Wait, don’t you build websites?
You might think I am crazy for saying this, but hear me out. Just because you build it – doesn’t mean they will come. It can take years to rank for competitive phrases and sometimes it takes years just to rank for your own name!
The only way to show up in search results if you don’t rank is by paying for ads. However, it can be expensive to generate enough business to pay for your ads, let alone generate enough business to make money off paid search ads. So what is a new business owner to do?
Check out Squarespace or Wix.
If you have the money to invest in a simple Squarespace or Wix website, by all means go for it. However, please don’t think this means your phone will begin ringing off the hook. These inexpensive websites often load slowly and your customization options will be limited.
Even with all the negatives, it is nice to have a place to direct potential customers to find out basic information about your business. It is also a good place to gather content for the real website you invest in someday.
So why build a website later?
Building a professional website is like planting a seed for a fruit tree. It can take years for it to grow and produce fruit, but the longer you wait to plant it, the longer it will take to bear fruit. Also, you can’t just plant the seed and walk away.
A healthy, well-built website that will generate leads and sales requires maintenance and fresh content just like plants need water and sunlight.
However, someday, if you have given it the proper care, your website can rank for competitive phrases. This means you won’t have to hunt for potential customers. Customers will find you and will likely show up at your doorstep with cash in hand – every business owner’s dream!
Consider LinkedIn and Facebook Business Pages as a temporary fix.
Depending on your industry, you may be able to get by with adding your business information to a LinkedIn profile or Facebook business page until you save up enough for a website. You can direct potential customers to these pages to find out more about your business.
However, I do recommend you purchase the domain you want to use for your website as soon as possible, if you can find one. Short .com domains are hard to find!
Time to break out those old school marketing techniques.
Whether you choose to invest in a website now or later, traditional marketing is one of the best ways for a new business to begin getting your name out there.
- Call your professional network
- Collect email addresses
- Build an automated email marketing campaign (or hire us to do it)
- Drop off business cards
- Make cold calls
- Get active on social media
- Write a few press releases and send them to local news networks
- Ask for referrals
- Get creative – for example, if you’re a family photographer, ask if you can leave your business cards at the local children’s clothing store
- Most of all, talk to people, listen, and offer to help
Digital marketing is amazing, but it takes time to reap the rewards. Since 80% of new businesses fail in the first few years, let’s make sure you stay in business. Only invest money in a website if you can afford to wait for the rewards. It likely won’t help you much at first.
Register Your Google My Business Page Now
In addition to traditional marketing techniques, registering your Google My Business page is incredibly important. If you do a quick search for “restaurants” you’ll see multiple Google listings pop up before any websites. If you’re hungry, you will likely click on the one with the most stars without viewing anyone’s website! Wait, what just happened here? A website isn’t necessary?
Actually yes, a website is still necessary. Some people might search “best brunch in Destin” instead of “breakfast restaurants.” For that reason, you should have a website that is optimized for many different phrases depending on your industry.
That being said, your Google My Business page is huge. Register it, add pictures, post on it, and ask for reviews.
When you’re ready for a professional website, reach out to us.