It seems that the most frequently asked questions of the digital business age is: “does my small business really need a website?”
The ease of the internet has seen fewer people seek for products and service through the yellow pages or phone book. In fact these days have long gone and have been replaced with the search and click days. More than 20 million shoppers are now online, purchasing everything from books to animals and food to property.
A large proportion of business revenue is derived from online transactions and offline through online marketing efforts. Even if your business is small and sells products or services that you don’t believe would benefit from being online, without a doubt you should have an online presence. Never dismiss products to be sold over the internet, as the utmost unique and specific products are the ones sought over the internet.
Having a website doesn’t mean that you focus all your budget and time onto selling online. You can still actively trade from your store-front, while having a website which allows for potential customers, employees or business partners to find out the information they seek.
However, it’s simply not enough to have just a website. Your business website needs to be professional otherwise you won’t be taken seriously. Customers usually search online prior to making a purchase, so it’s essential that your website gives a credible impression. A website should be an important part of your business and you should treat it as one.
So, what’s stopping you creating a website for your startup business?
Here are four popular excuses disproved:
“I cannot afford to spend money on a swanky, professional website”
Many people believe that it costs big money to create a credible website, but there are plenty of excellent websites that have been produced at a reasonable price (without knowing somebody who knows someone). You can do some digging around online to find an affordable design agency, or try your hand at building a website by customizing an online blogging platform with a paid domain. Nonetheless, it’s true that the more pages your website has and the more you update with unique content, the greater the investment.
“I don’t have the staff to update the website regularly”
A website which boasts boring, bland and outdated content with a blog that doesn’t get updated is almost as worse than having no website at all. With blogging platforms such as Tumblr, Blogspot and WordPress, updating your website with a new blog post has never been as easy. And, you certainly don’t need an extra pair of hands as you can simply update your website when you have a spare hour. Share content on your latest works, industry changes and other related issues.
“My competition don’t have one, so I don’t need one either”
If this is your attitude to your business, then you’re heading into an early retirement.
“SEO is too hard to learn and I don’t have the money to outsource”
SEO is basically the practice of optimizing your website content with words and phrases for search engine purposes. Basically, what will your customers be searching on Google or Yahoo! to find your website? If you optimize your website efficiently, you will be higher on the search engine results. Basic SEO can be learnt and put into practice by the least technical of people.
Dawn writes for alldayPA, a telephone answering service offering businesses a bespoke call handling service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.