The internet, as we know it, was invented in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee to collectively share information world-wide in real time. Who would’ve known back then just how much we would come to depend on it in our daily lives? The wonderous world-wide-web is kinda like a Swiss Army Knife; an easy to use multi-tool that you can take with you and access from practically anywhere.
In its evolution, the internet has become the greatest social connector of all time – bringing together families, friends and communities. It can set you up on a date, find the perfect birthday gift, help you earn a degree and show you how to build a primitive treehouse in the jungle.
Along with the shopping and laughing at cat videos for hours-on-end, the internet has inspired and launched a new kind of entrepreneur. Online-only merchants can launch a virtual store, work a limited amount of time per week and reap the benefits of this golden digital age. But local small business owners have been skeptical about the effectiveness vs the cost and maintenance of a website. So, why the holdup?
The Elephant in the Room
It may be that you have had an unpleasant experience in the past. It is no secret that developing a website was a lot more difficult back then and a legit timeframe from conception to completion could spread out over months. Not to mention the black stain on all-things-internet created by website developers and other ‘professionals’ who took advantage of the ‘online innocence’ of unsuspecting business owners.
25 years later, that black stain remains one of the most challenging stigmas to overcome. Yet, through hard work and the personal connections we have with all of our customers, we are slowly showing small business owners in our hometown and beyond that traditional values like mutual respect and honesty can be successfully represented in the online industry. The 469 Design team has over 20 years combined experience within a wide scope of online services, including:
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media
- Paid Advertising
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Local or Organic Optimization
- Directory Organization
- Expansive Content Creation
Currently, with the rapid advancements in website development over the last few years, we’ve been inspired to become proficient in website design and development to help individuals who may have been misled or treated unfairly in the past. The goal is to furnish the most user-friendly options to allow anyone with basic online skills to change content, upload images or simply update information without being beholden to anyone else. We even have tutorial videos to guide you through the login process and updating – just in case you forget.
If you’re thinking that going through the process of getting a website up and running will be too much work, think again! 469 Design will make navigating your web development process as easy as possible with options like pro content creation, ongoing care plans and tons of free advice to help you understand the process and what will work for your business and what will not.
Do I Need a Website if I’m on Social Media?
Well-established local business owners who have a following on social media to connect with customers is great, but it is just not enough. The problem with a ‘social media only’ strategy is that the advertising and customer connections are solely dependent on your platform. You must be aware of the ever-changing algorithms and comply with rules set in place by Facebook, for example, and each individual community page to reach those in your customer base.
Businesses who have a website are in complete control of content without restrictions. A big part of the reason we choose to work for ourselves is the freedom of not answering to anyone else. Social media should be used as a tool and not the base of your online marketing strategy because it is and will always remain at the whim of unpredictable algorithms and evolving trends. An established website can utilize marketing tools like directory listings, social media and various online networks as a supplement or extension of the solid, independent home base site.
On-the-Go Customers Search for Local Businesses
In general, you don’t need elaborate, encyclopedia-like content to have a commanding, effective website. You just need an easy-to-navigate scroll bar with familiar pages like Home | About | Products or Services and | Contact to supply quick and easy-to-find information to consumers on-the-go. To remain relevant among your competition, you need a mobile-friendly website to provide potential customers with what they want, or they will look somewhere else.
The level of your success is greatly influenced by the nearly 75% of smartphone users who are more likely to purchase from a business who has a mobile site customized to their location (Google, 2017). Their need for instant access to the most current, accurate information about your company’s availability, location, inventory and pricing are more important than ever. But the choppy navigation of social media just doesn’t compare to the ease of targeted search engine results that present your website in the most relevant results.
Let’s Talk Cost
With incredible new technology, custom-built websites are more accessible and affordable than they’ve ever been. With this influx of options, you’ve probably already been flooded with DIY web design ads. Yes, they are legitimately free templated website building programs, but the limitations put you in a very small box with no wiggle room. Any future edits or additions, special plugins or programs are gonna cost.
On average a DIYer will spend $500 on a new website. So, compared to the average custom-design company rate of between $2,500 – $4,500+, where does 469 Design come in? We think you will be pleasantly surprised…
A beautiful, easy to search service site like Wake County Law will cost $750 for full development with 469 Design. Features include a customized blog, dedicated service pages providing detailed information and a customized contact form. Similar custom sites are typically billed out for each page addition and upgrade. As you can imagine; this can get pricy averaging between $2,500 to $5,000 with any other web design firm.
469 Design’s price point was calculated to include any number of pages, custom forms, unlimited plugins and unique galleries that we include to give your site a high-end, customized feel. Each site design is based on an aesthetic theme with elements and colors from your company logo. Our base pricing will only increase with additions like an e-com shopping cart or catalog or pre-existing program integrations.
So, in review the effectiveness of a website that serves as a constant, authorities online presence 24/7, introducing consumers to you and the products or services you offer and answering questions at any time of the day or night is, by definition, a marvel of marketing. While you may not think you need a website, the truth is that the whole-wide-world is now your competition and to be successful you must establish a website on the world-wide-web to stay in the game.
Contact 469 Design for Your Free Consultation
We will be happy to let you know how a custom website can help your business and answer any questions you might have with no further obligation. Give us a call at 435.849.4882 to find out just how easy we are to work with.