The short answer is yes. And I say that not because I'm a website designer. I say it because Google is the first place people go when they are in need of a service. And when search results come up, most will go first to the snippets whose link lines (aka titles) are optimized with a problem specific keyword, location, and phone number.
The way to get snippets that are optimized like that is from the meta tags of your website pages.
And that brings up another point -- most good web hosts today allow nearly unlimited number of pages, each of which can and should be individually optimized and filled with client attracting content. When done right, each page will have relevant content to speak to specific potential clients and a persuasive call to action to lead them into making an appointment instead of checking out the next person on their list.
Websites also do a better job of enhancing your own professional image because they provide the space for a supportive and informative conversation with the reader that addresses their concerns immediately. Websites can provide digital downloads with self-help tips that contribute to establishing you as the helpful resource to remember. Most directories don't allow downloads, and most people still don't know where to find downloadable files in Facebook.
If you do use pay per click ads, you can direct respondents to one specific landing page that provides exactly what the ad promotes, instead of taking respondents to a generic page that they then have to sort through -- and lose interest in you in the process.
Websites can and should be 100% in your own control, only changing in design and organization when you or your webmaster make the changes. Directories and Facebook can and will make changes in their platforms without notice that could impact your marketing efforts -- especially if you don't discover those changes right away.
And even your domain name -- the website address, such as TheNoHypeMentor.com -- can be a personalized marketing identity that helps potential clients remember you. But try to remember your own directory profile page url or explain your Facebook page address to others and it can get cumbersome and confusing.
My recommendation is to think of your website as the hub of all other marketing that you do. Make it the first thing you set up, and consider it an extension not only of the professional personality of your practice, but also as a multi-talented marketing department for your business.
Now let's compare these advantages to those of directories and Facebook.
What's Good About a Directory Listing
Directories like Psychology Today and Good Therapy for therapists, Noomii for coaches, Natural Choice for alternative health practitioners, Theravive for couples counselors, and so on, are typically inexpensive forms of month to month advertising. They display your credentials, payment options, location, contact info, and a brief marketing pitch. They are meant for potential clients who like to shop around.
In essence these profiles are what is meant by the "set it and forget it" type of advertising. Sounds convenient at first, but the down side is that these spaces do little to fully engage readers and convert them into clients.
What's not so good about directory listings is that when people are shopping around, you are too conveniently in high competition with everyone else in your neighborhood who provides the same service. Those of us who have been on Psychology Today know that potential clients often just go down the zip code list calling everyone, without even fully reading our profiles to see what we offer.
Directory listings by nature are extremely limited in what you can say and how you can use the page design to attract the right clients for you.
What's Great About a Facebook Business Page
If you are a coach, distance healer, or metaphysical adviser who doesn't need to rely on local, in person traffic to build your practice, having a Facebook business page will help you reach beyond your geographical limits.
If you are a therapist who wants to develop a national reputation, has a book to promote, or wants to cultivate a following for offering online webinars, having a Facebook business page will help you connect with people who won't be shown your website in a Google search for their local area.
Another great thing about Facebook is that it can be used as a funnel for driving people from your business page to your website and blog. Since Google likes links from high volume sites like social media, this helps your website's SEO.
What's not so good about a Facebook business page is that you have almost no control over how it is organized. It's very easy for people to miss important posts. Often, they have to remember to go to your page to see what you have because it won't be shown in everyone's own newsfeed. Even if you post gets in someone's newsfeed, by the time they get to Facebook it could be so far down in the feed that they don't scroll long enough to reach it.
So as a marketing tool, it can be very spotty in helping to build a practice.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't have a Facebook business page. It does mean that if it's your primary web presence platform, you would likely need to be on it every day all day to make it really work for you. I don't know many solopreneurs who have that kind of time.
But a Facebook business page can be useful in promoting events and information products. And Facebook private groups can be used for teaching and support group purposes. If you and your audience can master the asynchronous nature of posting on Facebook, this can be a cost-free platform for offering your wisdom.
What's Excellent About Having a Website
So now you know you definitely need website, and you know a few things about how it will work for you. Here are a few more points about having a website:
it works as your persuasive salesperson even when you are asleep
it's the most cost-effective form of marketing
it's highly versatile if designed well with good content
it can and should include a blog, and a give away report or download
Google will help you market if you have a website
you'll look more professional with a website on your business card
potential clients expect legitimate businesses to have a website
you can direct people to specific pages when you are networking
your pages can focus on different niche clients without adding to your cost
niche pages attract more clients than a jumble of Facebook posts
Browse my blog and tag cloud for more info about websites. If you don't yet have a website and want to know more about timelines and costs, see my designer site at DeWriteSite.com. And I'd be happy to walk through it with you. Email me to schedule a call.