Do you really need a website for your farming business, or is social media alone sufficient? I get this question a lot, and my answer is always the same: having your own website is an absolute must! It’s not just about planting your digital roots; it’s about nurturing your online presence, cultivating trust with your audience, and reaping the rewards by converting customers. So if you’re wondering why a website is so important for farmers, here are my top 6 benefits!
Social Media Isn’t Always Reliable or Secure
Social media platforms can be as unpredictable as the weather. There are glitches and hackers, and you just don’t have any control. Just last week, a beekeeper friend of mine had her Instagram account hacked, and she lost a lot of business before she was able to get it back (not to mention how stressed out I’m sure she was during the process!).
If anything like that happens to you and you don’t have anywhere else potential customers can find you, customers can’t reach you or buy from you. What if one day it’s not temporary?
With a website, you’re in control because you own it, and your website host has backups of your site if something does happen. Not to mention, not everyone has social media! I’m barely on Facebook and my husband and several friends have left social media entirely. So if social media is your only focus, you’re completely missing out on people who aren’t using it.
Others who do follow you may not fully trust social media for purchasing products because there’s no security if you’re just messaging someone your credit card information so you can buy products you’re interested in. But website ensures you reach everyone, whether they’re social media savvy or not, AND have a trustworthy platform for purchasing products.
Websites Help You Establish Trust
Your website is your digital farmstead, and it adds a layer of trustworthiness. Consumers often see businesses with websites as more professional and reliable. In an era of fake and spammy social media accounts, having a website sets you apart as genuine.
And owning your domain also lets you create a branded email address, like firstname.lastname@example.org, adding another layer of professionalism when communicating with potential customers.
Your Site Is a One-Stop Hub
When you have a website, everything is in one place! It’s easier for visitors to navigate your website’s menu to find information about your farm services, products, your story, and how to do business with you. They can easily find exactly what they’re looking for, which can help convert them to customers.
And certainly beats scrolling through a pile of social media posts to piece together what you offer or trying to figure out the person behind the farm if you haven’t posted about yourself in a few weeks or month.
With your website, don’t forget to showcase those glowing customer testimonials. Display them on your home page, your about page, and even dedicate a page just for reviews. Testimonials humanize your farm, showcasing how much your customers love your services and products, and positive testimonials can boost conversions by up to 31%!
You Can Reach More Customers in Your Area
Anyone and everyone can follow you on social media, which is nice, but it’s not always the best for getting more customers if you don’t ship your products. If you can only serve people in person with things like CSAs or flower picking or agritourism events, then having followers who live thousands of miles away isn’t going to help your business grow much.
And even if you can ship your products, it’s unlikely that all of your followers will turn into customers. They might just like your photos or the information you share or even just your personality.
But having a website helps you reach people in your area who are searching for the products and services you offer! The key is making sure that you have your location or cities that you serve clearly on your website, so don’t forget that 😉
When I am ready to buy or experience something near me, I go right to Google to search for local seasonal events at farms or apple picking near me. And that’s how so many of your potential customers are searching, too. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to reach more local customers!
Websites Can Grow on Google
Now, let’s talk about the magic of SEO, which goes hand-in-hand with reaching potential customers in your area. A website is fertile ground for SEO techniques to make your farm visible to search engines and, ultimately, your ideal customers searching for the products you have to offer.
Optimizing your site for SEO helps Google understand who you are and what you have to offer and makes sure users see the important information you want them to. From keywords and title tags to compelling website copy and user experience, your website is an SEO playground. Implement it and watch your farm draw in new visitors that turn into loyal customers!
If you don’t know where to start with SEO, I have lots of blog posts for different agriculture industries that can help (and, of course, I do offer SEO services if you don’t want to do it yourself):
SEO Tips for Agritourism Businesses to Reach More Customers
8 SEO Tips for Gardeners to Grow Your Business
7 SEO Tips for Beekeepers to Generate More Buzz for Your Business
SEO for Florists: 6 Easy Tips to Help You Rank Higher on Google
You Can Grow Your Email List
An email list is a great personal way to connect with your audience and nurture potential sales, especially for your customers who aren’t active on social media. You can tailor your email marketing campaigns to specific sections of your audience, targeting those most likely to be interested in your farm’s offerings. You better believe I’m on the email list for local farms, compost companies, beekeepers, herbalists, and nurseries so I can stay up-to-date on events and promotions!
Encourage users to sign up for your list by offering them something valuable, like templates, e-books, or video training – these are known as lead magnets. Make them high-quality and relevant to provide information on gardening tips or recipes to make with your products and what customers can expect when they work with you.
So these are 6 of the many reasons why having a website for your farm is essential. Your website is your digital field, a place to cultivate trust, showcase your offerings, and connect with your audience. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming; you can do it. And if you need help, check out my Seeds for SEO Success course or view my SEO services to get your site ranking higher on Google!