Not every small business has to depend on social media for its online marketing efforts to succeed. There have been online businesses thriving even before social media sites became popular or were even heard of. So, what are the other options small businesses have in order to make their presence felt online? There are several small businesses that are virtually one man shows like a landscaper, painter or plumber who run businesses that may sound trivial, but are essential and without which it is difficult for the common people to manage. These businesses would never understand the concept of online marketing through social media sites. Would they want to hire a professional to do up their site to enable them to involve their business in online marketing through social media, which today is believed to be ubiquitous and omnipresent, and something that is quite indispensable? It is time the social media myth is exploded and the fact that other sources are as effective, if not better.
Register a domain for starters
The best way to start off, would be to register a domain name that can be called your own. Ensure that you will own it for the next 10 years at least. Contrary to popular belief, registering a domain name is not prohibitively expensive and any minor businessperson from a small town can do it. Though there are URLs to be had for free (from free websites) it is not advisable as ownership will never rest with you, and you cannot afford to have it taken away from you after you have spent a lot of time and some money on it to build it up credibly. Moreover, it is a lot easier to have your own website ranked by a page ranking search engine when the domain is your own. Mere assumption that domain names can be conveniently acquired at a later stage is simply putting away something that needs to be done now. Once you have a domain, it sticks for life – well almost a lifetime and the popularity and web presence that go with you will be solely owned by you.
It makes sense to pay a professional company for hosting your site. Being a small business in a small town, you probably will not expect too much traffic being diverted to your site, as you will have a target audience that you are very sure about. Any web hosting company will be able to offer you several plans that are reasonably priced and right down your alley. It would also make good sense to acquire your own unique IP address that adds to the sites distinction. This can be done by making a small additional payment.
There are millions of websites registered, with only a few being active. Not all have the all-important appeal, the reason is quite simple – the sites were probably designed by non-professionals who just did it for the sake of doing it. Care needs to be taken while having your website designed, as redesigning it will only involve additional costs and time delays. Moreover, the first impression you create will be ingrained in the minds of the people visiting your website for the first time. It is important to choose the right color, tone, to ensure the final picture is not garish or too bland to appear appealing. While the background color theme needs to be kept simple and crisp, the choice of fonts has to make the text crisp and legible. You could use WordPress’ blog platform for which you do not have to pay anything, additionally this entitles you to use premium themes like Thesis theme that will enable faster loading of your website, which is very important. You also get add-on functionality without having to take the trouble of writing your own code. Genesis theme helps you to be noticed better by search engines. You also get excellent frames for your content as an added frill.
The homepage of your website is very important. It needs to clearly state the name of your business and the line of business you are engaged in. Other key information like what you do, your hours of business and who could be your potential customers needs to be mentioned on the homepage. Though brevity is important, don’t forget to include your physical address, along with the city, state and zip code, telephone number, and email address. The phone number has to be displayed prominently along with the area code prefixed. Mentioning the areas you operate in will help users save a lot of time. By now you should have got a clear picture about how a small business can successfully co-exist with larger online marketing companies without having to depend on social media sites.
About the Author
This is a guest post by Lance Goodman of www.dishtvoffer.com, a site that offers savings and current information on Dish TV.
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