One of the things that we at 210 Consulting love doing is helping new businesses get their online marketing started in the right direction. Unfortunately unless you are always working in the web development, SEO, and online marketing industry, it can be overwhelming to a new company. Also, since you are just starting your new business, money is usually very tight. So, when you go to purchase business cards, accounting software, or a domain name and they offer to get your site up in running in less than 10 minutes for under $100, you are ecstatic to do so because you can now say you are on the internet.
Usually within 10 minutes of a conversation with a new prospective client I can tell if they have one of these types of sites. Why because they have only 5 pages of content, on a standard layout with zero ability of customization, and the adding of plugins or a blog is impossible! When I ask them why they chose this as their website company, the response every time has been this: “Well, I didn’t have a bunch of money to go buy a fancy site and didn’t want to put that much money into something. Once this site makes me some money I will upgrade. Besides my new site looks pretty and will be fine for my online marketing strategy.”
This is when I finally ask the client, Would you order a steak if you were eating at a superior seafood restaurant? No! Because they aren’t known for their great steaks. They are known for serving some of the best fish on the planet. This same principle holds true when you purchase a website from an online postcard company or an accounting software company.
These types of websites are designed to be simple, easy to set up, quick to activate and are inexpensive. But the limitations they possess are huge. My sister-in-law set up a website the other day for her new business and was very excited when she emailed me a link to look at the site. I pulled it up and called her within 2 minutes to tell her to stop wasting her time and that we needed to do something different. We then made a call to one of my connections that was able to create a WordPress Blogsite for her in just under a weeks time, she hired me to do some graphic design work and for under $1,000 we had her an awesome and amazing new site up and running.
So what made her new site that much better & worth the expense? Here are just some of the big differences:
- Unlimited Pages of Content versus only 5- The original page had a total of 5 pages of content available. She had maximized that in her first 10 minutes of setup. She could add more, but there was a fee each time she went to add more pages. On her new WordPress.org blogsite, she can now add unlimited number of pages with pictures, videos, links and more. The reason the number of pages is so important is that it is a big factor in how search engines rank your content. More pages make you look more like an authority on a subject and thus the page goes up in the searches.
- Power of Plugins- Plugins and widgets are awesome additions to any site. Unfortunately her template 5 page site did not offer any of this. She could not add simple things like a Facebook share button, or a ReTweet button. With a blogsite like WordPress she has the ability to do all these things and much more that not only make it easier for people to share her site with others, but some that also help her with her Search Engine Optimization.
- Online Ordering- The template 5 page site also prohibited the addition of any types of online shopping carts or purchase online buttons. Which as her business continues to grow she wants to start offering these features to her clients so that they can purchase her items online and ship them around the world.
- True Ownership of Her Content Forever- Unlike the other company, the information is now on her own site. She owns it and nobody else. She does not need to worry about if they decide to raise the price up. Or if they go out of business, or if they move servers and crash things for weeks at a time. The other nice thing is that she has a home base to direct customers to that only her content & products. The customers will not be finding her competition there. While online forums are great sources of online business, you do run the risk of your customer that found you there clicking a link to your competitor that is on the same platform and losing the business to someone else. The same holds true for those those that “have their website on their company site” which is nothing more than just a profile there that drives traffic to your organization and not you. All it takes is one accidental click on a company site and once again your co-worker is getting the sale instead of you.
These are just four of the many reasons why I said she needed to change her site before even really starting. Luckily, she listened to me & took my advice. We worked together with a web developer and built her an awesome looking & highly search engine optimized blogsite. She then did a few training sessions with me to develop her targeted audience and keywords to write about. Since then she has written a few blog posts, added some great content to her site & seen an explosion of traffic. Without this, she would not have known the first thing about what to write about or what types of things people are searching for. Remember, she wants to bake cakes, not become a online marketing expert.
So what are the results?
Well, take a look for yourself. This was an email conversation I had with her today:
Just got 3 cake orders today for a word of mouth referral! So far since the website has been up I have actually collected about 450.00! Its quite a bit for cakes and chocolate covered yummies….
Awesome! So how many cakes have you sold in the first 2 weeks now? 5? 6?