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We live in the internet era, the era of smart phones that can take you from point A to point B with a few simple clicks. The era where you can virtually find anything you need by conducting a quick search on Google.
think about it, how do you personally find whatever it is that you need online?
If your answer was ‘the internet’ then you just answered the question of ‘why do I need a website for my business?’.

Regardless of age or business industry, the reality is that having a solid online presence is key for your business to grow and thrive.

If you are not on Google and if your business does not have a website there is a very small chance that you will experience significant growth. Most likely your competitors with a stronger online presence will receive more website traffic, will close more deals, and will generate more revenue, by an exponential margin.

here are 10 powerful reasons you should get a website ASAP if you do not have one yet:

10 Reasons Your Business Needs A Website

10 Reasons Your Business Needs A Website Infographics View

Important Tips to Get Started:

Now that you understand the importance of having a website, let’s look at some ways to get you the perfect website for your particular business.
First things first, you need to do some research.
This is the process we use here at GBN to help our clients find the ideal website to meet their business needs:

Find your top 3 competitors.

The first step is to go on Google and to do a search for businesses in your industry. In our case, we offer marketing services for local businesses so we did a search for ‘local marketing services’. If you are a local business (meaning that you only serve a particular city or state) you can include your area to exclude any national competitors.
For example, if you are a cleaning company in Pennsylvania offering residential cleaning you would search for ‘home cleaning Pennsylvania’ (or your city).
Select the top 3 – make sure not to consider directories as a direct competitor – focus only on companies that do exactly what you do.
Brows through their websites, see what features they have in place that can help you connect with prospects, and make a few notes for later reference.

Do they have really good content? Are they using forms, are they offering free quotes? Do they answer common questions in the industry? Are they using live chats or bots?

The idea is to identify best practices your competitors are using in your service area and to then incorporate these best practices into your new design (or redesign if you have an outdated website).
And no, you do not want to copy them, you are just doing some bench-marking at this point.

Next, you will select a Domain Name

Ideally, your domain name should contain an industry term (we like to take this approach – although it’s not necessary). For example, our website is marketinggbn.com, and our legal name is Global Business Network LLC. As you can see, we offer marketing services and our domain contains the word ‘marketing’ and our initials. This serves a simple purpose: it helps with rankings (this gets more into SEO – for more on that you can read our article on what is SEO).
If the domain name you need is not available, you can select a domain name that reflects your brand – a good example of this is apple.com or amazon.com – they are not using industry terms but instead they focus on showcasing their brand.
Make your domain name catchy and distinctive. Your domain name is a powerful marketing tool that you should leverage fully.

Find a Reliable Web Hosting Service

So what is web hosting exactly? Web hosting is a service that allows your website to stay online. A hosting server contains your website files and maintains those files online so customers can access them using your domain name. In other words, hosting is the service you need once your website is ready. There are several hosting providers out there but GoDaddy is a customer friendly and affordable solution. They have plans starting as low as $10.00 per month – for a small business or a contractor this plan is just right.

You can also ask your website design company if they offer some type of hosting service – we give our customers free hosting for one year when they hire our website design services.

This is a good option if you are looking to constantly update your website with new offers or content as the design and development company can give you a discounted price for hosting and monthly maintenance. If you are planning on conducting minimum changes than getting your own hosting will be a better option and probably more affordable.

Get the perfect Website

Remember all that research we spoke about at the beginning? This is where it comes into play.
Depending on your business goals and on the number of pages you will need, your website design costs will usually be between 1400 and 2000. Do not go for the $50 website, you will end up with a low quality product that adds 0 value to your online marketing efforts. Remember, your website is one of the major channels for customers to find you, make sure you go all out.
Designing a new website is a straight forward process but there are several things to consider during the design and development stages.
Things like
website colors, visual effects (do you want parallax, or typographies?), calls to action (CTAs) – what type of forms do you need? will you be collecting email sign-ups? or do you need quote forms? will you invoice your customers or do you want to accept payments directly through your new website? and finally, your content.
Our recommendation: write your own content. You are the business owner, you are an expert in your industry, and you know how to address your target audience. While we have extremely talented writers available, we have found that when our customers provide their own content they add more personality to the website and their brand (plus you can save several hundreds of dollars by producing your own content).
Content is key, write quality content (at least 1000 words per page) and make sure you answer common questions that your prospects may have.
If you do not have the expertise to produce your own content you can always outsource it. It typically costs about $100 for a 1000 word web copy.

During the design stages you will focus on creating a unique look and feel – we like to make our designs simple with light touches that make the website POP.
During the development stages you will incorporate all the important features you will need (bring up those notes from your competitors and let the development team know that you want those features incorporated into the functionality of the new website).
Depending on the company you work with they might offer additional suggestions to help you increase conversions – be sure to review all possibilities as most marketing companies have a good understanding of how to convert visitors into leads.

Final Thoughts:

The price of being left behind is much higher than making an investment in a new website.
Having a professionally designed, brand-differentiating website is critical to increasing sales, boosting your bottom line, and growing your business.
You can compete with other professionals in your community, you can reach customers on Google using local SEO techniques, and using analytics will help you make the right decisions using data.

Thinking about getting a new website for your business?

We have expertise with websites for contractors, small businesses, online stores, and creating custom functionality for whatever purpose you may have in mind.
Get in touch today for a no-obligation consultation: