At Strategy Plus, we design and build websites in and around Birmingham for businesses of very different sizes across many different sectors. So it may come as a surprise that we’re suggesting your business might not need one. You might be a bit confused given that setting up a website is often one of the first things you’re advised to do. But there are a number of reasons why having a website built might not be the best investment in the short term.
Websites are costly
Having a website developed professionally can cost upwards of £800. And that’s usually just for very simple sites developed in WordPress where you’re providing the content. If you’re looking for something more dynamic, created from scratch, and require copywriting, this cost will just keep rising. Nor does it end there. On top of the up-front costs, the domain needs to be registered, ongoing maintenance needs to be performed and emails need to be hosted, so you’ll have an additional monthly or annual fee to pay.
It should be said that you can create a website for next to nothing, using services like Wix or Weebly. However, these will cause you problems down the line, particularly with SEO.
Search is becoming more local
If you search for certain services, it’s not just company websites that are listed in search engine results pages. This doesn’t mean your business doesn’t need a webiste of course, but if budgets are tight it might be worth focussing on optimising your local listings first.
You might have come across the local 3-pack for example. To begin getting listed here, just head over to Google My Business and fill in all the information as completely as possible. And, for an extra boost, try to get as many reviews from your valued customers as possible.
Directories might be all you need
In some industries, comparison and directory sites remain one of the primary sources for potential customers. If you’re looking for a plumber in Birmingham, for example, you’ll find that sites like Checkatrade, Yell and Thomson Local outrank individual plumbers’ sites.
Due to this, if you have a limited budget, it might be worth spending time optimising your profiles on each of these sites before investing in a completely new website. Adding images of products and completed projects, producing detailed descriptions of what you do, and actively directing customers to these playforms to leave reviews can help you stand out from the competition.
Social media can be effective
For some businesses, a social media profile might be all you need to begin to gain a presence. This is particularly the case for bricks-and-mortar retail establishments like independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Not all cafes, for example, have a website but you’d be hard pushed to find one that doesn’t have at least some presence on Facebook or Instagram.
Social media pages are indexed by Google, meaning that your business will be found even if you don’t have an established website. This means, of course, that you have to ensure that you’re using the social media channel to its fullest extent. Regularly producing useful content and advertising via these channels can often be more cost-effective than investing in a new website and attempting to drive traffic to it via AdWords PPC advertising.