Does a Small Business Need a Website?
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Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business Websites
At Forward Push, our motto is “Helping You Navigate the Ever Changing Internet”…and in some cases, that means introducing small businesses to why they should have a website. That can be a frightening proposition, especially when the process involves so many buzzwords and acronyms: CMS, SEO, plugins, HTML5, and more.
Relax. We’re here to help. We get inquiries from small businesses all the time about websites, and there are a number of questions that come up most of the time.
Does my small business need a website?
Yes! In any circumstance, your small business needs a website.
Does my small business need the latest bells and whistles?
In general, no. Here’s the thing about the web: most of the time, when new technological capabilities come out, a lot of developers go overboard and add bells and whistles to everything…and then they discover that people hate that because it takes longer to load or is distracting. That’s why things like auto-play videos and fancy animations arrived, peaked, and now are used in a more discriminating fashion. The latest bells and whistles are usually aesthetic accouterments that, when used smartly, can add to the user experience but they’re hardly ever necessary.
What about SEO? Does my small business need that?
SEO stand for search engine optimization. It’s the science of getting your website found on search engines such as Google and Bing. All website need some form of SEO. However, the depth of the process depends on how specialized your audience is, your goals and budget.
What is a CMS and why do I need it?
The acronym CMS stands for Content Management System, and it usually refers to the engine that powers websites. Popular (and free) CMS solutions include WordPress and Joomla, and most developers will build sites with these engines. A CMS allows you to separate the look/layout of a website with the content (pages, text, images), so that a developer can work on the aesthetics and functionality but hand over content management (i.e. updating text) to the end-user when development finishes. With a CMS, you’ll be able to edit text as easily as editing Microsoft Word, so yes, unless you know how to code HTML, your small business needs it.
Is a blog the same thing as a website?
Yes and no. A blog is simply a running journal of posts with a main index page. For many personal uses, this is all a website has to be. For businesses, it makes sense to integrate a blog as part of a main website. Many CMS solutions will support having a blog be part of the website rather than a standalone entity. For business purposes, a blog is often used to educate your readers, post news, promote events, and announce milestones.
What is a mobile website and why is it important?
A mobile website is a website that displays cleanly and efficiently on a mobile device. With modern technology, this is achieved through using a CMS and some clever coding. Mobile websites are often streamlined versions of the desktop website, as this is done to minimize loading time based on data network transmissions and device compatibility. If your web developer has done a good job, your website will display perfectly no matter sized device the user is viewing it on.
What else is there?
A lot, actually. Making a website ready to go live is one thing; making it successful is another. Pick up a copy of our free 25 Website ‘Must-Haves’ for Driving Traffic, Leads, & Sales to help you get there.
By Marc Apple
Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.
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