For the past several years, studies have found that 44% of small businesses in the United States do not have a website for their company. Often these businesses once had a website, but lacking the time to maintain it and the funds to hire someone to do it, so they abandoned their websites. Of companies that have a website, 9 out of 10 of them are unhappy with the site.
This comes at a time when 85% of people use the web to find local businesses, according to a Local Consumer Review Surveyearlier this year. Traditional ways of locating business like yellow page directories, direct mail, newspaper advertising, and radio in are being used less. So if we want business, customers need to be able to find us through the web, via smartphones and tablets.
But if you don’t have a website or are unhappy with your website’s effectiveness, these are things you can do that won’t break the budget or keep you up after hours.
First, consider one or more of these alternatives to traditional websites – a number of which are free. These also supplement a website:
- Get a free listing on Google Places For ideas, check out the success stories. You can supplement your listing with locally-targeted advertising through Google AdWords Express. When someone searches Google, Google+ or Google Maps whether with their computer or smartphone, they will see your listing.
- Create a Facebook Pages for your business. These pages are distinct from personal pages. A business page is. As with a website, you’ll need to add fresh content, but a Facebook page is free and if you keep a personal page, you already know about how they work. Facebook even provides guidance on how to use Facebook for marketing .
- Start a blog to serve as a website and attract search engine attention. Since only 1 in 20 small businesses have blogs, a blog is a marketing tool that makes you stand out from others. Leads that come from a blog cost less than from other inbound and outbound methods and a blog can substitute for traditional publicity techniques. The two most popular blog software platforms are WordPress and Tumblr. WordPress is also a Content Management System. WordPress.com. provides free software and hosting. WordPress.org has free software but not hosting. Tumblr appeals to younger customers and is both a microblogging and a social networking site, where you can post short text entries, photos and videos from your phone or wherever you are.
With options like these, you can be found in today’s electronic universe with less time and less cost than you might think.
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