03 Jul Small Business Website Options
If you do not have a website or are looking to have a web designer build you a new one, there are a variety of small business website options.
Because of the need to achieve top search engine rankings, you must consider SEO, as well as the amount of ongoing content changes and updates required, when you select a platform. If you make frequent changes or need to add content continuously, then paying for these changes can become pricey.
First, for a local or small business that is not selling several products online, you do not need to invest thousands of dollars into a website design. What works best is a professional looking layout with good navigation; and providing your visitors with helpful content will far outweigh the “bells and whistles.” The most important aspects for a well-designed website include:
• Your content
• How it is optimized for search engine ranking
• Effective calls to action to convert traffic into customers
• Keeping your content updated regularly
• Finding ways to improve user experience
NOTE: It has become important to add the social media icons that link to your social media pages, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +1 and YouTube. This allows users to share information about your business with their network and builds social proof for your website. Social proof is now critical to having your web pages and posts rank in the search engines.
Small Business Website Alternatives
If a web designer is going to design a new standard website for your business with static pages, discuss the options available for updating content and adding pages on a regular basis. There are content management programs that work with standard websites, but they can be expensive. Either negotiate a reasonable fee to have the changes and updates provided, or find a local resource or college student who knows how to use a web page editor. Ensure that the resource is reliable. Before beginning, have them back up the original files; if there is an error or technical issue, they can upload the original files. Ensure that the web designer is using the latest version of HTML.
Content Management Systems
Google loves blogs and ranks them well. Even if you have a standard website, we recommend that you add a WordPress blog to your site. Your web designer can use WordPress to design your primary site and you can easily log in and make changes yourself. Also, because WordPress is a popular platform, you can find reasonably priced resources to update your site.
Niche Template Small Business Website Options
There are many niche specific hosting and website development companies that offer business website design. We have seen them for lawyers, dentists, plumbers, etc, providing content in the form of articles and videos within a template layout. You have pages such as Home Page and an About Us page where you can enter your own unique content by logging into a content management system. They will host the site and you can use your own domain name. It is an easy way to immediately have a small business website.
With the recent Google changes, duplicate content can prevent your web pages from ranking in the search engines. This can be a major issue using these options.
HOT TIP: To see if the site contains duplicate content, go to one of their websites and copy a random sentence up to 32 words and paste into a Google search. Put the sentence in quotes, for example, “These are eight of the most amazing tips to help you with your widget.” If it is original content, only that website will appear in the search results. If it is duplicate content, all the websites where the content is used will appear.
The fairest way to evaluate this type of website is to inform them of your duplicate content concern and the results that you discovered. Ask if your Internet marketing or SEO resource can edit the duplicate pages and optimize them for better SEO results.
Flash sites are very appealing and can contain some really cool effects; however, a 100% Flash site is neither SEO nor mobile friendly and will have difficulty ranking in the search engines. They can display as a blank screen on a mobile phone. The reason for this is that the content is embedded in a flash movie file and currently cannot be read by the search engines. If you like Flash effects, then incorporate the movie as part of a standard web page, or use Flash as an animated header graphic along with text-based content. You get the movie effects and the search engines get to review your content.
Older Existing Small Business Website
If you have an older website and do not want to invest in a new one, you can add a WordPress blog to your existing site and add your new content to the blog. You can also link the blog posts to your existing web pages to gain SEO value. Once the blog is installed, your web designer can add a link to the blog from your current website menu.
Your small business website needs to be more than a bill board providing stagnant content. You need to ensure that your content is continuously updated and provide your visitors with the ability to share your content via social media. Additionally, ensure that you include the benefits that you provide your customers and sound calls to action that encourages them to contact you.
Our Niche Dominance digital media marketing strategies include evaluating your current website to ensure that it is a business asset. Our solution is also designed to evolve with the rapidly changing search engine environment to ensure your business can achieve a competitive advantage even with fierce competition.