Running a small business can be tough. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80% of business start-ups are still around after a year. But only about half of those make it past five years, and only one third make it to their tenth anniversary. But even more established businesses can go into the red and down the slippery slope towards failing if they don’t change with the times.
A big change for businesses in recent years is the internet. Pretty much all new businesses know the importance of a business website, but some more established business owners think they’ve been doing just fine with word of mouth and the Yellow Pages – that is, until they get a new competitor with a nice website that’s built with SEO.
Suddenly, all of the new clients who research online before hiring a company are going to the new kid on the block. Yikes! You can’t depend on repeat business forever.
So if you’re just now exploring getting a business website, or moving beyond that build your own website that is hopelessly outdated, keep reading. We hope to answer some of your questions here. We address some more specific questions on our FAQs page.
Why Should I Hire a Web Design Company?
A professional web design company can deliver you a good looking, easy to use and easy to update website. Web design is not really a do it yourself project. Sure, there are tools to build your own website, but they don’t give you a website that looks as good and works as well as a professionally done website. You hire professionals to handle other aspects of your life – your auto mechanic, your roofing company, your doctor, your dentist, etc. Hiring a web design company is sort of the same thing.
Building a website isn’t all there is to it. There’s submitting the website to Google, Bing, and the other search engines. There’s submitting the website to online directories. There’s link building. There is a whole lot of behind the scenes stuff that needs to be done to properly launch your website that most people aren’t aware of. And if you build a relationship with your web design company, they can fix problems along the way, add new pages as your business expands, and more.
Can I Afford to Get a Business Website?
The real question is, can you afford not to? A good business website is an investment in your company’s future. Sure, you have to budget for it, like any capital expense. Consider how much you spend a month/year on Yellow Pages ads or direct mail. Or how much you spend a month on fast food. There are places you can find the money, and reallocate it to getting a business website up and running.
Research shows that more than 81% of consumers do research online before making a decision on who to hire for a job, or which product to buy. If you don’t have a business website, you may not even come up in their search results. If you’re in some online directories, your business name and number might show up, if you’re lucky. But again, a lot of people now judge your business by your website, and if you don’t have one, they may think you’re behind the times. Can you afford to ignore 80% of potential customers?
And it’s OK to start small. We build websites with as few as 5 pages for people just getting started. Ten pages or more are more common. We also do custom web design for more established companies and e-commerce websitesand their websites have 20 or more pages.
OK, OK, I Need a Business Website. But do I Really Need SEO? And What is SEO, Anyway?
We would say, yes, you need SEO. More on that in a moment. SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is a process in which we optimize your website to make it easier for people to find you. Part of it involves behind the scenes coding, link building, urls and more. Another part has to do with writing informational, quality and original web content for your website. Each page should have a unique url that describes what that page is all about. For instance: https://www.coastalwebservices.com/seo-consulting-services/ is the page on our website that talks about our SEO Consulting Services. You want to avoid vague page names like Residential, or Commercial. Each page should then also talk about your services and answer the questions people might have.
You need SEO to be the most competitive you can be. Chances are, your main competitors are already taking advantage of SEO. A website without SEO is sort of like a car that has no gas. It looks good, but it’s not about to win the race. In terms of the search engines, websites with SEO show up on the first page of search results. Sites without SEO generally are at the bottom of the first page, or several pages in, depending on what the search term is. Most people don’t go beyond the first page of results.
Can I Afford SEO?
Yes, if you can afford to invest a few hundred dollars a month in your business. The return on investment makes it well worth it. A good SEO strategy will see your website place higher in the search engine reulsts pages (SERPs), which in turn will lead to more website traffic. This in turn should lead to more conversions, if your web design is easy to navigate and if your web content and Call to Action draw people in.
How Can I Learn More?
Take some time to read through our website regarding our web design and SEO consulting services. You may even want to check out our other blogs, including the ones about How to Hire an SEO Company or How to Hire a Website Design Company.
Then call Coastal Web Services at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form to request a free consultation for web design or an SEO analysis, or both. And, just like you would with any other service, ask friends and family or business associates for recommendations, and get at least three estimates before making your decision on who to work with. We certainly hope it’s us!