Photo of laptop with small business website on screen.

Does my small business need a website?

5 reasons you are telling yourself “No!” debunked!

“I have a Facebook page and I’m doing fine.”

Social media is amazing for small businesses. It’s a way for you to connect directly with your followers and it’s easy for them to help you spread the word about your business, products, and services. However, as the business model of all social media platforms is changing, it is getting harder for small businesses to be seen and heard in the “pay-to-play” culture. Social Media is a shared media type, where you do not really “own” your followers, the platform does. This means they decide which of your followers sees your messages and when. Since Facebook’s 2017 algorithm update, it has been reported that business pages’ post reach is averaging only 6% of page followers, that’s 6 people seeing your posts for every 100 that like your page. A website is owned media, a source of information that you control the message on. You decide when and how often people see your updates because you own the relationship directly to the consumer.

“All my business comes from word of mouth.”

Although this may be true, consumers will still research a business that was recommended to them before engaging with that business. According to LSA’s (Local Search Association) April 2017 report, “The Digital Consumer Study,” 63 percent of consumers primarily use a company’s website to find and engage with businesses. If you do not have a website, you are not hitting their search screens, and you are losing potential clients and customers.

“I have a free site that’s working just fine.”

Did you know that 52% of all web traffic worldwide now comes from mobile devices? (Statista, 2020) If your free site is not mobile optimized…and most are not…you are losing out on many prospective clients and customers. Additionally, 88% of consumers who conduct local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. (Nectafy). In addition, free website services tend to use canned content and themes, making every site look the same, along with duplicate content being marked down in search rankings.

“I don’t sell products online, I don’t need a website”

Consumers use technology to do their research prior to purchase. We know this because search drives in-person visits – 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase. (Source: SEO Tribunal). Google reports that 84% of local business sources is category-based, not direct searches of a business name, which shows us that consumers are using the internet to find who to purchase from even when they know what they want.

“I don’t have time to manage a website.”

After the initial design and build phase, which typically takes 8-10 weeks for a small business website, the day to day time investment is small. When you use a company like Social Inclination, we take care of the backend updates and maintenance of your site as part of our services. Additionally, we include up to an hour of content update services every month with your low monthly management fee. If you would like to sell your products online, we can set up inventory systems that will actually save you time, instead of add to your workload

Let us help!

Social Inclination specializes in small businesses. With our web design services, we can help you get your new website up and driving sales and leads to you quickly. We use the WordPress platform to build mobile responsive, SEO optimized sites that are easy to update and will get you found online. We will provide hosting and management services as well as training you to make updates if desired are all part of every build. Reach out today to set up a free consultation!

Business Listing examples from Google

The Importance of Business Listings in 2020

Small businesses are dealing with so much in 2020, keeping the doors open and surviving at the top of that list. I, like many others in my area, am making a conscious effort to shop small and support locally owned businesses these days.

Because of the pandemic, I do a great deal of research inline before I venture out to complete my errands or tasks in the world. I know I’m not alone in this. People are using technology more and more. When most small business owners think “online” they think it means they have to be selling there to have any success. This is a myth, I have worked with many small businesses that do not have e-commerce and have successfully converted online viewers to paying customers.

One thing that is extremely important is to make sure that your business information is displaying correctly, not only on your website but on other sources online. Two big places are Google Business Listings and Apple Maps. Just this week, I have had two experiences where I confirmed hours of a business on Google only to arrive and find out they are incorrect and the business was closed at that hour.

Maintaining you Google Business Listing is a simple and free way to make sure people can find your business and get accurate information regarding your hours, services, and even your Covid-19 protocols. Once you claim your Google Business Listing it is simple to update any information so your loyal customers, as well as new ones, can learn about your business and also have an easy way to contact you. Google Business Listings and Apple Maps have become even more important in the age of voice assistants. Customers using these services in their car or from home will be able to get vital information about your business if the details are kept updated.

Here at Social Inclination, we can manage these services for you simply and efficiently. We specialize in small business, giving you a full marketing department, without the overhead! Reach out to us today and see how easy it can be to get your business found online.

5 Ideas to jump start your Social Media Content

5 Ideas to jump start your Social Media Content

For small business owners, knowing what to post on social media platforms is often the biggest hurdle they communicate. When working with my clients I often hear “I want to post more but, coming up with what to post is a challenge.” Here are 5 tips to jump start your social media content and fill up your accounts with posts that will engage your users and drive business.

  1. What sets you apart from everyone else? For most small business owners, they started their business because they had an expertise or a way of doing something unique to their industry. Talk about that distinction. What sets you apart from your competitors?
  2. Think about who your customer is and how they communicate. How you talk to your clients should match how they communicate on a daily basis. What age, gender, education level, occupation, etc. are your targeted users? You wouldn’t talk to your grandmother the same way you would talk to your teenage niece, make sure your social media posts follow the same rules of conversation.
  3. Think outside the box. Your social media feeds should not be an endless string of promotions for your business or service. Think about the other things your targeted users are interested in and communicate those thing. Share things that you are interested in and participate in outside your business. This will give your customers a deeper insight into your culture and motivation. Consumers don’t just buy based off need, they buy based off feeling. Make them want to do business with you. Use the 20/80 rule; 20% promotion, 80% supporting content.
  4. Create a partnership. Network with other small businesses in your area and help each other out, especially if your products and services go well together. Create a reciprocal relationship where you post about these other businesses and they post about you.
  5. Use your customers’ feedback. Highlight reviews, comments and feedback that customers have left for you. Not only does this give prospective clients a better overview of you, it encourages more feedback to be left. Reviews are very important for search engine ranking, any way you can encourage people to leave reviews is a great idea!

If your still struggling with ideas to maintain your social media accounts it may be time to think about hiring some professional help. As I meet with small business owners I often use this example: You could also do your own business taxes but, typically you hire an accountant because they have an expertise and can get you a better result. Social media marketing is the same thing. Investing in a professional to help you with this so you can focus on the day to day business will yield much better results for your bottom line.