as well as right there in front of potential customers who purposely avoid clicking ads and local business list results?

Without a website, you won’t be.

2. Your website increases authority, builds trust and educates potential customers.

The numbers are still showing that people are more likely to contact a local business if that business has a website and that they think “smart” websites give a local business more credibility. Despite Google’s efforts, some people still want to know more than what can be presented in a small ad or in a Google My Business Profile. Where will they go to find out more if you don’t have a website?  

Even if searchers click on a Google Local Services Ad or a traditional PPC ad, your website needs to be there so they can learn more about your company and find the information they’re looking for that may not be available in a listing, Facebook page or other place online. Make sure your website answers their questions and provides more value so that when they are on the fence about who to hire and they visit your website, the choice is clear.

3. Your website is (or should be) something that you own and control.

Your website should be something you own and can control. That means if you ever stop working with a marketing partner or company, your website should go with you. You won’t lose everything you’ve already paid for. That’s something that makes your website different from your Facebook page, your Yelp profile and your Google My Business profile. Facebook, Yelp and Google own those, which means if they decide to get rid of one or make some earth-shattering change to it, you’re at their mercy.

Don’t put yourself in that position. Take advantage of the fact that your website is something you own and can control. Put time into making it stand out and effort into providing your customers with value, so you’re not at the mercy of Google, Yelp or Facebook’s whims. All three are moodier and change more frequently than a Mountain Dew-guzzling, hormone-raging teenager. Is that really who you want controlling your online marketing success and business image? Probably not.

But be careful. We don’t believe in trash talk, so we won’t name any names, but not every marketing partner gives you ownership or control of your website. Before hiring a company, make sure you will fully own the website, even if you end up terminating your partnership.

A lot is changing in the internet marketing world, and it can be challenging to keep up and determine what advice is good advice and what advice simply sounds good. But don’t buy into the “organic search is dead” and “you no longer need a website” talk. The numbers and facts say otherwise. 

About the Authors

Carter Harkins and Taylor Hill are the co-founders of Spark Marketer, a Nashville, Tennessee-based digital marketing company that works primarily with service businesses. They’re also the co-hosts of the "Blue Collar Proud (BCP) Show," a podcast that’s all about having and living the blue collar dream, and the co-authors of the book, Blue Collar Proud: 10 Principles for Building a Kickass Business You Love. Both regularly speak at service industry trade shows and conferences across the nation. Visit www.facebook.com/sparkmarketerwww.facebook.com/bcpshow or www.facebook.com/groups/bluecollarproudnation.



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