According to National Statistics Association, the number of small business owners going online and doing business online will double by 2025.
It makes sense to finally have your beautiful website set up on the internet, have a couple of social media accounts, enter your business into online listings like Google and Yelp.
And wait for the flood of customers at the door steps of your business. Right? Wrong!
Admittedly, having some presence online is better than none at all. If you have an operational website you are way ahead of 43% of business owners who don’t. If you promote your business via social media, you are way ahead of 29% of business owners who don’t. If you have a Google My Business listing, the chances are your customers can find you in Google. Or if you understand the importance of communication with your prospects and customers, you have so called “email list”. In this case, you are far ahead of 46% of businesses that don’t.
Do you see the pattern? Do you want to be ahead of your competition and rip the benefits of still developing online marketing, yet very powerful strategy?
Even having one-page website is better than nothing. Just have it set up and grow it as your time and resources permit.
Save yourself some time and money by learning how to update your website. It’s easier than you think. If it is a WordPress (I know, I know. I will explain below) website, there are tons of free tutorials online to give you head start. Or find someone who can set it up for you and maintain for a small fee.
Now, let’s talk about why it’s important to know some of this geeky stuff. Remember I used the WordPress word above?
There are tons of apps, programs, systems, platforms (everyone calls them differently) out there to choose from ready for website creation. The way it’s going currently, majority of web designers and platforms prefer WP. In fact, over 600 of the websites created each and every day are WP websites. So the choice is clear. The main reason why WP is so popular is that even a non-technical person can work in it. Now, that’s a shocker, isn’t it? They charge all kinds of money to create a website that you could create yourself! Yes and no.
WP is a web-based program where you can easily add pages to a website. All you need to have is a name (domain) for your website and a server (a hosting company) to store your website. Any hosting company offers a domain service and a WP installation that comes with the plan you purchase. There are WP features, of course, that only web designers and web developers know about. After all you do need to know how to build something. If you don’t, that’s when the experts come to the rescue.
Take a house. It’s safe to say most house owners did not build their homes. But most of them did something to improve it or maintain it. The same with the website. You don’t need to know how to build it (although, the choice is yours). But knowing how to make a simple update can make a big difference for a small business owner. I promise, it’s easier than you think.
See, this wasn’t so scary, was it?
Having a website is good. However, having a useful website is even better. Good marketers know how to make it useful. There are things you can do as well. First of all, make sure your website does or has these 5 things (link to article). If your website does not include these things, you might be losing customers.
- Make sure you have a header on your website. It has to be clear, concise, and it needs to tell visitors what you do. Place the header on the website so it’s the first thing your visitors see.
- Does your website have a call-to-action (CTA) button? Visitors need to be told what to do. Place it in the upper right corner and throughout your website.
- Does each product or service have its own page with clear description and great pictures?
- Include testimonials from your loyal customers.
- It must be mobile friendly.
None of these things would matter unless your website loads fast. Most visitors will not wait for more than 3 seconds for the website to load. Make sure your website is fast is responsive so the visitors have at least a chance to judge whether they want to do business with you.
Secondly, promote your website. How? Social media, listings like Google My Business (GMB), word of mouth comes to mind.
Let’s explore digital means of website promotion or marketing for that matter.
Google My Business (GMB)
GMB listing is a must-have for any business
Don’t have one? Set it up now. Here is a link to Google resources on how to do it. Don’t forget to verify claim your listing once it’s set up.
This does not need to be complicated. You may already have a personal Facebook page. Optimize it for your business or create a fan page. Send a link to your website or your business FB page. Send an invite to like it to all your friends. Whenever you have a sale, promotion or something new added to your website, make a post on your FB page.
Feeling like a champion in social media. Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are your go to and the most used by small business owners platforms.
Where else you can leave a link to your website? Yelp, HomeAdvisor, Alignable to name a few.
The only caveat to this is being consistent. Make sure you are using the same business name, address, and phone number on all platforms. And of course, don’t forget to claim, confirm, verify your listing where necessary.
Stay engaged with your prospects and your customers and you will see your business grow.