Why A Facebook Page Is No Substitute for A Website

If we had a nickel for every time we've heard, "But we have a Facebook page" in response to our offers to send free website design estimates to small businesses, Forward View would have a pile of nickels. We mentioned this issue in a recent newsletter but decided to delve into the subject more deeply. It's a huge digital marketing misconception that a Facebook page and a website are equivalent. They're not! Here are the top five reasons why a website is better than a Facebook page:

  1. A website's search engine optimization (SEO) can be customized. Facebook pages can't be tweaked to improve SEO. Example: We did an internet search for a local business with no website. The first search result is an unofficial Facebook page for the business. That Facebook page incorrectly lists the establishment as likely to be permanently closed. The actual Facebook page for the business isn't visible in the first page of search results. (Very few people go to the second page of results!)

  2. Facebook offers extremely limited e-commerce features. Can you sell online through Facebook? Yes, but the available tools will be restrictive. With website platforms such as Squarespace and BigCommerce, you can create a fully-featured and affordable digital store over a weekend.

  3. On Facebook, it's common to see duplicate listings for popular businesses and tourist attractions. When we were creating the Ralph Stanley Museum website, we found four unofficial Facebook pages for the museum. It has been hard to eliminate the extras! (Yes, sometimes we can get the duplicate pages deleted.)

  4. Your website design can utilize any layout you wish. With Facebook, you insert content into the standard template. With a website, you build the template to meet your own unique needs. Big difference.

  5. A website address will look much more professional on your business cards than a Facebook link. In the 21st century, you're expected to have a website. Don't disappoint potential customers!

In summary, we're not writing these newsletters to sell our own services. We're trying to dispel the myth that Facebook = Small Business Website. It doesn't. Don't get us wrong, we love to see small businesses use social media. Facebook and Twitter should be utilized to broadcast your message and drive visitors to your website. Notice that we don't recommend using your website to attract social media activity. In our own experience, people tell us, "I found your website through Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn and decided to contact you about..." The reverse has never happened! Focus on what drives revenue most directly: a website.

Nathan Yates

Forward View Consulting, 288 Crack Rock Road, Clintwood, VA 24228, USA

Nathan Yates has been fascinated by technology and finance since he was young. He was the kid devouring the business section of the newspaper (remember those?) while others read everything else. Nathan believes that the American economy is built from the bottom-up, meaning that small businesses and local nonprofits are the foundation of our nation's success. These organizations are the lifeblood of towns and cities across the U.S. Unfortunately, most consulting firms overlook companies or organizations that don't have eight-figure budgets. Nathan thought Forward View Consulting should be different. And we are. As Lead Consultant, Nathan works with each client to deliver only the best financial and/or website development services. Nathan's years of web design experience and his business degrees ensure that professional expertise is brought to each project. Our network of contacts can offer additional specialized guidance if needed. Before creating Forward View Consulting, Nathan worked for an independent equity research firm as a Research Associate covering the industrial and energy sectors. This work involved preparing quarterly 15-40 page reports on multi-billion dollar corporations along with timely analysis of M&A activity and industry-wide news. He also managed research distribution and the company's online presence. Nathan also spent a summer serving as a local financial adviser's Research Intern. Nathan earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance from Southern New Hampshire University, graduating summa cum laude. He then earned a Master's degree in Finance from Southern New Hampshire University, where he was named the Outstanding Student in his particular concentration. Now, Nathan is an adjunct professor teaching economics and finance for his alma mater. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys fishing, reading, time with family and serving as a volunteer webmaster for the Clintwood United Methodist Church.