Do you have a website? If not, you need one NOW. Having a website is as important as having a phone, and in some instances, even more so. Your website address is vital for every piece of offline marketing, and it should serve as a destination for your online marketing and social media efforts. But surprisingly enough, experts estimate between 50-65% of all small business owners and solo-prenuers still do not have a website.
People today don’t just go to your website to get your contact information, if they did the Yellow Pages would still be a vital moneymaker for AT&T, not something they are selling off. Today, people go to your website first and foremost to determine the credibility of your company. They want to know if you are serious about what you do and your website is their first glimpse of you, your professionalism, and your attitude towards your business.
Let’s think about this for a minute – Yellow Pages are history, people are going to the web either from their computer or smartphone looking for services, and even if you’re not there, I bet your competition is. So let me as you, who do you think will get the call?
I generally recommend people get their website up and running ASAP, and in a marketing plan, make it the first rule of business. Because without a web presence, NOBODY will know about you and the remarkable business that you run. Your website is for all intents and purposes your storefront, even if you have a brick and mortar location. People will often check you out on the web before they step foot in your business, or call you to make an appointment.
While I am all about the do-it-yourself when and where you can, unless you have a background in web work, this is one area where you need to bring in a professional, at least initially. Since your website is your storefront, you want to have one with some nice design elements, a balance of white space, functionality, expert copy, and a smart layout. Make your website something that you can be proud of.
According to a survey conducted by Basekit, only one in six small businesses think that they have a website that they can be proud of. One in ten of those surveyed said their websites look out of date, while another 11 percent believe that their presence online is either poor or embarrassing. The majority of those surveyed said that the top of their wish list was to have a better designed website, followed by the ability to change the content themselves.
If you want something you can update and adapt in the future, it still pays to start with a professional. Have them build it, work with the layout, design, and functionality, and adapt it for mobile use. If you want something you can be a part of, ask them to start with a WordPress theme, or something you can use, so it can meet your future content and other update needs.
With WordMiller.com and my other business, Zen Life Solutions, I hired a web designer to build the framework, and a graphic designer to help me with headers/logos. In terms of the copy, updates, blogs, and miscellaneous plug ins, I handle that, but only AFTER my web designer set it up and walked me through the basics.
If you are confused as to where you need to get started marketing your business or practice, let me just say that it pays to start with a website and GROW from there!