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    Approximately 50% of U.S. Small Businesses Do Not Have A Website

    I Am Going to Build My Own Website

    50-percent-small-business-no-website-post.jpgDo you know how many times I have heard this statement? I encourage all businesses to get a website or if you can, build one. But if you are a business owner, no matter what size of business, there is no reason you should not have a website by now. Think about the following situations where you see people on their mobile devices:

    • On a train or bus for a daily commute to work.
    • At a sporting event, there is a good amount of time to kill during that 7th inning stretch or half time.
    • Sitting at the beach.
    • Spouses standing outside shops waiting for their significant others.
    • Sitting at dinner waiting to be served. (I know you should be having a conversation but I have to check Facebook first!)
    • Walking down the sidewalk, just watch out for other pedestrians please.

    And you probably came up with a bunch of others. So what is everyone always looking at on their phone?

    Social media, yes.

    iBook or Kindle app, another good choice.

    But what else? That's right...

    They are searching the internet and giving Google a workout. And guess what else? If you don't have a website then they are not seeing you!

    With over 50% of google searches occurring on mobile devices you are missing a big opportunity for new business. Did you know that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before they buy a product or hire a service?

    Social Media is NOT a Substitute For A Website

    It's wonderful that you have a Facebook page for your business but it just isn't a substitute for a website. There are currently over 40 million active small business Facebook pages. It is a powerful way of engaging users but it does have its' limitations.

    When users stop engaging, they stop seeing your posts.

    If a user decreases engagement activity and the interaction with your page then you may no longer show up in their newsfeed. In addition, social media platforms do not give you the total control of your brand that a dedicated website can offer. Social selling has become more impactful on growing revenue sources for small businesses but without a dedicated website there is no place to drive your potential lead to in order to capture important data for your sales and marketing goals.

    Website in a Box

    There is a growing list of DIY options for building your own website. The most notable include WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace and Weebly. Some of which you have become more familiar with as a result of increased advertising on television and other media outlets. These can all be great options if you have limited or no coding experience. However, frustration tends to set in when you are in the middle of building the site and you realize that you just don't know how to make your news feed pull to the right page or uncover that you want other customized functionality that can only be the result of advanced coding.

    Know When to Hire a Pro

    Anyone can build a beautiful website. But in order to do this it is important for you to figure out how you want your site to look and function before you start. Ask yourself the following questions:

    1. What websites do I like? (choose 3)
    2. What do I like about them? Is it visual or functional?
    3. What colors do I like and what colors would I absolutely no want on my website?
    4. What is your style? Do you prefer illustration graphic or photographic?
    5. Will that style carry over into all of your other branding assets?

    Sit down to write out what you want your site to look like, how you want it to function, what you want it to do for you and how it will benefit your digital strategy for your marketing and business plan. This will help you to assess what you can do and what you can't. If your website goal is to primarily provide information to the public then the structure and functionality of your site will be vastly different than if you are looking to generate leads. Once you have identified your limitations, then you can seek industry professionals to assist you. This is a great way to save time and money but also get a top notch website.

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    Are you looking to generate new business leads with your website but not sure how? It may be time to explore adding inbound marketing to your company business plan. Get a quick online business evaluation to see if you are a candidate to add inbound marketing to increase your sales or donations.LEARN MORE

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    Vanessa Byrem-Tangy

    Partner at Mosaic. As a certified inbound marketing specialist, I work with clients to devise and revise digital strategies to create positive growth for Nonprofits, foundations, issue-based initiatives, and service-based businesses.

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