People ask me this all the time. Even my own employees are questioning my logic.
Truth be told, I have a soft spot in my heart for the small business person out there, trying to make it on there own. I am a small business and certainly understand what it takes to get started. Unfortunately for me, when I started my marketing and creative business, there was no support. I had to go it alone.
Throughout our 15+ years in this business, many entrepreneurs have sought us out to help them with marketing, creative and yes, build their website. Every year since we started I have always taken on one or two projects with the intention of helping them out. This is what my wife would call a mitzvah. While trying to help out, the projects always seem to grow out of proportion and time associated on these projects rapidly escalated. If I were going to continue to be a helping hand to the small businessperson, I would need to make adjustments to my services.
In today’s business world, without a doubt, the most important marketing tool, communications device and for many, selling person on your team is your website. Well before customers seeking your products or services call or visit you, they will check you out on the Internet. This is your first impression, and maybe your only opportunity to make a good impression on them. The Internet (and Google) have made it possible for consumers, or B2B to learn a bit more about the people they are doing business with. With just very little work, a prospective customer or client can make a pretty good assumption of who you are, what you do and what you have to offer them. Add to this, they can check out your track record, learn more about the ownership and even follow you on social media.
If you understand anything about Google you will know that they are pushing to be the informational leaders of the world. Now there is a lot you can say about that, but the fact of the matter is, they are, and they are well in front of their competitors like Yahoo or Bing.
When developing your website the most important factor is your content. Content is what drives Google. Remember, information is their game, and if you have new and unique information, they will seek you out. But in order to get within their radar, your website needs to be “optimized” to allow Google web-crawlers the opportunity to find you. This is why we stress them importance of building your website to meet Google Best Practices. More on all this another time. Back to why I am offering a $500 website.
Today, most people, maybe everyone not connected with any form of website development, do not get or understand these factors employed by Google. And why should you, websites are not your business. Your business is doing what you do, your passion, the reason you left your comfy confines and ventured out on your own. Don’t think for a moment you can do this job and do it correctly. If your car breaks down and you have no idea what caused the problem, you know you must visit a professional. Same thing applies here. What you don’t want is to take on the task of building your own website (Wix, Web.com, Weebly, etc.) that offer you the opportunity to do this on your own. Why to you think they want you to do this? Because they do not want to deal with your needs, nor do they want to help you advance your business. They simply want your name on a contract, and handcuff you (and your website domain) to their business.
We live in the cyber marketing world now, so get used to it. My admiration for the small business owner is simply that they are taking on the big boys, and probably doing a much better job. So get out there, do your thing, and leave the website business to those that are also (small business people like you).