Does my Business Need a Website?
Every small business needs a website. It’s one of those must-have things your business needs to reach your full potential.
With that said, let's talk about what you can do with your site to move your needle and the options that you have available.
Local Search and New Customers
Your website is your calling card. Customers and prospects expect to be able to find information quickly and easily on their phones and research shows that 46% of all Google searches have to do with location and roughly 97% of people who use online search look for local businesses which means, search engines are the first source users turn to when looking for services and/or products locally. If you’re not online with a professional look, you're missing out.
You Control Your Website
Controlling your online presentation is important to identify and establish your brand, and your own website is the best way to control your online presence. You control the layout, user flow, and functions. Your website is where you want to send customers and potential customers.
Relying on social media channels as your only online presence has serious limitations. While they are wonderful communication and marketing tools, social media companies control the look and functions on their platforms. Not to mention that social media platforms don't distribute posts equally. You give up a lot of control by relying on social for your main online presence.
Search engines love new and quality content. Your website is where you put that new content to attract the right customers. With a successful content plan, you can appear in relevant searches and reach potential customers who are currently looking for what you have to offer.
Your own website is necessary for digital advertising. Successful digital advertising campaigns require landing pages for your ads to get results.
Your own website will improve your traditional advertising too. You can create QR codes for specific landing pages and include it in your ad. This helps track your ad performance. At the very least you can direct people to visit you online and provide your website address.
It is possible to conduct email marketing without a website but using your website to help collect email signups just makes sense. You can direct people to various parts of your site in your emails, which is essential for email campaigns.
Can You Sell or Accept Payments Online?
I'm not necessarily talking about e-commerce. But if you don't sell online, could you? Developing a payment portal or giving customers the ability to pay a deposit is useful for some businesses. You might have the opportunity to set up an online store for some services or products. Non-profits can certainly set up donation or membership portals online to make it easier for people to contribute.
Leg Up on Your Competition
Good marketing differentiates you from other identical or similar products or services. Your website is where you can stand out from your competition with your branding. Your website can have functions and content that your customers find helpful.
Your website can help capture leads from interested buyers. Simple functions like an appointment booking calendar, email capture, or a simple form makes it easy for customers to request information or ask to be contacted.
One of the biggest advantages of digital advertising is targeting relevant people who have a good chance of buying from you. Your website traffic provides important data. Not only can you get demographic data, but you can see what piques your customer's interest by looking at your user flow throughout your website.
Employers need quality staff, and you are competing for employees. Online is where potential applicants research potential employers. Your website is where you can put your best foot forward and make it easy for candidates to apply now.
How to Get Online
Hiring a designer is the first obvious option. This isn't easy and it's the option with the highest outlay of money.
Hiring a web designer is not the most expensive way to get a new website. Your time has value, so the DIY options below require more of your time, which is a cost.
The advantage of hiring a developer is that they are professionals. They will know best practices, implement SEO, and take care of the geeky tech stuff.
The downside is that not all developers have the marketing skills to make your site a valuable part of your marketing mix. A designer might not suggest capabilities that will work with your other marketing efforts to get the best results and they might not have the copywriting skills to effectively deliver your message or get site visitors to take an action.
Website builders such as Squarespace, GoDaddy, or Shopify make it easy to build fairly sophisticated sites.
If you're setting up an e-commerce site, Shopify and those like it, are great solutions. You can hire a professional to help set up your store on those platforms too. We suggest getting a professional to help with the copywriting and product descriptions when setting up your DIY website.
WordPress is a great option - both self-hosted and WordPress.org. The platform is easy to use and maintain, plus there are large communities for troubleshooting. Again, we suggest hiring a copywriter to help with the copy and creative.
We can Help
Whether you need a new site built or need help with setting up your DIY site, or you're not sure which option is best for you - ZAMM can help get you online with a website that works for you. We want your site to work for your business and get results.