Websites for businesses rule. Only 11% of households rely on the Yellow or White Pages. Almost everyone uses the Internet to search for businesses and a website is your online address. It isn’t a nice addition. It is a must for any small business owner. If you are starting from scratch, I highly recommend building it (or having it built) in WordPress. Why? Because it is search engine friendly AND easy for the average user to maintain. You don’t want a website you can’t maintain because then you get into retaining an expensive webmaster or service. It isn’t necessary.
Having a basic website built, including in WordPress, should not cost you more than a few hundred dollars. Shop around! Use a well-known hosting company, too, and not a company that specializes in something different and does hosting on the side.
Be sure your home page includes:
- a tagline (brief explanation of what you do: Southern New Mexico’s Premiere Salon)
- your location(s). A Google Map link is a very nice add and simple to do
- your hours
- your contact information (include phone, cell, and email address as appropriate)
- your Facebook page link (almost as important these days as a website is a Facebook account)
- any other applicable social media links
- any video/photo that is appropriate for a home page (one client runs a commercial on their home page!)
Pages should include (in addition to home page):
- an About Us page
- a Gallery page
- a Special Offers and Events Page
Your About Us page should tell the story of your business. Not just “founded in blah-blah, 14 locations, zzzzz”. But the real story of your business. Has it been in the family for generations? Did you start it because of a particular passion? Did you scrape by to get started? Emotions drive sales! Tell a compelling story here.
A Gallery Page is a great place to show photos of your place of business, your employees, your customers, successful projects, pets, it doesn’t matter. It adds a human face in addition to providing some concrete information.
Your Special Offers and Events Page gives you a place to let people know about your frequent users discounts, your sales and any other events you might be promoting.
Don’t go crazy with a website. It should be informative first and engaging second. Both are important but it doesn’t need a lot of flash or music to get your point across.
by Steven Schlagel