In today’s market, you also know that you need a website or presence to get noticed and for customers (who otherwise might not have) to find you. So, like just about every other start up out there, you make a Facebook business page. You log in religiously, and update your content daily to keep your customers in the know about sales and specials. Maybe you even paid for some ad space to get your business noticed and drove some internet traffic your way. That should cover everything right? In today’s crowded marketplace the answer is a resounding No. You need a website.
In fact, I would implore every small business owner to start one if they haven’t done so already. A quick search of all the big companies can attest to that fact. Besides, it is free and fairly easy to use. The problem arises only if this is your sole online presence. Social media should only be a (albeit important) part of your whole online marketing strategy. You need a full on website to compete.
What does it say to your customer about your business that you cannot even pony up to an actual website and use only something that is free. This is not to say that you need to spend thousands of dollars to make an impression. Quite the contrary, I would suggest finding a cost effective solution that gives you plenty of bang for your buck. There are a wide variety of solutions to fit each budget and time constraint.
Why is this a big deal? When a customer searches for an item or service you provide, the search engine displays those results based on a variety of factors. The simple truth is that the bigger your presence, the higher your ranking, and the more visitors to your site. When you build your website you want to link to the pages (like that Facebook page you built) and connect them to your website. The more of these links to and from your websites that are active, the more likely you are to climb in ranks.
So, what now? I know or already knew that I would need a website but don’t know where to start. Most would suggest securing a domain name. This is the name in the address bar people will type in or search for to find you. There are plenty of service out there that sell them. Be wary of deals that sound too good to be true with ridiculously low prices. They will lure you in with an introductory rate, then raise it significantly after. The truth is it can be a headache to transfer in some cases, so it is good to go with a company you trust. If you are unsure and intend to use a company to develop your website, most will offer suggestions or offer an in-house solution.
You do know how to do that right? Fortunately for us, that is a thing of the past. There are plenty of web design and development studios, like Girl in Paris design, who can put together all the pieces together without you needing to lift a finger or type a line of code. These one stop shops work within a specified budget to custom develop a web solution to help drive traffic and sales.
Budget a concern? Sometimes that is the go / no go decision in the small business world. Another solution for the budget challenged can be a website builder. These builders lump all the costs of website ownership into a small monthly payment. The trade-off is that you will use the builder to build your own website. Our favorite is EasyPeasy Builder, which utilizes a block building system. The blocks are already professionally designed, so you just drag and drop what you need, fill in the content, and that’s it. A small time investment for a big payout.
Whatever route you decide, having a real website will be a point of pride, even a milestone, in your entrepreneurial journey. And that extra cash flow never hurt anybody…