Building a Small Business Website
Have a look through the small business services directory of your local newspaper and you’ll generally see few local businesses and service providers referring to their website. It’s not hard to understand why. Expense, hassle, and simply not knowing who to turn to have prevented many small business owners from going online. Many others have invested in ineffective websites that contribute little to the bottom line.
Most small and local business owners have been conditioned to believe that the only way to get their business on the Web is to pay a web designer several thousand dollars and entrust the whole process to them. If you were lucky and dealt with a website designer who understood Web BUSINESS, not just how to create a website, then you stood a chance of success.
Unfortunately that was often not the case, and you were left with a website that was probably a joy to behold, but had no traffic, low conversions (visitors to sales) and generated little or no income. It was just another “business expense”.
It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way!
Your local accountant, gardener or mechanic does not need a website that requires hundreds of hours to create…and they do not need to be burdened with expensive design and hosting fees. Nor do they need a site that’s loaded down with high-tech gizmos that achieve little other than allow the designer to charge you more (if you’ve been researching “website designer prices” you’ll know what I mean).
What they really need is inexpensive web design and hosting solutions that work!
Don’t Just “Put Up a Website” – Build a Web BUSINESS
A web “presence” isn’t necessarily a web business. There are many site building and web design software solutions out there. Some are very easy to use. Others require a high level of technical skill. But at the end of the day, what you’ll finish up with is…
NOT, a web business!
You might be proud to show it to your friends, but is it adding value to your small business?
If your goal is to build a web business then your site must be able to attract targeted visitors and convert them into customers. Most site building solutions ignore these vital aspects of building a web business, as do many website designers or developers. They figure that their job is to deliver you a nice looking website. To “put up a site”. What do they care if your online business fails? Their job is done.
Is it any wonder that websites built to this formula wither and die, with the owners convinced that the Web simply doesn’t work for small and local business?
“Brochure” Style Websites
We’ve all seen “brochure” style websites. They usually have an introduction something like this…
“Welcome to our website. We have been in the web design business for many years. Our company was founded by Frederick Derps in 1956 and today employs hundreds of people. Feel free to browse our site…… blah blah blah”
How do you react to these sites? Exactly. Yawn…click…away.
Don’t build an online brochure. Give your visitors solutions to their problems! Give them the information they are searching for. Provide useful and helpful content. Build trust. The sales will follow.
The resources and tools on this site will help you research, plan and construct a site that will be an asset to your business, not just a web presence.
What About Google My Business?
If you’re a small business with a local presence then yes…you absolutely must set up your Google My Business page. But don’t think for a minute that a GMB page is ALL you need to be effective online. Your own website will give you FAR more control and opportunities to convert visitors into customers.
Tip: Make sure your business name, address and phone number on GMB match exactly with the details on your website. This is important. Google will also give you the option to verify your website and link it with your GMB page.
Build it Yourself with a DIY Solution
Do you really need a website designer? Most web professionals would argue “Yes, of course you do. You don’t build your own house, so why would you try to build your own website?” If your needs are complex or you require specific functionality or custom software design…and you have the funds to invest in a professionally designed website (expect anything from $5,000 to 6 figures)…then that’s probably true.
If you plan on building the next Facebook or YouTube then your needs are probably better met elsewhere. Good luck with that…
But what if you’re a small business service provider e.g. driving instructor or auto electrician and you just want to generate targeted leads for your business? Do YOU need to hire a professional or is it really possible to do it yourself?
What if you don’t know HTML (or even what that stands for) and have no idea about how to market your business on the Web?
And what if you have no existing business but would like to “monitize” your passion? That is, create an online business around your hobbies or skills.
Are there Real, Workable, Affordable, DIY Solutions?
The good news is yes, there are. But there are also pitfalls. There are products which appear to be quick and easy, but in the end leave you short-changed.
The primary objective of Web Business Solutions is to help you find inexpensive, workable DIY solutions for your small, local or fledgling online business. Let’s get started…
- I already run a small business and want to build my own website
- I want to start my own online business
- I want to learn how to earn money online with affiliate marketing
- I want to make money with affiliate marketing but need someone to do all the grunt work for me
- I need to generate leads for my business
- I need help with email marketing
- I have questions
Custom Web Design & Development
DIY not for you? I can understand that. You have a business to run after all. If you need a custom designed and built site or specific web development needs it makes sense to use professional services.
In Australia, I recommend Crazy Domains. Perhaps better known for their domain registration services Crazy Domains also offer custom web design services. There are a number of packages available depending on your needs. All include Search Engine Optmisation and a page editor so you can make minor content updates yourself.
Of course both of those providers offer services to businesses around the world.