In the multiverse of the internet's possibilities, a website is the proverbial cat's whiskers. Sure, there are other ways to connect with your audience — and you should explore those — but a website is the primary way that potential customers will use to find you. It's your first point of contact. It's the first step in your marketing and advertising plan. It's your storefront.
So, when you're building a website for your small business, you need to give it a lot of thought. You need to think about what you want your website to accomplish. What's the purpose? What will make you stand out from the crowd? How will people find you?
And most importantly: How much will it cost to set up a website for a small business? This is an important question because it will affect the budget you set aside for your website. In this article, we'll discuss the various costs associated with building a business-oriented website, why it's so important, the challenges faced, and what you can do to overcome them. So, without further ado, let's jump right in!
3 Reasons Why Having a Website is So Important
Let's begin our journey by discussing the importance of having a website for your small business:
1. Ability to Conduct Business Beyond Boundaries
Today, more than ever, you need to be able to conduct business with people outside your own community. This is true for small and large businesses. It used to be that businesses needed to be in the same city or town as their customers. For example, a local restaurant needs to sell its food or services in the same place.
Today, businesses can and often do sell their products and services all over the world. If you're selling a physical product, you can ship it anywhere in the world without needing any physical presence there. If you're selling a service, you can have someone do it remotely from the comfort of their own home. This is the new reality in which businesses must operate, and this means that they must have a presence on the internet.
2. Better Served Customers
Customers, as usual, are demanding. But they are critical, too. How can you meet their needs if you can't provide them with what they want? You need to be able to understand your customers' needs. You need to be able to provide them with the solution to their problems. Most importantly, you need to be able to communicate with them clearly and effectively. To achieve all this, you need a website. A business-oriented website will provide you with the best possible platform to communicate with your customers, share your products and services, and better optimize your marketing efforts for greater visibility.
3. Free Business Promotion
Your website is your virtual storefront, where potential customers can learn about your products and services, contact you, and place orders. It's also a great way to promote your business, as it enables you to share your business information with billions of people actively using search engines and social media to find the best products, services, and information. By properly optimizing your website for SEO, you can have it ranked high on the search engines and thus gain access to the much-needed visibility in front of billions of monthly Google users.
3 Common Challenges Faced by Small Businesses When Starting a website
Now that we have covered the many reasons you need a website for your small business, let's discuss some of the common challenges small businesses face when it comes to setting up a website.
1. Not Familiar with The Website Design Process:
If you're a small business, you're probably not a web developer. Or, if you are, maybe you're not familiar with the process of creating a conversion-optimized, customer-oriented website. Creating an effective website is no small feat. In fact, it takes years to master the art of web design, color theory, and other vital components that all go into creating a successful website. Therefore, it's no surprise that most small businesses are ill-equipped to tackle the daunting task of creating a successful website.
2. Website Not Optimized For SEO:
A website that can't rank is as useless as a car that can't drive. To get ranked in search engines, your website needs to be optimized for SEO. SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization is a marketing strategy that helps drive organic, laser-targeted traffic to your website. But to achieve that, your website must have all necessary components of on-page and off-page SEO. These components include proper content, definitive meta tags, responsive design, schema markup, backlinks, and so on. For a small business that just started out, it's almost impossible to keep up with all these intricacies of SEO and is often the reason why their website doesn't rank in search engines, or they don't care to invest in creating one.
3. No Technical Knowledge:
Creating content and designing a website is one thing but making sure it all works seamlessly is another thing entirely. From managing servers to fixing bugs and more, it's not an easy task to take on. But unfortunately, without these technical skills, you're at a loss and might not be able to get your website up and running.
One of the benefits of hiring a website design company is the possibility of paying a small retainer fee every month so they can take care of maintenance, code updates, and security. It’s much better than breaking your own site and then paying a company to fix the issue.
How To Overcome These Issues
As a small business owner with an already hectic schedule, finding time to invest in website design and technical SEO can be challenging. Fortunately for you, there are professionals available to assist you. From identifying your business's distinct requirements to crafting the ideal website, a professional web design company can develop a website tailored to your specific needs.
Instead of investing hundreds of hours in learning web design theory, learning the fundamentals of programming, and learning how to create compelling content, you can outsource the web design aspect to an expert company that does this every day.
These experts will take into account your products and services, your company culture, and other elements and combine them with best practices to create a website that is optimized for conversion, search engines and improves your online presence. And the best part, hiring a professional web designing company doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. You can get the help you need from professionals at affordable prices.
How Much Does It Cost To Setup A Website For A Small Business?
The answer is ‘it depends’. There are several factors that influence the cost of a website: the number of pages you need, whether you need to incorporate an online store with multiple products, and whether you have web copy or not. The typical cost for a contractor or a small business can range from $900 to $2500.
Of course, there are other low-cost or free alternatives out there but they have limitations such as slowness, limited functionality, limited design options. But at the same time, they could be a great option to get you started and explore the possibilities a new website can bring.
So, there you have it, our ultimate guide to what you need to know about setting up a website for your small business. From the importance of a website to the challenges faced by small businesses, we hope that this guide was able to provide all the information you needed to make an informed decision. Remember, a website is the first step in your marketing and advertising plan.
Without one, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your small business. So, stop struggling and get your small business online with a website that can help you achieve your goals and exceed your expectations.
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