Imagine a picture of a person with a computer screen instead of a face, with a browser filling the screen. Below it is the caption “Got Website?”
I realize this is a poor ripoff of the the “Got Milk?” advertising campaign. But, I wanted to do something to help capture your imagination on the importance of having a website. If you already have a website, good for you!.. but you may want to keep reading, anyway. (There may be some things here you haven’t considered… or done… yet.)
In my training/upcoming book/and upcoming home-study course on ways to increase your revenue, the very first thing I touch on is Have A Website. And there is a reason for it being the first.
Years ago, that would not have been the first thing. Today, it is. If you have a business (and some experts would expand that to if you have a career), you should have a website. Any website. (Well, almost.)
I bring this up because I keep running across a lot of small businesses who are still without a website. (Most of the medium-sized businesses have finally gotten one.) I don’t care how small you are, how part-time you are, or how constrained your budget is… you need a website.
Why? Because in today’s society OVER HALF of the lookups for your business come from WEB SEARCHES. People don’t use the paper phone directories much anymore. When they want to find you… or your type of business… they use Google… or Bing… or Yahoo… or whatever their favorite search engine is. And, by the way, that number is rising… especially with the rise of smart phones (such as iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm, etc.) People have the internet in their pockets and prefer to use it.
If you don’t have a website, they won’t find you. (Admittedly, they may not find you, even if you do have a website, because search engine ranking is another issue… which I am not going into here. But if you don’t have a website, I guarantee they won’t find you with a search engine. Technicality here: yes, you might be listed in an online phone directory and they could find you with that… but don’t count on that to direct them to you anymore than a white pages paper phonebook listing will.)
What are the two most common reasons I hear as to why a business doesn’t have a website?
1) I can’t afford it.
2) I’m not technically inclined. (It’s too complicated… and I can’t afford to hire it out (see #1).)
Let me deal with both of those at once.
There are sites where you can get started for FREE and are easier to use than a word processor or email client. Here are two of them: www.weebly.com and www.blinkweb.com. As starter websites they are pretty impressive.
Do I think you should stop with them? Not at all. But better to have a website there than none at all. Later, after you get more comfortable with the technology… or can better afford a webmaster (even a part-time, contract one), then you can get more sophisticated.
For some people, that website will be sufficient (with the addition of having your own domain name.)
In future posts, I want to talk about what should be on that site. I also want to talk about why I think you should have a site if you are self-employed but work for (partner with) a larger firm that has it’s own web presence. And, not forgetting those of you who are employees, why I think that many of you should have your own site.
So what about you? Do you have additonal resources that we should know about? Have an opinion on websites? Have a suggestion on what we should cover about them? Use the comments box and let’s talk.