Posted by Josh Laughtland, Founder and Consultant for Boise-based SEO and Internet Marketing Company Jtree.net
With all of the social networking profiles, business directories and listings available online do you really need a website these days?
(a resounding) YES!!!!
For starters, you want full control of your on-page SEO. Companies that provide a listing/presence for you, I assure you, are optimizing their website (and your listed presence) for their own best interests. Since it’s not your website, you only control a marginal amount of content. The rest which is not under your control. In addition, consider that other pages on the same website more than likely contain listings for potential competitors.
This begs the question; why would companies want to provide landing pages for your business and social profiles? To monetize, of course! If you send all of your customers and social traffic to a page for your business on someone else’s website you are helping them achieve their objectives. THEIR objectives – not YOURS.
Maintaining your own website and/or blog as a virtual ‘hub’ has many advantages. Directing users who visit your presences on social networks and business listings to your website or blog ‘hub’ is a great way to regain control of the user experience and lays the foundation to monetize your own content.
Some social and/or business networks basically ‘own’ or become license holders or acquire rights to re-produce etc. in regard to content you produce and post on their website. Because we all have read the TOS, right?
Power to the People
Not having control of our content and presences paves the way for reputation disruption issues.
- Website operators collect and often resell information about potential customers (visitors to your presence), this invasion of privacy could displease your clients
- Website operators can remove or alter content without permission, leaving customers clueless, confused or misinformed
- Website operators monetize by serving advertisements (that may or may not displease your clients) within your content
- Is is often difficult to resolve or remove negative comments or feedback that directly or indirectly relate to your business in a timely manner – if at all
- You help improve the reputation of the website or social network (indirectly) by not having your own website or blog as a ‘hub’
- The list goes on and on…
SEO Link Juice for Big Corps
One more thing to keep in mind. Any links to your presence on a social network or business listing you don’t own increase the SEO value of that site. When people search for ‘blue widgets’, your listing on company X’s website may show up at the top of Google – instead of your own website. Hence, increasing the positioning of large corporations in Google and decreasing the chances of smaller companies with superior products and services to even rank at all.
Once customers become familiar with your website or blog, that’s where they will come to conduct and refer business. What happens if you are sending everyone to your Facebook Fan Page, then it gets deleted?
This doesn’t mean to avoid using social networks and business listings. Instead, utilize them to reinforce the reputation of your website or blog.