Whether you’ve been running a business for a while or are still in the process of launching your startup (and that includes making sure you get all the necessary paperwork squared away beforehand), it’s no secret that a website is an important part of your success plan. In a world driven by technology, websites are a crucial business tool for reaching customers and potential clients. According to a recent study, however, 36% of small businesses are still operating without a website. Lacking a website keeps the door closed on numerous ways to market your business, and can have an effect on your bottom line.
When it comes to a new website, one of the first questions to ask yourself is, “How will your customers pay for your services?” The answer to this question determines whether the site will include eCommerce (online store) components. While the logistics of handling payments might be an afterthought for most small business owners, this is actually one of the most crucial questions to answer before building your website.
Some business owners prefer to handle all payments in-person themselves, rather than selling products or services over the Internet. While this might seem like an easier option, it actually causes your business to miss out on the trillions of dollars that are spent each year in online purchases. Even if you run a brick-and-mortar store, offering customers the option to purchase goods and services from your website can attract repeat customers (and long-term revenue).
As you delve into this, know that while there are plenty of online resources that explain how to launch an online store, it’s in your best interest to consult with an eCommerce specialist who can explain and talk you through the entire process. Having professional expertise here will ensure your store can hit the ground running.
With brick-and-mortar retail stores still reeling from the pandemic, online businesses may very well be the way of the future. Luckily, you have a few options for building your website.
First, there’s obviously the DIY route. Thanks to platforms such as WordPress, SquareSpace and Wix (to name a few), it’s easier than ever to build your entire website yourself. However, it’s in your best interest to have a professionally-designed site customized for your business. Web design agencies like Dluxe Web Design can not only create the ideal website for you, but they can also assist with ongoing maintenance.
Help customers find you by optimizing your site to rank better on Google and other search engines. Start with a strong marketing strategy, which is crucial to any new business and should be written into your business plan.
You also want to do some competitive research to see how similar businesses in your area are marketing themselves. Remember to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What words, phrases, or sentences would you type into Google to find a company similar to yours? Incorporate those words and phrases into your website.
Other strong ways to market yourself include starting a blog and establishing yourself as an expert in your field with regular, informative posts. You can take it a step further and share those posts on social media to extend your reach. It’s also wise to consider paid ads on social media and search engines; these are relatively affordable and can provide a quick boost in traffic, possibly leading to sales as well. Again, if you need assistance with marketing strategies, look to a qualified agency or freelancer who can help you plot out a marketing campaign that will generate leads.
One final tip is to always track what works and what doesn’t. Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools are free for small business owners to use. Install these services to track your website’s monthly traffic, sales, and visitor behaviors. Keep an eye on how you’re ranking on Google and the other search engines. Above all else, put yourself out there. You don’t have to be perfect to be successful. Good luck!Guest post provided by: Lindsey Weiss; Photo from Pexels