We have already talked about why having a Facebook Page or varying degrees of social media presence is not enough for your small business. You may be asking yourself, if a Facebook Page or Instagram profile is truly sufficient to make your business grow. Today, website builder Spacecraft helps explain why your small business needs a website.
We decided to get another perspective on SMB’s web presence, and were fortunate to be able to talk to Daniel Cleveland, Search Specialist at SpaceCraft. SpaceCraft is a flexible, user-friendly website platform which allows users to jump right in and easily create well-designed, search engine-friendly websites.
Let’s hear what Daniel had to say:
On why you definitely need a website…
A comment we hear quite often from small business owners is “WHY do I need a webpage? My Facebook/Instagram/Whatsapp seems to work just fine as a storefront.” In your opinion, what makes a website necessary for small businesses and why is a social media presence not a replacement for a website?
One of the most important reasons to have a website is that you own it. While social media pages are great to have for driving traffic to your website, you don’t truly control them. At any time, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any of the others can choose to make changes to how your page works, all without consulting you. On the other hand, with a website you have full control. Want to add a form, new content, or change your design? This is all easily achievable in a website building platform (like SpaceCraft).
In addition, a website provides more credibility for your business. The barrier to entry for a Facebook page is very low, while a website does take a small investment. Ownership of a website shows your fans, customers, and partners that you are a serious business. A website also allows you to have a hub where visitors know to find you. While you might have different usernames and URLs for each social media platform, your website domain is always yours. This lets visitors know that there is one place they can go to find out anything they need to know about you.
marketgoo says: to our SMB friends, take note of what Daniel says about credibility. We have a user who decided to use marketgoo since before launching her website, when she just had a single page announcing that the website would be coming soon. She is using social media as a temporary replacement for promotion and customer service. When she recently ran one of our reports, she saw that the majority of the visits to her site were from people who were coming to the website from Social. She had information, product catalogues and anything else she thought necessary on the social media platform, and yet people were eager to check out her main presence, her website. Needless to say, she is busy working on that website because she knows she might be losing potential clients.
On Solo Marketers…
Solo marketers are not uncommon among small businesses, and they have scarce resources. Any tips on how to create a conversation around their small business and guide people to their website, without breaking the bank or dedicating countless hours to doing so?
Social media interaction is a great way to start a conversation around a great product, and can be done for free. People spend more and more time on social media every month. If you can truly engage with them, you might find avid fans who are willing to spread the news about your product or service.
If you have a little more time to spend, blog posts are a great way to boost your visibility and SEO rankings. In addition, social media makes it easy to share blog posts, so that you can direct your followers back to your website.
marketgoo says: Social is indeed a great way to complement your website, because you can publish and promote in a real-time, effective and semi-automated way. We always advise our users to invest resources in a blog, because it really pays off in the long run.
On Website Builders…
Can you share a success case you have seen with a website built with SpaceCraft?
Austin Trail of Lights has a beautiful website built with the SpaceCraft website tool. They’ve used their website to successfully engage with visitors, sponsors, and vendors for each year’s festivities. They have also done a great job with integration of their social media feeds in their website, bringing the two entities together seamlessly. The Austin Trail of Lights has used the flexibility of the SpaceCraft platform to keep their website fresh and up-to-date for each year’s events.
marketgoo says: Building and promoting your website on a budget is possible! When you take the time to research tools and are willing to put in a little time and effort to learn the ropes, your possibilities are limitless! Just as SpaceCraft loves seeing their users go from the first steps of building their site to launching one that looks professionally made, we love seeing users who were initially terrified of the terms SEO and Content, take charge of their online presence.
On underrated tools…
Which is an element you find to be crucial to the success of an online business which can often be underestimated or ignored by users?
Schema.org features allow websites to leverage structured content to do awesome things in search results. For example, Mama Fu’s is a restaurant with their website built on SpaceCraft. By implementing SpaceCraft’s built-in Schema settings, their menu shows up right in Google search results. This feature is great for restaurants, and as Google makes more updates to their search results, we expect Schema usage to become more and more important.
marketgoo says: Schema markups are very helpful in optimising your site for local search and promoting it in a way that is friendly to search engines and makes life easier for your potential clients. Using it, you’re essentially showing them important information about your contact details, opening hours, your products and/or services, etc.
So, whether you are a small business wondering about whether to establish yourself online, or you already have a site, you should continually be looking to make your online presence the best and most effective it can be. When you have a website builder that takes search engine friendliness into account from the get-go (like SpaceCraft and Squarespace do), you are off to an amazing start. It also helps you with the tasks and recommendations you’ll receive from an SEO and website marketing tool like marketgoo, because they will hardly be overwhelming, and you will find yourself focusing on making steady improvements to your site’s traffic and bottom line right off the bat, rather than sifting through only technical errors. If you need more convincing to take the plunge, the folks over at First Site Guide have a guide on how to go about making a website, including terms you should be familiar with and what you should take into account depending on the main objective of your website (check First Site Guide for a bazillion more guides for beginners).
Thanks to Daniel for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk with us!
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