One of the hottest buzzwords in 2019 is funnel. Everyone is selling a funnel, touting it like the best thing since mac & cheese. “Don’t bother building a website!” That’s their slogan. “All you need to start a business and make money is a funnel.” In this article I discuss the value of funnels and websites, and whether or not your business needs a website.
What The Funnel?
If you’re familiar with the digital marketing space, you’d probably heard this word being thrown around a lot.
Maybe you know what it is. But for the benefit of those who don’t, a funnel is basically a sequence of touch points that a potential customer reaches before becoming a paying customer.
If you’re familiar with the term sales pipeline, which represents the different stages that a customer goes through from the moment they encounter your business until the sale happens…
Then funnel is the same thing, just on a bigger statistical scale, focusing on the conversion rates of each stage.
The idea is this:
Let’s say 10,000 people view your ad on Facebook.
5% of those people click on your link. That’s 500 clicks.
Of those, 60% of people give you their email contact in exchange for a valuable offer. That’s 300 leads.
Of the 300 leads, 1% become paying customers immediately. That’s 3 sales.
If you draw it out, it basically looks like this:
Pretty simple concept right?
So what does it have to do with having a website or not?
One of the biggest softwares for building funnels, Clickfunnels, basically based their entire business around funnels being the new “website”.
Gone are the days where you have to design, wireframe, and spend thousands developing a full website for your company that sits there and does nothing.
A funnel basically consists only the essential pages that only serve a singular purpose:
To move the customer to the next step of the funnel.
That’s why you don’t need a website with a home page, about page, blog page, contact page, services page…
You just need a single page that has a bunch of copy on it convince the reader to go to the next page.
Whether it’s a sales page, a checkout page, a form submission to a thank you page…
Whatever the next step in your funnel is.
Because you don’t need to build an entire website anymore. Funnels are supposed to be more efficient—saving precious time and money, while being good enough to generate sales.
Here’s the catch
Suppose you are in the market for new furniture. What’s the first thing you’ll do?
The same thing almost anyone else does. You Google it. Or, Bing. Or, Yahoo. Whatever it is…
My point is, you’ll notice something. None of the pages on any search engine links to a funnel.
Instead, I can safely say that 99.9% of all your top search results lead to websites.
So why do people still use funnels?
Well, search engines aren’t the only way to drive traffic. There are plenty of avenues to drive traffic to the start of your funnel.
Paid advertising, affiliates, social media, direct traffic…
Which brings me to the point: Funnels are a great short term solution.
But they are not the be all and end all of your marketing strategy.
And another big point is…
Funnels and websites are NOT mutually exclusive
Who says you can’t have both? You should have both. One as a short-term strategy to get the ball rolling…
And the other to capitalize on time, momentum, and effort to grow exponentially.
If any marketer who tells you that your business doesn’t need a website, and that funnels are king…
They’re probably trying to get you to use their Clickfunnels affiliate link.
Also, they don’t know shit about marketing. They probably bought a $97 course online, teaching them that the secret to getting rich is to sell others the secret to get rich.
And that the starting a business and making money online is one and the same thing.
I know people, who make tons of money online. Hundreds of thousands every month… But they don’t have a business.
Because a business is not a short-term cash grab. It’s putting together pieces of a self-running money-making machine.
Product, offer creation, branding, customer service, bookkeeping, human resource, management, outsourcing, fulfillment, customer retention…
There’s more to building a business than just putting shit online and making money off that.
And that is why you need both a sales funnel and a website.
“But Jet, I have a Facebook page/Instagram profile with followers. Why do I need a website?”
That is a valid question. I’ve spoken with musicians, artists, and influencers before and many of them don’t believe in having a website.
To them, simply having a social media page is enough. Why pay for a website if no one visits it anyway?
And they have a point. After all, when was the last time you went to your favorite artist’s website?
I’m a huge fan of Eminem, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been to his website.
So does that mean that there are business that don’t need websites.
Every business needs a website. And even if you’re a musician or personal brand, you have to think like a business or you’ll lose.
Problem is, industries like the film or movie industries developed differently.
On one hand you have the old school thinking: pitch to labels, get a record deal, play small shows endlessly and hope you get your big break before your label decides to shelf you for good.
On the other hand you have your new school stars: post music on Soundcloud, Spotify, or Youtube, and build a fanbase there until you get your big break and people start throwing money at you.
Both models are incredibly unreliable and dangerous.
You only see the success stories, but never the people who have been uploading for years and still remain in obscurity.
And then there’s the harsh hammer on social media sites. We’ve seen content creators at the mercy of those large corporations all the time.
The moment some controversy happens, some new policy update, or a change in the algorithm—your brand is at stake.
Facebook’s organic reach has dropped from 16% in 2012 to less than 5% today. And they don’t even tell you that.
YouTube indiscriminately demonetizes content for no good reason at all without giving warning.
Building an empire on rented land is one of the most dangerous things you can do for your business.
And that’s why, your website is your only salvation in uncertainty.
No matter what business you’re in, a website serves as the central core of your business ecosystem.
Social media, funnels, emails, everything should revolve around your website.
Instead of letting Facebook make money off your the data of your customers by selling said data to other businesses…
You can own the data of your customers by collecting leads in your funnel or website and building a relationship with them in your own controlled ecosystem.
Of course you can still use social media pages to connect with your fans, but when things go south. You want to have a home base that people know where to find you.
But what should you put on your website?
Just having a website is not enough. I’ve seen many businesses who haven’t updated their website in decades.
Your website is like real estate. You need to maintain it, you need to keep it updated and relevant, and you need to keep traffic flowing through.
And you can do that by creating content. Articles, videos, images…
Anything you put on other websites or social media, you can upload them on your website as well.
Give your customers a reason to visit your website. Make the experience valuable for them.
Keep it buzzing, and when that happens, the Google bots will see that your website is getting a lot of attention and start pushing you up the ranks.
If you have to hire someone to maintain your website content for you, do it. It’s a good investment.
Get someone to do SEO (search engine optimization), content creation, and website management.
And everything you put online, send your potential customers to your website.
From the content, you can put a CTA to send them into your funnel and to the sale.
There are a million roads you can take with this one. All you need to know is your customer or audience on a deep level.
But that’s a topic for another day.
Final Verdict: Yes, you need a website
At the end of the day, if you’re a legitimate business, it won’t hurt having a website.
Use it as a place for you to provide value to your customers. Even if at the start no one’s visiting.
In the long run, your website can provide a huge boost to your company valuation (domain names can be considered company assets as well).
My final question is: Do you have a website for your business?
If you want to find out how to get a website for your business, what’s the cheapest and best way, schedule a chat with us. We’ll share with you the best resources and tools for you to build your website. Click here to schedule a chat