Does your site generate business revenue or is it just an online brochure?
The main goals of a local business website are:
And convert them into repeat, paying customers
When it’s done correctly, it can become a powerful and cost effective marketing tool to win new customers every month. A website designed specifically for a local business includes special features focussed on ‘converting’ visitors into customers.
If your site achieves these goals, it will pay for itself in a short time, and you'll start to see it as an investment in your business that generates revenue regularly, instead of being a begrudging cost.
Has your website designer asked you what your business goals are?
Before commissioning a site, ask your web designer:
Remember, it's your business and your money
What local marketing expertise do they have?
How will they include your business goals in the design?
We find business owners often go with what ‘looks’ nice, or even whatever the designer tells them. Pure web design agencies create attractive websites, but if they fail to understand your business goals, your site is not making you money. Whoever you use, make sure your business goals are built into the site development process. And don't feel intimidated, focus on how it should help your business, you don't need to know the technical stuff.
A warning to business owners choosing a new website
There are two parts to creating a small business website.
Web / graphic design - the site aesthetic
Marketing - the purpose of the site
Attractive design is important to help you stand out, but isn’t necessarily great at turning visitors into actual customers. And for any small business owner with a limited budget, that is your main business objective. Sadly, we find, many business owners waste their budget employing a web designer who may be great at the first of these. The site looks nice but is effectively a pretty brochure, and you can lose up to 90% of potential sales if a web designer does not have an understanding of marketing when creating a site for a local business. It's the marketing underpinning the design that are essential to convert into real sales. So be aware that web designers are often not marketing or business development experts.
Free websites are free for a reason
There are plenty of promises for simple, free, do it yourself websites or templates around, if you prefer to build your own. We advise against any free website, because you can't verify what is 'under the hood'.
In order to cut costs, the site may be be built using poorly written or malicious computer code, causing your business to go offline, like an unreliable car constantly breaking down. Or worse leading to your business being cyber hacked.
Unfortunately we won't be able to work on your free site, simply because we can't vouch for the programming or want to take the risks just mentioned. But we're happy to chat with you about your options.
Would you offer your services for free? If a potential customer called you up and said 'I need your services, but someone else is offering them for free on the internet', what advice would you give them? Exactly, so do we! One of the most common enquiries we receive is from time-pressured business owners, or sole proprietors saying, 'I've got this free website which is supposed to be easy to set up in an hour, but it's taking forever and it's gotten so complicated. Help!'
These are 'off the shelf' or 'cookie cutter' templates, where everyone gets the same looking site, which has few options to change how it will look. Your business will not stand out to customers, and because some templates are pitched at certain types of businesses, you may inadvertently end up with the exact same website as one of your competitors.
Our local business sites are specifically designed to help convert visitors into customers
Spark a direct phone call – for an immediate sale or for information towards a purchase/booking
Clearly display contact information – 'NAP-first': Name, Address, Phone number, and Google map directions
Local SEO – it’s no good having a great website if you don’t show up in Google)
Customer Reviews – reviews are influential proof of approval of your services
Collect email addresses – to build relationships with people interested buying from you at a later stage
Analytics data – so we can study visitor numbers and what on your website is working well
If you're interested in growing your business, or just want some help de-mystifying internet marketing, then get in touch
We're passionate about working with small and local businesses
"The expertise and friendly support from iMarkets was just right, and we love our new site. We wanted to know how to build an online shop (eCommerce), and iMarkets successfully developed ways we could acquire new customers directly from the new site instead of cold calling. Everything was delivered with no problems."
Websites for Osteopaths | Chiropractors | Massage | Wellness businesses
"Traffic doubled since launching our new website, and we've consistently been #1 on Google and Google Local search results ever since. I'm grateful to iMarkets for their excellent, straightforward help in our website design for Osteopaths by helping us stand out in a competitive local market. Great stuff!"
Head of Practice, Teddington Osteopaths
Local Online Marketing for Osteopaths | Chiropractors | Sports Massage
"We weren't sure about how to do online marketing for Osteopaths and had a small budget. iMarkets explained everything simply which took away any 'fear of the internet'. They suggested we should blog useful advice and news, which is a great digital strategy for us. They set up our blog, trained us on how to run it, and how to use social media properly. It's given us a new way to keep in touch with our clients, helps us reach customers locally and gets us seen in more places online."