There was a time where having a website was an accomplishment.
It was the same time that Jerry Seinfeld captured the hearts of millions with his observational humor. When Blockbuster still existed. When ‘Pogs’ were a thing.
It’s no longer that time. Nor has it been for over 2 decades.
The fact is, the online space is hypercompetitive and complicated. The only businesses thriving in that space are ones who know what truly goes into a successful website.
Only ‘having’ a website isn’t enough anymore. It’s got to be hosted on the best possible platform, it needs a user-friendly design, must regularly replenish itself with fresh content, and employ up-to-date search engine optimization (SEO) protocols. That is if you want your website to be more than a failed pet project.
As a small-to-medium-sized business owner, you fully comprehend these factors. In many cases, this is what’s stopping business owners from investing in an online presence.
After all, building a website is high art mixed with advanced science. How is a small-mid-sized company supposed to allocate the resources towards establishing an online presence that generates a good return?
Let’s investigate this further:
Content Marketing: Sounds Great Until You Actually Have to Do it
Did you know that, according to studies, quality content is one of the top 3 reasons people follow brands on social media?
Furthermore, 81% of US consumers trust advice and information from blogs. And 83% of businesses believing that video marketing gives them a good return on their investment (ROI).
Valuable (and consistent) content is the lifeblood of your online presence. It’s conducive to creating buzz currency, which gives businesses equity with clients. In other words, since you’re providing your target market with something of value, they’ll be more inclined to reciprocate the offering. More specifically, there’s a better chance they’ll purchase a service or product from your business.
While this all sounds great, saying it and doing it are two entirely different things.
Writing a 1000-word blog takes around 3 hours for a professional writer – never mind someone with 20 other tasks on their plate. Even live vlogging would require hours of strategizing and setting up. Coming up with good weekly social media content could take another 4 hours, or longer if you intend to create your own graphics.
You’re already responsible for a multitude of different jobs. Your other employees are too. It’s impossible to find enough time for content marketing, especially if you want to do it well.
Also, hiring an in-house digital marketer means taking on a new employee, which is at least $30-35,000 per year.
So, hiring a digital marketing agency might be the best way you can reap the benefits of online traffic.
Search Engine Optimization: Like Shooting at a Target Blindfolded
There’s a language we like to call “Google-ese.”
It’s the algorithmic language spoken by the AI crawlers employed by Google. Based on a series of metrics, crawlers rank websites based on the quality of user experience. In the simplest terms, they examine whether your website is following best practices. They also monitor how long people stay on your website – or if people even visit your page.
Plus, Google is aware of relevant keywords and search terms you should be using. However, you can’t game the system and cram these words or phrases. The crawlers are so adaptive, that they pick up on keyword-cramming.
Now, it is possible to DIY keywords. There are free keyword generators out there and if you’re a decent writer, you can hammer out some content with while effectively dispersing those relevant terms. This would likely take you 12 or so hours spread out over a week, given your schedule.
But these would be 12 poorly spent hours. Trying to execute technical SEO strategies without a fundamental understanding of search engine language (or ‘Google-ese’) is like shooting in the dark.
Keywords are as much math as they are writing. SEO also necessitates endless challenges such as generating inbound links and writing 100s of meta-titles/descriptions.
SEO is its own field. A singular discipline. Trying to implement SEO strategies without the guidance of a professional is, more often than not, a recipe for heartburn.
You could hire an in-house SEO specialist – but that’s going to cost around $45,000/year on average.
Hosting: A Lost Art
Small-medium-sized businesses don’t have it easy when searching for a good web host.
DIY hosts like GoDaddy and WiX are limiting. While you may be attracted by the price, it’ll cost you money in the long run based on lost opportunities. These sites have overcrowded networks that slow down load times. They also don’t allow for any flexibility with design, nor do they allow for best SEO practices. Such sites aren’t conducive to conversions or growing your business.
Now, you could commit to dedicated hosting.
With dedicated hosting, your website is on its own server all by its lonesome, so it can fully utilize the resources. It is quite expensive ($100s if not $thousands a month) and will necessitate that you handle firewalls and maintenance yourself – both huge drains on time.
Then there’s managed hosting, built for WordPress! This utilizes a few different types of hosting methods, but we use Google Cloud hosting here at Two Dot Marketing… and the best part, it’s included in every care plan.
Killing Your Website Birds with One Stone
Okay. You don’t necessarily have the time to commit to putting forth a profitable website that generates traffic and conversions.
Given that it requires over $100,000 in yearly salary to assemble an in-house team to man the proverbial ship, you also don’t have the money.
You could sit there scratching your head and longing for the days of Yellow Pages and grunge rock.
Or, you could hire a digital marketer that combines expert SEO strategies with savvy content creation and convenient hosting – all at an affordable price.
The choice is all yours, but in today’s market, web presence is what will take your business from surviving to thriving.