Let’s start with the obvious reason why every small business needs a website.
And then we'll cover why you don't want to let your income be dependent upon social media.
How many times a day do you use a phone book to search for a business? Their address? Their contact information? I’m old enough to remember phone books and how to use them. I used the white pages daily in order to find an address and a phone number. It was also a daily process to search the yellow pages to find a business’s advertisement of hours, products, and services. That was also the only way to find out what service area they covered.
I know I’m old school. But, to be quite frank, being old school makes my thought processes unique and allows me to be well-rounded in my creativity.
The reason every small business needs a website is so it can be found. Customers need to know how to contact you, what your office hours are, and what products you produce or what services you sell. For those who have just relocated to a new state, town, village, or community, a website is like a gold mine full of valuable information.
Like owning a home, a website needs to be maintained. Having one is a necessity. Keeping it maintained is a requirement.
Websites should be viewed on a monthly basis to make sure they’re functioning well, that all of the direct links are working properly and the pages are loading quickly. If a link to your contact page has gotten disconnected, you’re going to want to know that as soon as possible. It’s not good customer service to have customers who want to get in touch with you, and not be able to reach you during business hours. Can you imagine the income loss that could lead to?
Keywords are invaluable to a website. They’re not something you place within your website’s SEO content once and forget about. Keywords should be reviewed every quarter, as a general rule of thumb. It doesn’t mean you’ll have to change them that often, but you should review them to make sure they’re performing well. Researching keywords every few months can help keep your content fresh and help keep your website performing well with search engines.
Backlinks should also be reviewed. If you have a lot of backlinks throughout your website, you could cut the task of reviewing them in half or by thirds to make sure they all get checked. Backlinks are great for crawling and indexing for search engines, so it is extremely important to keep them on a maintenance schedule.
If you consider the minimal maintenance that goes into keeping a website up-to-date on a yearly basis, it’s well worth the cost to have a website.
If you consider having a page on a social media platform to be just as useful as having a website, then you’re misunderstanding the usefulness of social media.
I always recommend a website, even if it’s a one-page website. And, I always recommend one social media platform to my clients as well.
A website’s function is to be found. A social media platform is to be social with neighbors within your community, those who you do business with outside of your community, family, friends, along with clients.
I never recommend only having a social media platform for several reasons which I’m happy to cover in this blog post.
The small business owner doesn’t own the social media platform therefore the guidelines aren’t theirs, they’re someone else’s they have to follow. We’ve all seen business pages get shut down and profiles get banned for 30 days and more. It only takes someone; an angry client, or possibly a jealous competitor to make a complaint about your business page or about you, and you’re banned from the platform.
Being banned from a platform for 30 days is not a good thing. It’s a horrible thing, especially if your business brings in revenue from that platform. What if you don’t have a website where customers can reach you? What if you don’t have a website and a customer needs your mailing address in order to send you a shipment? What if you don’t have a website where customers can place an order and they need a product in a hurry? Can you possibly factor in how much income your business could lose within a 30-day time period? If you’ve got a website, then you’ve got your business covered.
Staying visible to existing clients and attracting new customers requires at least a one-page website and an appearance on at least one social media platform.
It’s not like websites can’t go down for short periods of time as well. I’ve seen instances where host providers have left their customers without access to their websites for a full day. If you have a social media page for your business, you’ve again got your business covered.
If it’s been a while since you’ve analyzed your website pages, their links, backlinks, SEO keywords, and content, now would be a good time to schedule that into your monthly planner. And, in 30 days review the page loads again and direct links to make sure they’re still working well. Keeping that in your monthly planner every 30 days could save you money in the long run. You don’t want to let it go for 5 months before you realize no one has been able to contact you through your website. Customers haven’t been able to download a request form from your website for service. Customers haven’t been able to purchase a product from your website. That could wind up being a considerable loss of income.
Every quarter be sure to schedule a time to check your backlinks. If you’re not getting new leads or ranking high on search engines, there’s likely a problem with one or more of your backlinks. Backlinks are meant to help your website be found by search engines.
Auditing your website, which is basically what you’ll be doing every 30 days can become time-consuming. Even though it may seem time-consuming, it’s an extremely important task. It could cost you more to not schedule that task into your calendar each month.
Clients hire me regularly to perform those services for their websites. They also hire me to dig further into analyzing their websites and compare them to their closest competitors.
If you don’t have a website, please click HERE to purchase at least a one-page website. We can strategize on the best layout that will work for your specific business needs.
Every small business owner needs a website; whether they’re for-profit or nonprofit, whether they provide a service or sell a product.
Audits are available for every type of website platform and can include SEO keywords, content, traffic, site responsiveness, user experience, backlinks, and metadata.
Clients receive a report with how their website is now and if it could be running or working better along with recommendations on how to make that happen.
Every service requires a CONSULTATION and a signed contract prior to the start of each client's project. The consultation will allow me to better understand the client's specific business needs. The contract will be a receipt of service for the client. It will outline the service being provided, the cost, the start date & end date. Copies of contracts should be provided to the client's accountant for tax time because paying me to perform a service for your business is a business expense.
Click HERE to purchase a Consultation.
There are several benefits to small business owners when they hire me:
- Every service I provide is on an as-needed basis. The benefit to that is that business owners only pay for the service they need; when they need it.
- Business owners hire me as an independent contractor. The benefit to that is that when business owners pay me they don't pay me as an employee; which means there are not any payroll taxes due, paid days off, or a benefits package.
- I'm a home-based business. The benefit to that is that my overhead is low which in turn is the reason I'm able to keep my prices low.
All of the above, of course, has not only been a way to benefit my clients but has also been a way to support myself and my family for over three decades.
Over the years I've had thousands of initial conversations with clients that have all been very similar; they thought they were too small of a business to be able to afford to hire an assistant. Yet, they were also struggling to do everything themselves.
At some point, you have to look at how much it's costing you, the business owner, to do the tasks that someone else can do...while you instead perform the tasks that bring in the income to your business.
I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. I'm also happy to come up with a strategy that's specific to your business to help support you.
At your service, Sherri Fowler-Smith