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Does your business really need a website?


A recent survey has shown that as only 38% of micro-businesses (businesses that employ fewer than 9 employees) have a website, and 85% lack digital skills. What’s more, 42% of businesses do not have any sort of digital presence. So, does your business really need a website? And where do you start if you don’t have a clue?

Who needs a website?

Simply put, if you would like to grow your business beyond word of mouth referrals, the yellow pages and street traffic, you need to get online. Whether you need a website depends on you. If you really don’t have the time to keep up with all that a website entails, you may want to consider just using social media profiles, or registering yourself on an appropriate directory, such as the ones below:

  • Tradesmen

            http://www.checkatrade.com/

            https://www.ratedpeople.com/

            http://trustedtraders.which.co.uk/

  • Health and beauty

           https://www.rockpamperscissors.co.uk/

           https://www.treatwell.co.uk

           http://www.hairandbeautyfinder.co.uk/

If you have a physical business location that customers will visit, you will also want to create a ‘Google my Business’ listing, which will allow you to control how your business information appears on Google maps and Google search. Instructions for this can be found here.

Of course, a website can provide more information about you than just a listing on a directory can. And, if you manage it well, you may even be able to appear on page one of Google for certain search terms!

Isn’t it complicated to set up a website?

Nowadays, it doesn’t have to be. There are numerous companies that will allow you to set up a website at low cost, and with little technical knowledge. Squarespace is a platform that is popular for its simple ‘drag and drop’ website builder, which allows almost anybody to build a professional looking website quickly and easily. Another option is WordPress, which is one of the most well known website builders, used by everybody from bloggers to international retailers. Whilst costs vary for different services, you should be looking to pay a minimum of £30/year for hosting, and around £10/year for your domain name. Your domain name should be the name of your business, if possible, and you should try to get one that ends in .com or .co.uk.  Depending on the platform you choose, there may be additional costs.

Once your website is live, it can be as simple or elaborate as you want. You can simply use it as a place to display essential business information, or you can start a blog and take your relationship with your customers to the next level. Install Google Analytics so that you can keep track of your website visitors, and start learning about SEO if you want to track and improve how high your website appears in Google searches. Moz is a great resource to learn about online marketing, and even has a free introduction to SEO course!

Interested in setting up a business Facebook page? Read our guide here. Alternatively, check out our ‘how to’ on using Instagram for Business. 

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