It should go without saying that having a website for your business is imperative. Just last year a survey by Clutch had found that almost 46% of small businesses don’t have a website. Granted, some companies feel as though that a site won’t help their business at all (and in some cases, they’re right). However, it still stands that one of the primary drivers to small businesses not having a website is the price.
There’s a common misconception for a lot of business owners that a website is expensive. While yes, hiring a small boutique firm or full-on digital agency can be quite pricey, the biggest part here is separating the difference in services. For example, with a lot of agencies, you’re not just getting a website, but someone to take care of your identity/digital identity, as well as possibly roll-out campaigns, social media management…and the list could go on and on. While a lot of these services are great to have with the launch of a new site, they aren’t exactly necessary. In fact, you could save quite a bit by just focusing on creating a quality site, while doing the legwork behind it. Here’s how:
Know your needs
While you might get excited about the prospects of a new website that’s affordable, be mindful of what your needs are. I’ve heard a lot of folks say before, “I want my site to look like (insert multi-million dollar company here), really simple and clean.” Not only are these descriptors inaccurate, but there’s a lot that goes on under the hood of those websites that dictate their higher price point.
Instead, my best advice would be to start with what your needs are. What information do you want people to see versus what do they need to see? How are they discovering you? (Note: Most likely on mobile) Are you going to be providing content for a blog?
All of these factors go into working with your web designer on making the perfect site for you. Start from a solid foundation of writing out your goals, and you’ll be out online in no time.
Start with a builder
We’ve all seen the ads of “how easy it is” to build a website with Wix, Squarespace, etc., but be wary of those. These services are fine for a business card website (a one-pager outlining basic information), but if you want to take your web traffic seriously, then it’s crucial to have an actual site built.
Don’t get me wrong, I get that hiring an agency is expensive, but I also understand your traditional website builder might not do the job. That’s why builders like Deluxe are a good in-between. Not only do they offer the ability for you to have a custom website built that’s curtailed to your branding, but they help guide you along the way. This includes getting a lot of the same functionalities of traditional boutique agencies, such as revisions, various concepts, and even SEO optimization.
Services like this can be a great medium for you to get started on your site. The savings you’ll experience will be tremendous, while additionally allowing you to have a steady web presence you can continue to grow off for years to come. However, I’ll note that while having a great site is part of the battle, the other half deals heavily with getting your word out there.
Get the word out
While promoting your site isn’t necessarily a core component to the overall aesthetics, it’s crucial practice to proving why your site exists in the first place. After all, this is a device that’s used to let people know you’re out there as well as what you do, so it’s important to take the steps necessary to start getting yourself out there.
When it comes to digital marketing, there are numerous solutions you can implement to start gaining traffic. For example, (as Deluxe notes above) utilizing an SEO strategy and optimization is one of the initial steps you can take. Additionally, taking advantage of your existing social media channels will be advantageous as well. And finally, if you’re looking into using your blog or content as a means of gaining traffic, here’s a great list of some channels you can distribute to.