Are websites still relevant for small business owners?

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Are websites still relevant for small business owners?

Post by Adelaide » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:16 pm

According to a CNCB survey, many small businesses do not have a web presence. Instead, they do things the old fashioned way, relying on word of mouth. Those that do have some kind of online presence don't have their own website domain. They turn to social media sites, creating a Facebook pages and Instagram accounts to host their digital business. Websites today are cheap to startup. Decibite is currently holding a promo for Domain and hosting at just $1.50. That's less than a cup of coffee. And with so many free themes, plugins and resources, one can have a beautiful, efficient, customer ready website on a tiny budget.

If it's become easier to own and operate a website, why are so many small businesses still hesitant to host their own domain?

The trouble is the time and marketing skill required make a website successful. Having a website is easy, but growing enough traffic to draw in customers is still very time consuming and can require extra financial resources if they plan to outsource.

Many businesses and sole proprietorship prefer to use social media which lets them make use of another company's users to grow their business. For example, @amyflyingakite has a Instagram following of 12.5k; when she asked her followers to vote for her in a music video contest, a flood of her followers went to do so. By using the right hashtags she was able to gain more followers and more votes. Despite the tough competition @amyflyingakite won. This begs the question, if so many people do well on social media, why bother having a website that costs time, effort, and money to grow?

You'll make a lot more in the long run. It's been proven that small businesses that have their own domain not only make more money but are in business a lot longer. Whether your business is brick and mortar or you rely on a social media sites like youtube, having your own domain is essential for business growth and longevity. Here's why:

1. “The money is in the list.” This is an old Web 2.0 saying often preached by internet marketing gurus, but it holds true today and is one of the most important rules for small business success. Even people newbies who rely on social media understand the benefits of having a massive following. The bigger your list of engaged subscribers/followers, the more you will earn through your business.

However, it's important to remember that your social media followers aren't actually your followers. They belong to Instagram, Twitter, Youtube etc. You are borrowing them, and you can lose them at any moment.

This is what happened to @inkedempire. She logged into her tumblr one day to find that Tumblr had shut her down without warning or explanation. She later found out it was a glitch but it only took that one moment for her to lose all the followers she had worked hard to gain. Her webcomic business was literally erased off the internet and caused her to lose thousands of dollars. Many people who rely on Youtube or another social media site to establish themselves have had a similar story. They suddenly lost their account and lost their business with it.

When you have your own domain, no one can take your subscribers from you. You own the site and thus you own the list. Even if you change your business location, or move your domain, you can take your list with you. As long as you back up your list, even a cyber attack can't put you out of business.

2. The psychology between followers and subscribers is different. When @amyflyingakite wants to announce a contest or take a poll she does so through her social media, but when she wants to sell something she opts for her website. This is because she, like many successful business owners, knows that subscribers and followers connect and behave with businesses differently. Subscribers buy more often than followers. Followers spread the word about you faster than subscribers and see your updates more regularly. Small businesses need both a social media presence and their own domain if they want to successfully compete in today's market place. Smart business owners use social media to drive traffic to their website or offline shop. They also use it as a means to enhance their brand and connect with prospects. They don't use it as their sole business platform. For real business, they take the time to build and grow their website with their own domain.

To answer the question in the title, websites are still highly relevant for both online and offline businesses. They not only help you sell more, but they allow you to gain long-term customers. It may seem like a lot of work to market your website, but it's worth it if you plan to have a truly successful business.

If you've been on the fence about getting your own domain, now is the time to act. Check out our current promo

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