The phone book has become obsolete. Newspapers are getting thinner and thinner. In the past you could measure how successful a business was by the size of their yellow page or newspaper ad. Today, the success of a business is measured by their rank with search engines.
That local mum and pop store down the street might not think they need a website because their customers are their neighbours and people in their town. Small business owners may think the cost is too high to be on the internet, yet they are throwing money away on newspapers and phone book ads.
For less than $300 per year, a small business can get their domain name and a web hosting package that includes a built-in web building program. A good provider will have 24-hour support to help you with any questions. Designing your website is not as scary as it sounds. If you know your way around the computer and keyboard you will be a web designer in no time.
Web hosting companies offer the services of web developers for an additional fee if you do not have the time. Updating your site often and keeping it fresh is very important. This is easier to do yourself when you are the original designer. Follow these simple steps and you will soon be global.
Choose your domain name. If your actual business name is not available, shorten it or abbreviate it. Keep it simple and your customers will remember it.
Register your name with a host. This will be your new address where your customers can find you 24 hours a day.
Look at websites of companies like yours for ideas. Think about what your customers need and how they can benefit from your site. Let them know what you sell or what kind of services you provide.
Keep it simple. Pictures tell a story and are important to your site. Make sure photos are good quality and professional looking. Stagger them on the page and add text in between.
Make sure your basic information is in the header of every page. Your business name, address, phone, business hours and email contact information. A map is also helpful so the new customers know exactly where you are. Include your new web address on all of your printed materials like business cards, letterheads and catalogues.
Check out your FREE listings. There are many business listing websites where you can promote your business. Search your business name and see what comes up. Look for sites like Merchantcircle.com, Likelist.com and Superpages.com. Verify the information they are listing is correct. and be sure your website is listed.
Facebook is another great free way to let your customers know what’s new with your business. Make a page for your business. When people “like” your page they will be notified every time you post a comment. Let them know when you are having a sale. Be sure to have your web address listed on your Facebook page.
Email signatures should always have your name and business name. Now you can add your very own website address.
A professional looking and informative website will give credibility to your small business. It is a way to keep in touch with your current customers and gain new ones too.
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