I just started my business and want to get online.. where do I start? So goes the question we get time and time again. Well, the quick answer is "start with a website".
In this blog post, I will present Ten compelling reasons why you should start with a website in your online marketing endeavors.
The Purpose of a Website
It's pretty simple..
The number one purpose For a website is simply to get found online, and ultimately to bring customers into your business.
We really could stop right there. With ever increasing numbers of people using the internet for everything from shopping, to finding needed information, to finding local businesses, it just makes sense to tap into this Huuuge market base.
According to this article on Hubspot, 46% or nearly half, of all the 3.5 BILLION searches made daily on Google, are for local businesses, 97% of consumers learn more about a local company online than anywhere else, and 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device, either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
So let's dive into the Why you should start with a website first:
#1. Presenting Your Business
One of the cool things about your own website (not to mention one of the main purposes) is the ability to present your business professionally, answer common questions, and build customer trust on auto-pilot, 24/7.
What this means for your business, is your website does the heavy lifting for you in terms of sales, answering questions, etc.
Customers contacting you after finding you online, frequently come to you - already "presold" on your company products or services.
Setting up your website first means all your other online marketing efforts support your same message...which brings us to:
#2. Brand Congruence
An important part of any strong brand is congruence across your online faces.
Treating your website as the "hub" of your marketing wheel instead of an after-thought, helps consolidate your brand and message across multiple online platforms, like social media, Google Mybusiness and search engines.
Think, for instance of the companies represented below.
Most people will be able to identify these at a glance. This easily demonstrates the power and importance of building a congruent brand, even on a smaller scale.
#3. Drive Leads
Another important function of online marketing is "funneling" or "driving" leads. This is the process where people find you online through an advertisement, click through your content, and ultimately contact you, fill out a form, or purchase an item or service you offer.
Both Google and Facebook have powerful advertising platforms that allow the user to place ads strategically throughout Google and Facebook platforms to target and re-target your ideal market.
If you plan to utilize paid advertising at all, you'll need a website first, to have somewhere to send the traffic to.
#4. Control Your Own Content
While social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube can be an excellent method of creating and sharing content and building a loyal fan base, you are limited to the whims of those tech giants and the laws that get passed around them.
When you own your own website, you can create your own content, and not need to worry about getting censored, demonetized, deleted, banned, or your sensitive personal data falling into the wrong hands. You own it, you control it.
The "Hub" of Marketing
Imagine your website as the "Hub" of your marketing wheel, with the spokes being the various other marketing pieces that lead to it and help make the wheel turn.
#5. Google MyBusiness
A sometimes overlooked aspect of getting found online, Google MyBusiness adds a Google Maps listing to your repertoire - Especially useful for local searches.
With a website connected to your listing, searchers can find you easily in local areas, and click through straight to your site to learn more about your company, and services.
Google MyBusiness setup comes Included for all our websites packages!
#6. Local SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimization tells the "Googles" what business you are, where you are located, (For instance, "near me" searches) what services you offer and how relevant your business is to a particular search term.
Imagine if, in all the thousands of local searches made for local businesses, yours would be among the top of the online results page!
This is entirely possible. While a website doesn't guarantee you'll get there without effort, the easiest way to get there is with a good website.
#7. Content, Content, Content
Right now, content is generally king in terms of online visibility.
While Facebook, YouTube, & other social platforms are great, they often don't provide the content the "Googles" like.
Combining video content (YouTube) with your own website blog and photo gallery provides the ideal combination of A) you owning and controlling your own content, B) the social aspects and visual appeal of videos and photos, and C) the search-ability and information rich aspects of a blog.
The clear conclusion here is again, get your website first, and start building out your content from there.
Need help getting started?
There's a good chance, with our combined years of building websites and marketing online, we can point you in the right direction or partner with your business to get the results you need.
#8. Contact Information
Bottomline, if you have a business, you need a way for people to get in touch with you.
With your own website, you can funnel visitors straight to what's the most important - your contact information.
Being highly visible, and painting as large a target as possible in your visitors mind, will help you make a lasting impression, vs getting lost in the crowd.
#9. Build Trust
Your website is the place to showcase your best work, share testimonials, and tell the visitor about yourself and your company in order to build trust.
Bottomline, people buy from companies they like and trust. Because an online search is frequently the first point of contact people have with a company, having a website with this kind of information on it, give those businesses a clear edge over their competition.
#10. Last but not least - It's Easy!
Building your own website is easier than ever, due to ever advancing technology. Only a few years ago, you needed to pay a custom coder exorbitant amounts, or know how to write website code yourself, to have a website.
Now-a-days, building a website is relatively cheap, and easy enough for even raw beginners to do, thanks to free platforms such as WordPress, (we WordPress) and affordable drag-and-drop design interfaces such as Thrive Architect.
While building your business with little or no online presence is entirely possible, it is increasingly more difficult to edge out the competition that Do have websites and an online presence.
Check out our list of recommended resources below to get started on Yours. Or shoot us an email if you need help!
Hosting Platform - WPX
WPX is known as one of the fastest and most reliable hosting available for WordPress. While a bit more expensive than some ($25/mo min), it also includes powerful features such as full backups, cloud-based hosting, free SSL, and unlimited 24/7 live-chat support - features that other companies simply don't provide.
Website Platform - WordPress
WordPress is a powerful, free website building platform with nearly endless options. Currently, 35% of All websites on the internet today, are built with WordPress, including 99% of our own client websites!
Website Builder - Thrive Themes
More than just a drag & drop website builder, Thrive Themes is a full suite of website building tools including everything you need to create your site from start to finish.