Why do small business owners and professionals need a website? For example, why not get by with a Facebook page?
We live in a digital age where a website serves as your digital storefront. More and more business are being discovered online it is important to make sure your business is professionally represented online.
While a Facebook page is great, it shouldn’t solely represent your business, it should function as a way to connect with your clients/ community. Along with that, when it comes to appearing in Google Search results having a professional website will allow you to appear in and look reputable. A Facebook page should be secondary to a website.
Should you create brand assets before you launch your website or can you get to it at a later time when you have a better idea what your company is about?
Let’s start with this, a brand can be defined as your promise. This translates to what you want people to experience and feel when they interact with your company. This is represented on all sides of your business from customer service to design. Here are a few basic questions to start considering:
- What colors represent your business?
- What feeling do people get when they visit your site?
- How does your logo represent your business?
However, I have a number of clients who didn’t realize everything that goes into establishing a brand when they first started. So, it is never too late to brand/rebrand, establish your promise, and start standing apart from your competitors.
How much money should I be spending a year on my website? Development, hosting, etc?
A website is an investment. As I mentioned above it is digitally representing your brand as a whole. With that being said, creating a solid design is key to representing your company.
So while it is an investment, the website will be able to grow with you. When it comes to pricing my websites start at $1,800 and then pricing is adjusted based on my clients specific needs. Other fees include hosting which can range depending on your server needs. A basic server can be roughly $14/month. Finally, it is crucial to keep your website up to date. This means making sure the content is relevant, the site is functioning, and the backend is updated/secure.
All of my clients are on a website maintenance contract that ranges from $125-$250/month. This is me keeping their website secure, performing any updates they have and backing it up monthly. This allows them to focus on their business while I monitor and maintain their website.
What are the top 3 things you think small business owners should be doing with their website, that they don’t do?
- Stand Out. Business owners should make sure their website looks professional. I’ve heard people say ‘my website looks the same as others in my industry.’ With that being said, users will form a first impression within the first few minutes of visiting your site. So, it is important to stand out from the competition and make the moments count.
- Maintain. When you invest in a website it is important to not let the investment go to waste. Setting your website up on a yearly maintenance contract will save you time, effort, and money down the line. Having a website that doesn’t function will make you lose business and it reflects poorly on your brand. This is where I come in! I want to ensure your website stays updated and continues to shine over the years..
- Call to Action. A website should help you generate leads. Do you have a call to action for people to call, visit, sign up for your newsletter? It won’t happen overnight but these are all key to connecting with and capturing leads. I talk with all of my clients about the next steps and how we can work together to continue the conversation with their database.
Should business owners blog? What should they be blogging about?
Yes! Blogging is key! In technical/SEO terms it helps fill your website with keywords which overtime will start appearing in search results The more visits the higher you will be in ranking. When it comes to the actual blog, I recommend my clients blog about their industry, client interests, community events/involvement, other relevant industries, etc. The list can go on and on. Get creative, show your expertise, and always tie it back into your brand.
For more information or to get in touch with Kim Earp visit her website EarpCreative.com or give her a call at (949) 929-7446.