It still baffles us that many of the best bars have either completely disregarded building a website or have left it to die while working exclusively on their Facebook page. We try to educate our local bars on why creating a website is not only important, it’s a REQUIREMENT. If you want to bring in new customers to grow your bar and your wallet, you need a website. You want to own your content, not give all the power to Mark Zuckerberg. We have put together a list of the four main reasons you need a website alongside your Facebook page.
You’ll Improve Google MyBusiness and Search Rank
The single most important thing that can generate hundreds of extra drinkers a month is your Google My Business search ranking.
Today, the yellow pages have evolved into Google Maps local searches. According to Google, 43% of all searches are local or location-based. This means that 43% of searches on google are for local services or business. To put that into perspective, if your bar is in a town of 200,000 people and 43% of them are using Google MyBusiness to find a local restaurant or bar, 86,000 potential customers searching for a place to drink are lost to your higher-ranking competition.
Yes you heard me right, building your bar a website will not only potentially show half of your town population your bar, the half that are shown are already actively looking for a new bar to visit. This makes customers viewing your website much more likely to pop in for a drink than a random user logging into Facebook to tell their second cousin happy birthday.
Facebook Interaction Is Bad, And It’s Getting Worse
I see it everywhere, social media marketers throw around statistics like “the average user spends 55 minutes a day on Facebook”. Sounds like a good place to promote, interact, and acquire new regulars, right? While almost an hour a day minutes seems great, when is the last time you got on Facebook for the specific purpose of finding a new local restaurant? If you’re anything like the 750 million daily users of Google who use local search to find businesses in their area, you answered “never”.
People use Google much more often to locate local businesses but what does that mean for Facebook interaction? Facebook users are much more interested in interaction with friends and family, memes, and the latest news breaks then being bombarded with offers and ads from your bar. This creates a gap between the potential customer who wants to see their sisters wedding photos and laugh at their friends posts and the bar that posts content promoting the next night out.
People don’t generally don’t like interacting with a business on Facebook, people see social media time as a break. In addition to users not interacting with your posts, Facebook controls what shows up on whose feed and has been hiding business posts from followers feeds more and more until they became obsolete. In recent statistics, <1% of the people that like your business page will see the content that you post in their feed.
Facebook Is Rigid and Generic, Standing Out Is Vital
While Facebook can equip your bar with the bare minimum functions like posting and a contact page, a website will be infinitely more customizable and customers can locate information much easier.
With a website, you can create a real time event calendar that shows special events, an interactive map that points customers straight to your door, an about us page that shows potential customers what you are about, a gallery to show why your bar is better than the rest, and a contact form that your customers can fill out to get in touch with you and sign up for a business emails.
A recent Forrester survey supports that online adults are almost twice as likely to sign up for your business emails as interact with your business on Facebook. Most importantly, your website should be used as a hub for all your social media and connected websites.
Without a website, you have nowhere to put Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, etc so you cannot grow your brand and following as a bar outside of Facebook. Along with not being able to customize your site, Facebook takes away your ability to control and own your content and audience.
Facebook has released a statement recently stating that they will focus on their original goal, bringing people together. What does this mean for your page? Recent polling confirms that people do not like seeing advertisements over their friends and family’s posts. Ultimately, Facebook will continue to reduce the content your followers see that has been posted to your page which is already at an all time low.
One Wrong Move And Your Page Is Gone Forever
Another huge problem with only having a Facebook page is that they own everything. When you create a page on Facebook and interact with your customer base exclusively through it without a website, you risk losing all the work you have put in so far if Facebook decides to flag or remove your page.
This sounds like a doomsday scenario that would never happen to you, but with constantly changing Facebook guidelines and rules it happens often with many pages being banned after one wrong post. Now, if you were to also have a website for your bar, you could have an automatic email list, reach new customers, and have complete ownership of what you post (and you can still post on Facebook).
A website is also much more modular & customizable. Even if Facebook had all the features listed above and you owned your page, it would still not stand out. Every business page is setup the same way, there is no way to tell your bar from the one down the street because you both have the same layout on your Facebook page, hard to find pictures, and a feed that only shows people posts that Facebook deems promotable.
How Are People Supposed to See Your Menu?
If you’re anything like us, the tap list, house cocktails, and happy hour specials are a major consideration when deciding what bar to check out next. You can have a custom designed section set aside for your food and drink menu that’s not possible to add within Facebook.
This might not be as important for a dive bar, but it’s an absolute imperative for fancier establishments. You could add a picture of your menu to your gallery, but no one will ever find it. It needs to be featured and front-and-center on your website.
Any bar serious about making a name for itself in a crowded industry needs to have a professional, attractive, and easy-to-use website. I guarantee the most successful and popular spots in your city have a killer website. When you’re ready to take your online marketing to the next level, get in touch with us.