Facebook Page vs. Website: What’s Best for my Contractor Business?
Do you need a website or Facebook page? Well, Facebook is free, you know how to use it, and people comment on your photos and posts all the time – but that doesn’t mean it can sustain your contractor business.
People go to Facebook to socialise and they go to Google to spend money. Plus, your website is yours to control and your ticket to Google – the place where people look for products and services to solve their problems. Facebook doesn’t belong to you, and while it’s home to billions of users, it’s also home to every one of your competitors.
If you’re running a trades business you’ve probably set up a Facebook page already.
Maybe you got a few jobs from people sending you messages, and you’ve got a few ‘likes’ to your name too.
It’s tempting to focus on Facebook, especially if it’s already gotten you work. After all, Facebook is free, all your customers use Facebook, and you already know how to use Facebook because you have your own personal account.
So what’s the point of a website?
For a start, you control your site. Facebook can change the rules at any moment (and they frequently do) but your own site is yours for good. Just think about your own internet habits for a second….
Imagine you’re about to buy a new kitchen. What’s the first thing you do?
It’s not to go checking Facebook. It’s to get on Google and start comparing potential kitchen installers. And your potential customers have the same thought process.
That doesn’t mean you should delete your Facebook Business Page and focus on your site – real value comes by optimising your Facebook AND your website to attract leads. Because Facebook and a website have two very different roles in helping you get more work.
In this article we’ll settle the Facebook vs. website debate, and explain 5 proven reasons owning your own site is more powerful than using a Facebook page alone.
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Website vs Facebook Page: What’s best for me?
Your potential customers could be anywhere right now.
They could be checking out a business card you gave them 5 years ago, looking for your business on Google, or searching for you on Facebook. The more touch points you connect with people on, the more chances you have to attract leads.
That’s why there’s no right or wrong answer in the ‘Website vs Facebook’ debate. Facebook has plenty of benefits, like the 2.7 billion people who use Facebook, or the fact it’s 100% free. But Facebook has some severe limitations too…
For a start, most people don’t turn to Facebook to find a plumber or kitchen remodeler. They go to Google instead when they need home improvement help – and they go to Facebook to relax, check out their mate’s pictures, and share memes.
That makes Facebook a great free platform, but not one designed to turn people into leads.
We’ll hammer this point again because it’s crucial – it’s vital your business is in front of your customers when they HAVE a need. And that need typically takes them to Google.
It’s great to have a page for your trades business on Facebook as this helps build a community, but lead gen and clients will typically come through your website.
Subject to Facebook updates
You have full control
Subject to Facebook T’s & C’s
You have full control
Not many people on Facebook are searching for a solution to their problems
Be there when customers are searching for your product or service
Anyone can make a Facebook page. If you build reviews and a larger audience, you can establish credibility over time
The work and cost of setting up a website establishes credibility. Showcasing associations, reviews, and photos can further establish credibility
Won’t grow without attention
Won’t grow without attention
But if you want to expand it costs time and expertise
Website hosting is usually under $100 a month. If you want to expand it costs time, expertise and money.
5 ways your own contractor website is more valuable than a Facebook page
#1 – Your site is optimised for local SEO
Have you ever tried searching for a local business on Facebook?
It’s possible to search for keywords like ‘patio installation’ or ‘kitchen renovator’ but the results aren’t going to be businesses in your local area. You’re more likely to find a group about patio installation, or a kitchen renovator based on the other side of Australia.
Facebook doesn’t cater for local search like your website does.
Adding local keywords and location pages means your customers can find you the moment they have a want. While Facebook is mainly used to socialise online, your website can be set up to appear when people in your surrounding suburbs need help around the house.
#2 – Your site is the only way to get on Google
When someone goes searching for a home improvement business on Google, they’ll never be shown a Facebook result.
That’s because Google and Facebook are competitors.
Google has an index of billions of sites and the only way to get in that index and appear in front of potential customers is with your own website. Your own website can be optimised for SEO so that you’re put in front of people who want new kitchen splashbacks, or new coats of paint, or new turf laid.
Every piece of content on your website has the potential to rank on Google and get you quote requests from hundreds of leads every month. Compared to every post on your Facebook page which can reach your followers…and that’s it.
Even if your Facebook posts do make their way to potential customers, you may not get the exposure you want at the right time to solve their problem.
#3 – You control the experience on your site
Let’s say you offer a pressure washing service.
The most valuable sales tool you have is your ‘before and after’ photos that show dirty, stained driveways; and then clean, pristine driveways. You know customers love seeing results so you get plenty of leads from your pics alone.
You lose that kind of value on Facebook. Sure, you can set one banner image and one profile image, but your Facebook page will look similar to every other business on Facebook because you can’t customise Facebook’s platform.
On your own site you can add anything you want. Add a scrolling section with your best ‘before and after’ photos, add videos of satisfied customer testimonials, or change your colours and font to show off your brand. These customisations that help people connect with your business are only possible on your own site.
Plenty of your customers will avoid Facebook and the “fake news” they think they’ll find there. No matter how many people have Facebook accounts, nothing compares to the trust your own website builds.
Trust is at the heart of every lead you earn. People don’t request quotes from businesses they think are shady, or will rip them off. They call businesses who have reviews, videos, blogs, pages with information about each service.
Your home improvement website builds trust in a way Facebook can’t, and that trust is the foundation of every customer you get.
So you may feel like you’re saving a few bucks by sticking with a free Facebook page, but think about what you’re losing – thousands of dollars in revenue from people who didn’t trust you because you didn’t have a website.
Think about how you search online.
Do you prefer to jump from Facebook page to Facebook page? Or go to Google and find websites to look at before you make a decision on which business you want to spend your money on?
Your answer to that question is the same as your customers.
A lot of business owners think they can launch a Facebook page and the business will come rolling in. But this is a pipe dream.
A Facebook page might be fast and relatively easy to set up when uploading your photos or tapping out a status update, but how do you actually attract customers to your Facebook page? (not counting your friends and family who will be there to support you, but won’t be regular customers or adding to your bank account).
That’s where Facebook becomes very challenging.
What do you post? How do you know those posts will interest your customers? What makes one of your potential customers comment or share a post?
People typically go onto Facebook to look at photos of whatever their hobby may be, chat with their mates, catch up with their gran. It is called SOCIAL media afterall. People don’t typically go to Facebook hunting for their next $30,000 bathroom renovation.
If you had to pick between a Facebook page or a website and you’re planning on being in business for the long term, the value of a website is impossible to beat. Your own branded, tradie website will:
allow you to display your best work
give you a space to show people how you can solve their problems
most importantly, allow your business to be in front of your target audience when they are searching for help
A Facebook page shouldn’t replace a website, but it can work alongside a website to grow your business.
If you fill your Facebook page with 5-star reviews, pictures of your work, and posts keeping your followers in the loop, you’ll build a buzz and familiarity around your brand. When people are curious enough to learn more about you they’ll jump on Google and punch in your business name.
Your Facebook page can act as a reference point for some customers and your friends and family. But what really swoops in and starts the sales process is your website. The same way you hand out flyers that convince people to call you, but the sale comes from your one-on-one phone conversation when people request a quote.
Facebook is free and potentially full of new customers, so stick with it. Keep in mind, it will take time to build an audience outside your friends and family. That means coming up with ideas for posts, creating graphics, or filming videos. And if it sounds like growing your business through Facebook ALSO sounds like hard work, it’s because it is.
The primary focus of any business for the long term should be to build a tradie website that establishes credibility, showcases your work, and turns cold traffic into customers. Make sure your website is SEO and Google Ad-friendly.
To get the best of both worlds, put up a Facebook page while you’re building your site. This will help you develop two new ways to increase exposure and generate leads.
Wondering what a website will cost you or need help setting up your facebook page?