Guest Post: The Importance of Your Small Business Website

Blog Moderator | May 23, 2013

We are pleased to bring you a guest post from C.C. Chapman, best-selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur extraordinaire. 

By C.C. Chapman

Reports show that three out of four small businesses plan to increase their content marketing initiatives in the coming year.

First impressions have never been more important. Today, having a cookie cutter website that shows your hours of operations and perhaps a little bit of information about your business is better than nothing, but it’s not enough.

Search engines crave the addition of new and relevant content to your site on a regular basis before your company will show up high in search results. Jamming your domain full of keyword rich pages without adding any value to them no longer is a tactic that will work on it's own.

There is also a trend starting to emerge where companies are paying more attention to their Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts than their own websites.

While I firmly believe that using these other platforms is a crucial part of today's marketing mix, neglecting your domain name - that you own and that isn't rented land from another company - is a dangerous decision to make. Establishing your own website and driving traffic to it whenever appropriate is the best decision always. Yes, you'll share the content you create across the social media sea, but be sure that whenever possible, your potential customers are consuming your content on your own website.

Great Small Business Websites:

So who is doing this well in the small business world? Here are a few companies with great online presences to inspire you to begin content marketing on your budget and with your time constraints.

Lisa Johnson Fitness

Lisa is the owner of Modern Pilates Boston and realized early on that when people decide to get fit the first place they go is online to search for solutions. She is active across all social media channels answering questions and giving tips, but she also takes the questions that are most commonly asked and creates blog posts about them. She has written about everything from fixing bad habits, to fitness trends and even the hot topic of yoga pants. As Lisa knows, a variety of topics will help attract both the casual observer who might only be looking for a quick answer to a fitness question, yet also gives detailed posts for the more fitness obsessed.

GORUCK

This lifestyle brand is known for their military grade rucksacks and other gear. But, take a moment to look at their blog where CEO Jason McCarthy not only talks about the products, but also shares photo essays of visits to other American manufacturing companies, cool bars and adventures with his dog. They also have recently started using video to further explain who they are and what they do such as this video explaining what their GORUCK Challenge is all about.

King Arthur Flour

Founded in 1790, this Vermont company is America's oldest flour company that has held onto it's small business roots the entire time. Recently featured in a Google+ commercial for their embrace of technology, they've proven that any company can use content in appropriate ways. Spend time on their website and you'll find plenty of information about their flour varieties, as well as an endless supply of recipes. One strategy they've used better than most is constantly sharing photos through their Instagram account and using many of them in blog posts. Finally, while they have the required presences on the popular social media platforms, they've added a good old-fashioned discussion forum on their site to keep the conversations and questions on their own domain where they can control it better.

Every day there are new companies discovering what works for them and their customers. The keys are:
  1. Don’t be afraid to strategically experiment and see what works.
  2. Take the time to look at what your competitors are doing, determine the types of content you believe you and your team could create on a regular basis and begin creating it.
  3. Don't forget that while you will be sharing your content across social media, whenever possible you want those links, clicks and customers coming to your own website where you control the experience and messaging.
Know of any other small businesses doing cool things online? Let me know in the comments section and we may feature them.