Ever tried to find a business online and turned up nothing but crickets? Chances are you gave up and gave your biz to a competitor instead. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It wasn’t personal. You did your best – but that first business failed to show up when you needed them to.
And in the Year of Our Technological Overlords 2022, not having a website is the ultimate in failing to show up.
I know I talk a big game about social media. Woo, social media! Love you, fam! But social media is the tease. It’s part of a breadcrumb trail that’s meant to tempt people over to your actual business digs – your website. Think of it as the market pop-up stall to your brick and mortar. You love it, and it’s great, but one’s more about brand awareness, and the other is about Making Money. KA-CHING.
There’s no point investing all that time and effort into a killer social presence if that’s where your presence ends. These days, not having a website in 2022 is as much of a faux pas as someone saying, “business card? I don’t have one of those. How about I scrawl my number on your hand in Sharpie instead?”
Not happening, friend.
Your website brings all the shoppers to the yard
Real talk. If you’re trying to sell something, you need a website with a solid, relevant URL that people can use to find you, promote your business, and connect with you. (Don’t be one of those charity sponsors I was trying to link to as part of a sponsorship promo package but couldn’t find online…woof, major missed opportunity.)
Your website doesn’t have to be ~fancy~ and loaded with parallax or other brain-exploding special effects. You can get one spun up in WordPress or Squarespace for a couple of hundred bucks. (But I highly recommend hiring a pro instead of muddling through yourself.) Or if you don’t have time or money for a full website, you can tap into a landing page tool to capture email addresses and contact details – it’s quick and dirty, but it does what you need! Another option is Google My Business, which is a free, easy-to-use way to build a presence for your brand or store.
Remember: your URL and all the leads you capture through it are yours. All your followers on social technically belong to that platform – which could go offline at the whim of a tech billionaire. Can you imagine the panic that would ensue!? **shudders**
Nice to see u(RL) here
Okay, so you’re convinced. You’re doing this URL thing. What should your website have?
- Relevant .com. Yep, I know most names have been taken by now. But there’s hope! Try a variation like WeAreBrandname.com, BrandnameTypeOfBusiness.com, or BrandnameCity.com. ProTip: Do not type in the domain you’re trying to register for. Utilize a tool like namechk.com to see what’s available or use your favorite domain regsitrar to search the variations that are available to you.
- Lead-gen ops! Capture those email addresses, friends! Have an email list, a contact form, or a shopping cart.
- Intuitive navigation. Keep it simple and on point. Make it easy for people to find what they need.
- Your business essentials. Highlight what you do or sell, prices, packages, your address (if relevant), contact details, and operating hours. All that good stuff.
- Social links. Let the curious but not yet converted keep following your story over on social. They’ll come around.
- Mobile-friendly. This is something automatically built in to most websites these days, but make sure your website works on mobile devices. Google (and your customers) will penalize you if not.
- Punchy CTAs. Tell your users what you want them to do. Sign up! Click here! Download! It seems OTT, but it works.
- SEO friendly. Work on your metadata and even original content to encourage search engines to surface your site in searches. Google Analytics is a big help here.
If you’re a business, people are absolutely window shopping what you’re offering. So give them a reason to come inside. Get yourself a URL, and drive people to it through your social media, ads, or even your IRL appearances. Need some help figuring out where to start, or how to tie your website into your social media strategy? Book a call!