These days its not a question of whether your business should have a website or not. If you don’t know the answer to this question, here’s a hint: YES, YOU SHOULD!
Without a doubt, a website is essential to business success and you shouldn’t listen to anyone who tells you any different. The real question is, what type of site do you need?
Well, generally speaking you have 3 options: a blog, an info site or an e-commerce site. Let’s dive in and see which of these would fit your business best.
1. A blog
A blog is a place online to post content ie. short or long form blog posts and articles, photographs or artistic portfolios, videos or audio like a podcast, for example. A blog can be about anything you like. If you’re into politics and have some ideas you want to share with the world, write them in a blog. Love basketball and want to share your predictions or game analysis, share them in a blog.
For a small business, the focus of a blog should be on marketing products and services. Blogs are great for building an audience, establishing yourself or your business as a leader or influencer in your chosen subject, field or product/service and providing value in the form of content that consumers can use to make more educated decisions.
2. An info-site
An info-site is a simple but effective site that shares your business information such as: who you are, where you are, when you’re open and what you sell. For most businesses, particularly small, local, brick and mortar businesses, this type of site is a great starting point and in many cases is enough of an online presence to raise awareness of your products services, get more traffic to your business and increase sales. This is the type of site that we at Big Eyed Fish build the most.
3. An e-commerce site
An e-commerce site is an online store where a businesses can sell physical or digital goods or online services. Businesses can build an online store on sites like Etsy or Shopify, which provide in the case of Etsy, a market place, and in the case of Shopify, a platform for small businesses to start an online store relatively easily.
For businesses with bigger things in mind, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that gives businesses more control over the look and feel of their online store, as well as how easy it is to find the store through search engines. E-commerce sites are a little more expensive than a blog or info-site, but are surprisingly not as complicated to set up and manage as you’d think.
4. Bonus – a mixed site
Depending on your business type, how big or small you are and what you sell, you will probably find that a combination of these 3 website types will give you the best chance at improving and growing your business.
If you’re a brick and mortar business with an info-site or an online store, adding a blog to your site is a cheap, easy way to market your products or services. If you have a blog and want to sell a digital product like an e-book, adding an online store will help you sell directly to customers who visit your site to read your blog posts.
At the end of the day, when it comes to a website, every business should have one. It may seem confusing at times to know what you need, so just take it slow. One step at a time.
Start with an info-site. Once you have your head around that and you’re comfortable, add a blog. If you think you can ship your products, add a store. But don’t feel like you need to rush into anything too complicated.