Category Archive : Marketing

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What to Know About Website Builders Available Today

Any small business owner has many options when it comes to building a website. They can choose to use a templated service for a website, use a DIY platform or hire a professional web designer. Of course, there are costs associated to each as well as design aspects and functionality. A templated site is likely the cheapest option and also tends to be the most boring. Building a site with a popular DIY builder is cost-effective, but also carries certain limitations. And hiring a professional website designer will run you at least a few thousand dollars.

So what is the best website builder for your business? Below are a few things to consider when you decide to build a website for your business.

Cost

Cost of a WebsiteYour budget for a new website is likely the deciding factor in which option you choose. Depending on the age of your business and what your revenues look like, you may be limited in what you can do.

Google Sites

Although extremely limited, a Google site will get you online right away. You simply need to sign up for a Google My Business account and choose the website option. Google provides you with a handful of templates to choose from, you fill in the text, change a few pictures and you’re ready to go. It’s free, so it is a very cost-effective option.

GoDaddy Sites

GoDaddy also offers a templated system for as little as $12 per month. Unlike a Google-operated site, here you will be able to choose your own domain name. For any successful business, choosing to use your actual domain name is very important because it’s what most customers will type into their browser. With GoDaddy, you’ll choose from a few templates, input your own text content and replace a handful of images. Even though it’s only $12 / month, be warned that there is limited support and very little customization available.

Design

Web DesignDesign is another important characteristic to consider when building a new website. Stepping away from basic builders like Google or GoDaddy, there are a few more expensive options that offer a few more design tools.

Wix

Wix has gained tremendous popularity among small businesses and new businesses. In recent years, the company has made significant improvements to make its software less templated and more geared toward custom designs. Wix users can still choose from templates or they can build completely unique designs. With a front-end builder and several features, it’s no wonder why Wix has become popular in the last few years. Of course, it does have certain limitations as much of the codebase is not available to users.

Squarespace

Known as the budget-friendly e-commerce website builder, Squarespace is another affordable option to start a website with. This platform gives its users a variety of building blocks to quickly drag-and-drop the look-and-feel of a website. And for online stores, adding products, photos of products and adjusting various features is very easy. Like any other builder mentioned on this list so far, it too has limitations and you’ll need to upgrade when you hit a roadblock. It’s still cost-effective, but it can be discouraging at times.

Functionality

Finally, if it’s custom functionality you need in a website, you’ll need to consider hiring a professional. While the previous platforms mentioned get the job done, you’ll only be able to take them so far. This is where more advanced platforms come into play.

WordPress

WordPress is by far the most popular website platform available today, powering more than 30% of the internet. It gives designers endless options to work with and makes customizations a breeze.

For these reasons and a few more, WordPress is a great solution for a lot of businesses. If you’re looking for a website that can evolve with your business, offers customization and flexibility with third-party plugins, then it’s worth every penny to hire a custom developer to build on WordPress.

Other Contenders

It seems as if new website platforms come out every few months. Of the notable platforms not mentioned here, business owners could also consider Shopify for e-commerce, BigCommerce for e-commerce, Webflow for a graphical front-end builder and Figma to focus on design. If you have recently built a new business website, which platform did you choose and why?

Digital Advertising vs. Traditional Advertising

When small to midsize businesses start out with marketing, they sometimes get stuck on the right type of advertising to use. Should they focus on traditional marketing channels like radio, print and TV media buys or go all-in on digital advertising? While there are benefits to either type of advertising, most businesses now start with digital channels.

The Rise of Digital Advertising

Traditional marketing can be an effective way to reach consumers, but it typically takes the company more time and money. Digital advertising is instantaneous and cheaper than other types of marketing channels. It also gives companies access to better technology for their ads to increase the chances of people actually seeing them.

It’s also important to note that consumers are consuming less traditional media each day. This means that they’re looking for content on social media, blogs, celebrity gossip sites, video games and many other digital destinations before they tune into TV or read a newspaper. This means advertisers must follow the consumer online in order to capture their attention.

What Digital Advertising Channels Are Best?

From Facebook to YouTube to placing ads directly in front of searchers using Google, there are many advertising opportunities available. And the good news about any of these marketing channels is the flexibility with budget. Even small businesses with a $300 / month advertising budget can get started running ads to very refined audiences. Advertisers have the option to scale their budget and advertise to a wider audience in a relatively simple manner.

Set Goals

It’s important to identify the goal of your digital advertising campaign first. If your goal is to increase awareness or get more leads, you’ll want to advertise on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Make sure that you’re tracking conversions on these digital ads so that you can see what type of return on investment (ROI) you’re getting from each channel.

If your goal is to drive traffic directly to a new product landing page or website, then search engines like Google are the best channels. You can place targeted keywords in both organic and paid searches with options for small text ads at the top of results pages. If you need help understanding what your goals should be, consider hiring a digital marketing specialist.

Tracking Performance of Digital Ads

As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to track the performance of digital ad campaigns. Thankfully, tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics make it easy for advertisers to understand how their ads perform. Real-time tracking and analytics make it easy for a business to adjust its strategy too. Instead of waiting to see how a billboard or other outdoor campaign performs, advertisers can review the data right away and make changes.

The Case for Traditional Advertising

As everyone is online, there are many ways to get the word out about your product or service through digital ads. And while this may sound great at first glance, you might also be spending more money on marketing than necessary by neglecting traditional methods like radio and print ads which can still generate a lot of traffic for your company. Opting for traditional mediums will get you top of mind for your customers and allow you to advertise to a large audience. While it may not lead to a direct conversion for you, you’ll spread the awareness of your brand, products or services.

Conclusion

All in all, it seems that starting off with digital channels will pay dividends down the line because they offer quick access to audiences who love technology. However, you shouldn’t completely ignore traditional advertising as part of your marketing mix. Depending on your product or service and the area you serve, you may uncover a great number of customers through traditional ads.