If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “I’m a small business, I don’t need a website”, or “websites only work for large companies”, I would be a very rich woman! How many times have you said "I don't need a website, I'm not in the business of selling anything online!" You might be surprised to know that over 40% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices. And if your potential customers are on their phones, they most likely won't click on an ad or even look at your Facebook post unless it's for something related to what they're doing right now. If you want them to see your business, then you should start considering how best to reach these people! One way is by having a well-made and optimized website that can work seamlessly with any device - including smartphones.
On top of that, do you know how much time the average customer will spend browsing your website before they make a decision to do business with you? About 90 seconds. That's why it is extremely important to have vital and valuable information on page 1 of your website. If they can't find what they're looking for within 90 seconds, then chances are good they'll end up somewhere else!
Competition in today's business world is at an all-time high. This means that anything less than excellent service or products is not going to cut it anymore. People expect nothing less than perfection from companies these days. Having a well-made and organized website will put your company above many others out there who do not take advantage of this great resource for business. To put it simply, a website is an online representation of your company or brand that will help you reach more potential customers as well as do business with existing customers easily and without hassle.
A well built and well maintained website can do wonders for your business. You can use a website to promote events, sell products or services online, gather feedback from customers - the list goes on and on! It is a great way to interact with your customers. It allows you to stay in close contact and do business in a user-friendly manner that does not require complex downloads or difficult steps. Most importantly, having a website will give you confidence in your business by helping to build brand recognition.
But I have a Facebook page! Doesn't that do the same thing?
No. Having a website that is optimized for search engines and utilizes SEO tactics will do much more for you than Facebook ever could do on its own. Ideally, your website should be doing all the work while you reap the benefits! It is a tool that you will use for years to come!
While social media is a critical component to your online marketing strategy, it does not replace the necessity of having an aesthetically pleasing, optimized and user friendly website. Have you ever tried to do business with another company that only had a Facebook page or Twitter account? How successful do you think it was and do you feel like doing business with them again in the future? Social media is helpful for maintaining communication with your customers and building brand recognition. However, when it comes to making sales and closing deals, your website plays an integral role.
Keep in mind, the first step in having the right mindset about what a website can do for your business is acknowledging anytime you say that you do not need one. This statement no longer fits into this century. A website is as much a necessity today as having a phone number!
So do I need a website?
It really depends on how much time you're willing to invest into marketing, maintaining and building it as well as how serious you are about establishing yourself in today's competitive market. Having a website is an investment, but it's an investment that will pay off quickly AND continuously over time. It's important to realize that having a website means more than just putting up some pages and calling it good enough! It's about creating a website that is optimized for search engines and maximizing your online presence.
It's important that your business has its own space on the internet and having traffic coming in from search engines like Google is crucial if want to be ranked higher in various searches! Do not underestimate the value of SEO – do some research on the subject if you have not already!
What exactly do I need if I do decide to make a website?
If you decide to create your own website, then you will be adding content. You have the option of either building your own site with different tools provided by your host (WordPress) or using a web builder tool like Weebly or Wix that offer free templates for users to build websites without having any coding knowledge at all.
If you decide to use one of these free website builders, there are some things that should be considered before making your decision.
It's important to keep in mind that while getting them for free is beneficial, do not expect these site builders to do all the work for you. You will still have to incorporate different components such as SEO into your marketing strategy or do on page optimization yourself. While using a site builder can help save time and reduce cost, do some research before making your decision to see if these are options are right for you.
If you decide that having a website is right for your business, then it's time to start thinking about the different components that will make up your site.
Do you need a domain name?
Yes! It makes sense to get one now before someone else does and has its own spot on the internet. It's like having your own road to drive on, do you want to be stuck with slow moving traffic and have no way around it? Getting a domain name is the first step in establishing yourself as a legitimate business.
Do you need web hosting?
Your business needs website hosting just like it needs an address! Without the ability to utilize the internet, there is no point in having a website at all! Hosting plays a critical role in maintaining data integrity and keeping your content safe from cyber attacks! Hosting also serves another purpose – being the location where your webpage lives online and is made available for users to find. There are different types of hosting options depending on your needs and budget as a business owner.
Do you need web design services?
In addition to having your website, you might want to consider hiring a web designer or obtaining some help from a design agency. If you decide to hire an agency, then make sure that the company that will be designing your site can provide great customer support in terms of SEO and marketing strategies. Their are many relatively inexpensive web builders that can crank out flashy websites quickly, but are missing the key components to your website visibility - SEO.
These website builders do not offer options to really optimize your site and get it ranking well on search engines. If you do decide that getting a web design service is the way to go for you then make sure they do more than just create a website for you. The best companies will provide SEO services, social media help including building up a page or pages and creating content for them, keyword research, and also have great customer support, so if there are any issues with your website throughout its life cycle they can fix it quickly!
It's important to remember that having a website by itself won't bring in new customers or clients – You still need to do some marketing yourself. There are different strategies that work for different businesses. Create a blog and do some publishing on it, do SEO of your own content to help get more traffic through individual keywords, create video content and share it online, do some search engine optimization to make sure you're appearing where possible, and give great customer support so clients do not need any reason to give you negative reviews.
If you decide that having a website is right for your business then do yourself a favor and invest in getting the right one! Even if you can't afford the most expensive option out there but have enough money to start small – don't. Chances are it will take away from the success of your overall marketing campaign rather than improving upon it. Rather do some research to find the right service or do-it-yourself package for you.
In terms of costs involved with a website, it's important to do some research before jumping in and making your decision. It can be expensive to do it all on your own instead of hiring someone or getting help from a site builder like WordPress. If you decide to do everything yourself then remember that great content is the most important part – so quality is key!
What are the costs involved with having a website?
Domain Registration – The cost associated with purchasing a domain name can vary greatly depending on how long you want it for. Many web hosts will offer this service but they do charge extra for doing so. Average costs run anywhere from about $7 to $15 per year to keep your webpage live.
Hosting Costs – These are also going to be a part of your overall do-it-yourself or hiring someone costs. It depends on the type of hosting you purchase.
Doing it yourself will mean that you'll need to rent space from a web host, and they will charge for this service. The cost is going to be based upon how much bandwidth and data you use during your first year with them. For example, HostGator offers their "Baby Plan" which gives you 3gb of space each month starting at $4.95 per month (as of 2021). This option only provides the most basic necessities when it comes to do-it-yourself hosting so if you need more capabilities than this then expect to pay more money.
Website Design Cost - If there's one thing that can get very pricey quickly then this is it! The average price of having a website built professionally can range anywhere from about $1200 per site up to tens of thousands dollars depending on how complex the site builder requests the site to be built. If you decide that hiring someone or getting some help with do-it-yourself options, do yourself a favor and do some research into what exactly you want your site to do.
Most website companies will charge extra for setting up ecommerce on your new website or blog. There are do-it-yourself website builders such as WordPress that do have some ecommerce capabilities but it's not designed to do everything you might need if the site is going to be your online retail location.
Depending where you decide to do your research, you may find different options available to you – do yourself a favor and do some due diligence by getting more than one opinion on what will be the best option for your business!
Search engine optimization costs vary greatly depending on you choose to market your new website. If you chose to do-it-yourself – then keep in mind that all of the content you upload or create needs to be search engine optimized. This means that there are various tags and keywords that need to be included for Google, Bing and Yahoo to pick up on your site. This will help with the success of your marketing campaign, so consider investing in this, if you decide to do-it-yourself.
Websites are critical for businesses big and small
Having a website is critical for any business wanting to do business on the Internet. Social media alone is not an adequate replacement for having an actual site. It can do a lot to help the overall success of your marketing campaign, but remember that it's not going to do everything for you. While having a website is an excellent start – it does require some upkeep and maintenance in order to keep generating traffic as well as converting into sales. If you do-it-yourself, then keep in mind that it's going to take more than just a basic website builder designed for personal use. You're not only going to need a bit of technical know-how but also the ability to do some SEO (search engine optimization) for your site.
Website design costs money. If you decide to hire someone or do-it-yourself, then be sure you do some research into what types of hosting and website technology will work best for your business.
If you need assistance with your web design project, Search Engine Optimization or other online marketing needs, feel free to contact us at Peterson SEO for more information. We have been helping small businesses get visibility online for over 10 years now and we would be more than happy to work with you too!
Jessica is the CEO of Peterson SEO Digital Marketing Agency and is a serial entrepreneur that has not only owned and managed her own businesses, but also helps other small businesses grow to new levels. Learn more about Jessica & Peterson SEO.