Launching a business website is a wonderful and extremely effective way to connect with your customers and ignite more sales. Yet so many business owners don’t think it’s worth their time. Here are common misconceptions:
“My brick-and-mortar store alone is thriving with foot traffic. Is a website still necessary?”
Answer: A small business website will enable your customers to shop from you, even beyond your store’s operating hours.
“My Etsy page or Amazon sales are already exploding. Isn’t that enough?”
Answer: Having your own website will allow your customers to learn more about your company, and what makes it special. These ecommerce sites limit what you can share online. They also take a portion of your sales.
“But I’m a service-based business. Listing my business on Google is all I need to do, right?”
Answer: Wrong. Even if you don’t need an ecommerce page to sell physical products, creating a website for your services is still a must. The website can list your rates, policies and types of packages they can purchase from you.
Here is a basic blueprint for establishing yourself online:
- Create a custom domain. Your business’ web address will tell people who you are as a business, and what you sell. When they promote your business to others, they’ll likely share your URL online, so be sure to pick the right domain, .tel is a great domain for small businesses.
- Build a website that works for you. Your domain will lead to your business website, which will serve as your company’s online hub. This online destination will showcase your products or services, share your bio and why you’re so passionate about your field, and will help you differentiate yourself from competitors.
- Brand your email: When operating online, you want to look professional on all fronts, including via email. Ditch the old Gmail or Yahoo email and set up a branded email address for your business.
- Get started on social media: The best thing about getting active on the top social networking sites is that it’s absolutely free. Determine the best platforms for your type of business (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok etc) and use social media to build an online community and engage with your customers.
- Get listed on Google: Create a listing for your business on Google, as well as other search engines like Bing. Think about review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and other search directories to make sure Internet surfers can easily find you.
- Begin blogging: Getting your business a branded email, social media accounts and on business directory listings are all part of building a thorough online ecosystem for your business. All these elements should link to one another and most importantly, they should link to your company website.
- Be human online: Use your website and blog to highlight your talents, expertise and love for your industry. Share more information about you as the founder. Discuss new deals. Talk about what your team is up to and what you’re doing in the community. The Internet is a crowded world. Don’t be afraid to showcase the best of your personality, as this humanizes your business and easily differentiates you from the rest.
At the end of the day, your business website serves as your company’s online home. After securing the right domain, build a website that has a clear and uncluttered homepage, a thoughtful About Us page, and an online payment system that works online as well as mobile. In addition to updating it regularly with your latest products or services, you want to blog like a boss. Create a blog that publishes regularly (weekly is reasonable) and gives customers a reason to revisit your website.