Why Your Local Service Business Needs a Website
By Karen Repoli
We recently purchased a new home and embarked on the task of remodeling it to our taste. Since we are in a new community, I’ve been searching for local contractors for painting, countertops, tiling, etc. I was surprised by the number of service business that don’t have their own piece of the internet. In other words, their own website.
Most of these small businesses only maintained a web presence on Facebook and/or one of the online services that match customers to service providers such as Angie’s List or Thumbtack. These sites are great for the consumer and I did hire a contractor I found there. However, the contractor has to pay to quote on each project, regardless if they get the job.
But, I’m on Facebook. Isn’t that the same?
So what about Facebook? I remember when Facebook was relatively new and business people, like myself, were being told to be careful about blatant advertising in our posts. The phrase often used was, “Remember, it is SOCIAL media.” Okay, I said that myself more than a few times. But that was circa 2010.
Enter Facebook Business Pages in 2012 (approx.). Finally, a place for small business and entrepreneurs to promote their business! Free advertising! It was music to the ears of startup businesses everywhere. At this time, some marketing consultants were actually telling business people with small budgets to set up a Facebook Business Page instead of their own web page. After all, a professional web page can be expensive right?
With a business page, the small marketing budget entrepreneur had a valid source of free advertising. But Facebook wasn’t making any money on all this free advertising. Being savvy business owners, they created Facebook ads. In fact, it’s getting harder to get your page noticed unless you pay for ads.
I’m listed on another service, such as Angie’s List or my parent company such as Realtor.com.
That is a GOOD thing! But it’s not really your OWN web page. It probably only lists contact information and a short description of your services. It lists your information with everyone in your category – including your competitors! In addition, most of these types of listings are not free and the money can really add up if you’re on a tight budget.
The good news is that having that page with a social media platform or listing service will enhance and empower your own website. It will drive more traffic to your site and put you one step ahead of the marketing game.
The most important reason you should have your own piece of the web, is that you have total control over it.
All of these alternatives, have one thing in common. Your content can be erased at any time by them. Think about the time you spent creating that social media profile or professional listing. What would you do if you woke up one day and it was all gone? If you don’t own the platform it’s on, this is a very real possibility.
Now we’ve talked about what you shouldn’t Go to the full article.