So you have started your business, you have your brochures, flyers, and business cards set. Heck you have even placed an add in the yellow pages. You’ve opened your doors and you are all set to go. Your off to a great start, But wait, do you have a website?
If the answer is no, you could be hurting your business before you even get started.
You might think that you’re just a small neighbourhood bakery that serves the local community or a you offer a service but you won’t be selling anything online so you don’t need a website but consider for a moment how most people find information these days.
It’s no coincidence that The Yellow Pages has gotten considerably smaller in past years, now when someone needs to find information quickly, they Google it. On their computers, tablets, smart phones and tablets that are always close at hand – If they need to know store hours – “Google It“, where to buy that new game at the cheapest price? “Google It”
Just because your website isn’t an Ecommerce site doesn’t mean it isn’t worth having. A website many times is your first chance at that all-important first impression. This is where you have the chance to set yourself apart from the competition who, like you may have thought “eh, I don’t need a website.”
What Should Be Included On The Website?
At the very least, information about you and your business and how your customers can contact you. If your business has a physical brick-and-mortar location, include directions and hours. Share samples of your work or a copy of your resume’ if applicable. Do you sell very rare items that are in very high demand? Add pictures of those rare items.
DIY or Hire a Professional?
When it comes to building a website, you have a wide range of options. You can, indeed build a website yourself by either learning HTML/CSS (which can be time consuming but some do find it rewarding) or you can go with a system that allows you to use WYSIWYG software (what you see is what you get) which is quick and easy but doesn’t always allow for full customization. Another option that is gaining popularity is using a CMS (Content Management System) or Blogging platform like WordPress to build your website.
However, If you choose any of these, you will need to purchase your own domain name such as www.yourbusiness.com to give your site that professional image that you want to portray. You may also have to handle your own hosting.
Or – you can hire a professional web designer to do all of these things for you. Yes, it will cost you money, but some consider it an investment and prefer to spend the time they would have spent on building a website on their business.
A good designer will go over your needs and wants with you and give you updates on their progress throughout the design process. They will also design with best search engine and industry practices in mind. They will know how to get your business noticed with a good marketing plan as well as great SEO (search engine optimization.)
Many companies, like this Hawaii SEO consultant offer customers design, optimization and marketing services, so the relationship doesn’t end after the initial design is complete. They will help you get your business started and continue to keep it updated and run your marketing program for you if you desire.
You may already have a Facebook page, a Twitter account or a Google+ page, and maybe you are active on Yelp – and that is fantastic! Don’t stop. But social media should complement your website, not replace it. In fact you want to include links to your social media accounts on your website and vice versa, but don’t limit your Internet presence to just a Facebook fan page. Social media is ever-changing and what is popular today could fall out of favour tomorrow and you want to stay ahead of the game.
Whether you decide to go the DIY route or hire a professional, it’s up to you. Just do it, get your business on the Internet already, It’s time!