top of page
  • Writer's pictureErin Ratliff

The #1 Marketing Tool Worth Investing In For Your Small Biz? Your Website!



A professional, well-crafted website is a must-have for solopreneurs. In this post we'll explore the compelling reasons why your website is the most crucial investment you can make as a solopreneur.


Why is it important to have a website?


Your website is...

  • your virtual storefront

  • the GLOBAL face of your biz

  • your 24/7 365 salesperson - the hardest working member of your team!


Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, your website is ALWAYS open. Potential clients can learn about your services, browse your portfolio, and make inquiries at any time, from anywhere in the world.


It helps you

  • tell your story and control your narrative

  • establish credibility in your brand

  • build trust with potential clients

  • expand your reach to new customers

  • move visitors through a funnel/conversion track.

  • generate leads

  • achieve income

  • build meaningful connections

  • unlock a world of opportunities.


Your Investment

There is no one price fits all in branding or web design. Because all businesses are at different points in their journey and have different needs, the value of a website can differ hugely from one business to another.

 

Websites are extremely variable products with a wide range of aesthetics, formats, functions etc. As such, it can be difficult to narrow a flat rate.


A simple 1 page website could cost you anywhere from $500 - $3500 to outsource, while a more complex site with e-commerce capability could cost up to $25,000 or more! As you can see, there is a MASSIVE range depending on industries and niches.


All that being said, a website is still usually a minimal expense considering it's longterm ROI. Remember, if your website is done right it will make you 10x that in a matter of weeks. And typically, the less you pay now, the more you’ll pay later.


On a Budget?

What if you aren't in a position to make this investment in your business at this time? There are always other alternatives. You could DIY your website with a pre-built template for under $100 but if you've never done it before expect many many (hundreds!) of hours of work, stress, and frustration ahead of you!


I personally designed my own websites when I first started out in biz, never having done one before. I taught myself because I love honing new skills and I genuinely enjoy the creative process. Sometimes it's fun to learn the hard way :)


PRO TIP: Don't forget, You can/should write your website off on your taxes!


Dispelling Myths & Misconceptions

You may hear of some influencers or coaches taking the stance against having a website. They claim that having a website can be

  • a waste of time and resources since you can grow business through referrals or social media

  • misleading if you've reached your capacity and can't take on more clients


And while those are all reasonable arguments, these points only tell one side of the story. In reality:

  • You never know when you’ll need a new source of leads. As such, it's important to have a website with strong domain authority in place when the time comes.

  • Websites don't have to be expensive, time-consuming or difficult to maintain if designed strategically off the bat

  • For many small businesses, the goal of a website isn’t vanity metrics ( tons of organic traffic) but rather to legitimize your business and showcase your expertise

  • Algorithms change. Your website (and their inbox) are actually the only places where you have total control over what your customers and prospects see from you. A website with an easy email opt-in and an email marketing strategy with consistent send rate will get you further in the long run than being dependent on a fickle, ever-changing social platform.



What is included in a successful website build?

Designing and launching a customized functional, and user-friendly website for a small business involves multiple phases to ensure a successful and professional online presence.




Phase 1: The Prep & Planning

  • Needs Assessment - Defining goals and objectives and direction for the website.

    • Understanding of functionality & Features

    • Outline the site structure, layout, navigation, components required.

  • Market Research

    • Brand themes, voice and visuals

    • Target audience, pain points, etc

    • Geographic location

    • SEO Keywords

    • Industry trends

    • Competitor sites

  • Onboarding - collecting brand assets, images, and key information

    • Core Pages

    • Brand - colors, logo, fonts, icons, etc

    • Home Page - copy, links,

    • About - History/Bio, Mission, Vision, Values, Team, Images

    • Products/Services - descriptions, process, images, pricing, reviews/testimonials, downloads/resources, faqs

    • Contact - email, hours, location, social links etc

    • Legal -  Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions of Service, Disclaimer

    • Supplementary Pages & Sections

      • Blog - articles, news, announcements

      • Events Calendar

      • FAQ

      • Careers

      • Resources

      • Booking/Reservation

      • Additional Customer Reviews/Client Testimonials/Case Studies

    • Other Inclusions & Features:

      • Content Pillars- Recent Blog Feed

      • Media Mentions ("As Seen In/On")

      • Quality Promise/ Guarantee

      • Industry Statistics

      • Trust Seals/Badges

      • Totals (Likes, Subscribers, Followers, Customers)

      • Professional Affiliations or Associations

      • Awards/Recognition Certifications/ Credentials

      • Partnerships or Collaborations

      • Email Opt-In ("Become a subscriber to...")

      • Group Membership ("Join me in an online community of...")

      • Pop-ups or Opt-ins for Lead Generation

      • Direct-to-Map Links


Phase 2: The Build

  • Development

    • Domain Registration with GoDaddy

    • CMS Web Hosting with Wix

  • Design - branding vice and visual, imagery, navigation menu and buttons

  • Content/Copywriting

    • Drafting

    • SEO headings, meta tags,

    • wireframing

  • Security - SSL certificate

  • Technical/ User Experience - functionality, mobile-responsive

  • Lead Generation - email subscriber opt-ins, gated content, memberships

  • Integrations- any necessary plugins or third-party tools.

  • Tracking tools- set up Google Analytics & Search Console Integration, plus automated reporting


Phase 3: Dev-Site Testing

  • Testing for functionality, usability, load time, device & browser compatibility etc

  • Continued tweaks to content, copy, links etc

  • Implementing Feedback & Revisions


Phase 4: Soft Launch

  • Going live

  • Marketing and promotion on social media, email etc

  • Gathering user feedback and making improvements.


Phase 5: On-going Monitoring and Maintenance

  • Regularly monitoring for website performance, traffic, and user behavior.

  • Updating content and features as needed.

  • Performing routine maintenance tasks and security checks.

  • Analyzing website analytics to identify areas for improvement

  • Implementing SEO strategies to enhance visibility and stay ahead of ever-changing algorithms

  • Optimizing user journeys and conversion paths

  • Continued tech support as problems arise


Phase 6: Final Delivery & Off-Boarding

  • Transfer of hosting, ownership and ongoing subscriptions as needed

  • Training on how to maintain formatting standards, functionality, etc.



Wrapping It Up

As a web development professional, I encourage you to view your website as an investment, not just a cost. DIY website builders are convenient and affordable, but if you're not experienced in web development they'll result in design and functionality issues, such as broken links and inconsistent layouts, which can end up costing you (money, and customers) more than it saves. 


You get what you pay for and web design is no exception! Building a custom, professional website take a LOT of hours from someone with a specialized skill set. It’s very worth the investment if you take your business seriously.


It's up to you. Do you want your biz to thrive? Do you want to be successful in sales? Do you want to project a professional image?


If the answer is yes, you need a website that will allow you to meet those goals. You deserve a website that matches your business’ size, vision, and budget.



I've been doing this for over 5 years, and I've seen first hand how a professionally-designed site can really make a difference. That's why I'm here, offering great design at a fair price.   


For solopreneurs just starting out, a beginner website with Wix is perfect. I specialize in right-sized, tailor-made Wix websites because they offer user-friendly interfaces and beautiful, functional and customizable templates. I'd love to help you optimize your website and take your business and brand to the next level! From branding to build to SEO, we can make it happen in alignment with your unique vision and values.



 


Erin Ratliff is a holistic business coach and organic growth & visibility marketer serving energy-sensitive, earth-loving, heart-led soul-preneurs, self-starters, and founders with the mission of personal and planetary healing.


SUBSCRIBE NOW to never miss another post related to mindful marketing. We can also stay connected on social media at the links below!


Comments


bottom of page