I had a conversation this weekend with some friends who are starting a new business. They’re young and hip, totally digital and socially savvy, but they didn’t think their new business needed a website. It’s a service business, and their leads are all word-of-mouth. They have signage on their vehicles, and they hand out business cards as they canvass different retail locations or residential neighborhoods, drumming up business.
When I asked them “Why don’t you think you need a website?” they said “I don’t think people will look for us online. We like meeting people face to face and selling ourselves as much as our service. You can’t really do that with a website.”
Does this sound like the reason your business doesn’t have a website?
Not every small business requires a 100-page website with tons of content. But when you take into consideration that in 2013 95% of consumers searched for a local business online, how can you afford NOT to have at least a basic website so you are findable? Here are the things I told my friends to include on their website:
What you do
Include a brief, clear description of exactly:
- what your business does (bullet points are good)
- where you do it (your service area), and
- who your target audience is (commercial, retail, residential, seniors, teens, women, etc.)
If you have a snappy sales pitch that you like to deliver in person, consider taking a brief (1-minute) video of yourself, giving your pitch. Put that on your website.
- If part of your sales pitch includes selling YOU, then post some candid pictures of you (and your team) that capture your persona and portray the image you want to project.
- Before and after photos are really effective
- Product and/or service photos tell your story without words
- Location and/or vehicle photos can help legitimize your new or small business
- Consider quick Vine videos you can tweet and also post on your website
- Are you certified?
- Do you have special licenses or carry special insurance?
- Is your business a member of local associations, Chamber of Commerce, BBB etc.?
- Does your business donate or support any charitable causes?
- Is your business “green”?
Testimonials and Comments
- Don’t be reluctant to ask your clients/customers for a quote you can use
- If people have commented on Twitter or Facebook, copy their quotes to your website
- If you have a WordPress site, superpages.com has a free widget that will display your superpages reviews on your website
- Map (even if you don’t have a brick and mortar location, you can show your service area)
- Social media accounts (pick one or two that you can focus on and be sure to respond quickly to inquiries, complaints)
To close the loop, be sure to put your web address on your signage, business cards, invoices, receipts, etc.