Quick, Easy, and Free Websites

What if you could set up a website for your business in less than an hour for free?

There is a wide variety of options for free or low-cost, and easy websites. You can create one in as little as an hour with basic information about your business. If you have a business name, contact information, and a few pictures of your finished product(s), then you have everything you need to set up a simple website for your business. One hour to increase your business’ exposure and word-of-mouth traffic.

What is one hour worth to your business?

Here are five easy and free resources for setting up a website (and one inexpensive paid option).

1. WordPress.com offers a completely free version and a paid version. The free version is enough for most small businesses and offers flexibility for content, although the free version limits design options. The paid version of WordPress (WordPress.org) is the gold standard for websites. If you’re going to pay for your website, use this one. (The paid version of wordpress does not fall into the quick and easy category.)

2. Weebly.com has a simple and easy to understand system, making it great for first time do-it-yourselfers. It offers a free option and three paid options starting at $8 a month.

3. Yola.com has both free and paid options and offers a simple website builder with basic design options.

4. Onepager.com – This site offers a free version with a limited set of options to customize. They also offer four levels of paid versions, starting at as little as $8 a month. (If you can afford Netflix, you can afford this!)

5. Wix.com offers a completely free option with a wide variety of options and tools. This website builder might be a little overwhelming for first time website builders, but offers the most freedom for design and content.

6. Squarespace.com has a streamlined, elegant, and user-friendly website creator. It does not offer a free version, but has two levels of paid versions, starting at $8 a month. Their $18 a month option is listed for businesses, but unless you are selling products online, the $8 a month option would be enough for most small businesses.

So what are you waiting for? In the time you spend surfing Facebook this week, you could have a beautiful and informative website. Get going!

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One (Easy) Step to Get More Clients

Step One. Create a website.

Wait! Don’t go. I know you have probably heard this before and you don’t think you have enough time, money, or need for one. You’re not alone. In fact, 41% of small business owners don’t think their business needs a website. [1] 19% are worried about the cost and 16% don’t think they have the time. [2]

So why does your business need a website?

Have you ever searched for a business you know exists, but been unable to find any reliable information about it? That is what happens when you don’t have a website.

What about business listing websites like Merchant Circle, Manta, or CitySearch? These sites usually create more headaches than their worth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve failed to find a reliable phone number or email address with only these business listing sites to guide me. For many consumers, if you don’t have a website, then your business just doesn’t exist.

86% of consumers search for local businesses online. They search for business hours, addresses, and directions. [3] Once those consumers have done that search, 50% will use that information to visit the brick and mortar store. [4]

Where do you get your current clients from? If your business is like most small businesses, you get the majority of your clients via word of mouth.[5] Well, nine out of ten consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and nine out of ten consumers use reviews to determine where to shop. [6] Which means, if you don’t have an online presence, you are leaving money on the table.

So, you’re convinced that a website can provide value, but you’re still worried about the time and money it will take to set one up. But what if you could set one up in less than an hour for free?

There is a wide variety of options for free or low-cost, and easy websites. You can create one in as little as an hour with basic information about your business. If you have a business name, contact information, and a few pictures of your finished product(s), then you have everything you need to set up a simple website for your business. One hour to increase your business’ exposure and word-of-mouth traffic. What is one hour worth to your business?

Here are five easy and free resources for setting up a website (and one inexpensive paid option).

  1. WordPress.com offers a completely free version and a paid version. The free version is enough for most small businesses and offers flexibility for content, although the free version limits design options.
  2. Weebly.com has a simple and easy to understand system, making it great for first time do-it-yourselfers. It offers a free option and three paid options starting at $8 a month.
  3. Yola.com has both free and paid options and offers a simple website builder with basic design options.
  4. OnePager.com – This site offers a free version with a limited set of options to customize. They also offer four levels of paid versions, starting at as little as $8 a month. (If you can afford Netflix, you can afford this!)
  5. Wix.com offers a completely free option with a wide variety of options and tools. This website builder might be a little overwhelming for first time website builders, but offers the most freedom for design and content.
  6. Squarespace.com has a streamlined, elegant, and user-friendly website creator. It does not offer a free version, but has two levels of paid versions, starting at $8 a month. Their $18 a month option is listed for businesses, but unless you are selling products online, the $8 a month option would be enough for most small businesses.

So what are you waiting for? In the time you spend surfing Facebook this week, you could have a beautiful and informative website. Get going!

https://infograph.venngage.com/e3/72875/importance-of-a-website

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Secrets to Making Your Blog Site Visitors into Loyal Fans

Great suggestions for creating and maintaining a successful blog. These are the kinds of things I tell my clients all the time.

Chippo Masayon

As a blog or website owner, you want your visitors to like and share your posts, leave some comments and then follow your blog site because they get interested to all the stuffs you posted. However, a lot of people come across a blog, read or browse a couple of entries, and then surf away for good – that’s exactly what you don’t want your visitors to do.

11

Listed below are some tips on how you can make your visitors into loyal fans:

  • Keep your content updated and plain

Constantly adding something new to your blog can create a positive impact to your readers as well as to search engines. However, you do not have to force yourself to post something every day if you do not have the time to do it. Instead, publish new content to your blog at least once or twice a week.

In addition, keep…

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10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Click on the link to read the whole article. It’s a good one.

MyDigiBrand™

Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging.

It’s vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals. From maximizing quality to increasing your online entry points, abiding by these 10 laws will help build a foundation that will serve your customers, your brand and — perhaps most importantly — your bottom line.

1. The Law of Listening

Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking. Read your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than clutter to their lives.

Written by Susan Gunelius.  To read the full article, click here.

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Social Media Part I: Facebook Networking Without the Blasts From the Past

The Social Networking Mine Field

Social Media has a tendency to drag up people from our past. For most of us, this is something we tolerate, but for some people it creates a reason to avoid social media.

However, if you’re in business for yourself, your social media network is critical to your business’s success. It can even be important to be friends with people from your past that you don’t necessarily want to hear from every day. Here’s why: these people expand your network exponentially and provide new potential clients via word of mouth. For every small business, it is key that as many people as possible know what you do — name recognition. This is a version of branding, the goal of which is for as many people as possible to connect what you do (insurance, real estate, massage, selling clothes online, graphic design, etc.) with your name.

Fortunately, it is possible to create a social media network without facing your high school demons, hearing about what ex’s are doing, or offending anyone you don’t want interact with via social media.

Facebook

In this first installment, let’s take a look at how to do this successfully on Facebook.

1. The easiest way to avoid interacting with people is to only be friends with certain people. Facebook has a news feed; the people that you’re friends with are the only people who’s posts show up in your news feed. When someone requests to be friends with you, you can reject or ignore this request without the other person getting any notification. Simply select “Not Now” when you receive a friend request.

ignore friend requests

2. If you are friends with someone who you later decide you don’t want to be FB friends with for whatever reason (offensive posts, spam posts, etc.), you can “unfriend” them without them getting any notification. Directions below.

a. First, find your profile by clicking your name in the top right.

How to find your profile

b. Then, find your list of friends by clicking “Friends”.

find list of friends FB

c. Next, find the search box and type in the name of the person you want to “unfriend”.

find person FB

d. Next to their name, there is a blue button that said “Friends”. Click on that button and you will get a menu like you see in the picture below. Click the “Unfriend” option and you’re done!

unfriend FB

3. If you want to stay friends with someone, but you don’t want to know what they had for lunch or what they’re doing for the weekend, you can hide them from your news feed. See directions below.

a. When you see an update on from someone on your news feed that you’d prefer not to see, point your mouse over that post and a little arrow pointing down will appear. Click on it.

menu to hide stories

b. When you click on the arrow a short menu will appear. The top most option will say “hide”. Click on it.

hide button

c. Once you’ve clicked “hide”, the post will disappear and a message will pop up. One of the options in this message will say “change what updates you get from …..” Click this option.

hide message

d. Clicking this option will bring up another menu that will give you options about what posts from that person you’d like to see. There are a variety of options to choose from including an “unfollow” option all the way at the bottom that will stop any of that person’s updates from showing up in your news feed.

change what updates you get

If you follow these directions, you should be able to enjoy the benefits of social media networking without sacrificing your sanity! Please leave any questions in the comments and we will answer them as soon as we can.

About Us

Social Structure Marketing is a small locally-owned and operated business. Our goal with any social media campaign is to make your name or your company’s name synonymous with whatever service or product you sell. And your name can’t be known if your not visible. At SSM we believe that visibility is the key element to success in social media marketing.

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What You Need To Know For Successful Internet Marketing

There are good ideas in this post, nothing too original. But most of all, I’m wondering if anyone should be taking advice from a blog called BeerBaboon.

beerbaboon3

Every once in a while, we’re struck with an idea that we wish we could turn into a business. The internet gives you a ton of opportunities for you to turn your great ideas into business. To begin, try out these Internet marketing tips.

Avoid making your website too flashy, as this can be distracting for visitors. When someone comes to your website you have about five seconds to capture their attention and make them want to stay. If you can’t capture their attention during this very brief time period, they will click out of your site.

read full article Ultimately, internet marketing is about recognizing a problem and fixing it. Give yourself a list of questions to answer every day. You will want your customers to tell people about you through word of mouth, help them and they will do this.

You should include a page that has information…

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Should Your Business Use Tumblr?

Like many sites, Tumblr pulls your online activity from a variety of places. But is it the best one? Personally, I prefer paper.li for a more professional look.

moda vivendi

**Please note: I originally posted this on theBrewRoom blog. Head over there to see it in all its glory!

What happened to Tumblr?  It has a couple hundred (million) users, but even then, it seems like it was almost a flash in the pan.  According to WSJ, Tumblr was recently purchased by Yahoo to bring a social networking presence to the company that is mostly used by an older customer base.  A Google Trends search makes it pretty clear that it’s the forgotten middle child of social media.  (Does anyone else appreciate the irony of using Google to report on something Yahoo-related?  Fickle internet..)  So even though it’s hovering in the shadows for now, should your business use Tumblr?

Tumblr’s users are in a younger demographic.  If you’re Newsweek Tumblrmarketing to that younger crowd, this could be a great tool.  But even if you aren’t marketing to a younger…

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Social Media Marketing: How (and When) to take the plunge

When it comes to social media marketing, all businesses are not created equal. The online profile for a corporation, a small business, a start up, or an individual selling a service vary greatly. Each of these profiles may have aspects in common, i.e. a blog, social media accounts, a website, or any number of other online marketing tools. Let’s compare how a website and a blog might work differently for a large corporation vs. for a small business.

A Website

Both businesses need a website, but the nature of that website will vary.

Large Corporation – A big business needs a full-blown website with multiple pages and a wide variety of content. It needs a web designer and a dedicated department that manages website content.

Small Business – An individual or local business might need a full website as well, but more likely a Facebook business page, Google+ page, or landing page simply to capture potential client information would be more efficient.

A Blog

Blogging can be a useful tool for businesses of all sizes, as long as someone has the time.

Large Corporation – PR Guru Ken Makovsky has a list of reasons big business should have one or more blogs: build relationships, enhance credibility, and be more visible (Why Should Companies Blog?). For a company with a lot of employees and various departments, more than one blog may be in order: somebody from upper management, the PR department, and someone from the foundation of the company or middle management.

Small Business – Time is money, especially for small businesses. Oftentimes “upper management” means the Owner, CEO, CFO, Marketing Director, Sales, and HR department are all rolled into one. In this case, a blog may deter from a small business brand or put more on an already overfull plate, ultimately damaging the business in the long run. Small businesses can use monthly or even bi-monthly newsletters instead of blogs. Tools like Constant contact and MailChimp make this kind of “blogging” low stress.

Not All Social Media is Created Equal

There is a reason that a plethora of social media options exists. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. Just because Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+ all exist, does not mean that you need to have a presence on all of them. In fact, doing so could hurt your brand. This article Not all Social Media Platforms are Created Equal gives you tips for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. The important thing is to do research before you jump into social media. Most importantly, find out if the site’s audience matches your own and if you have the time to invest in using it successfully.

Sometimes Social Media is More Work than it’s Worth

There are even some cases in which social media marketing is not the best route. Jim Joseph, president of communications agency Cohn & Wolfe in New York, writes, “Social media should not be an automatic, but rather a strategically approached medium through which to showcase your brand” (When Social Media is Not Your Best Marketing Strategy).

Ask for Help

There are many companies and individuals out there who have the know-how to make a social media campaign make sense for you and your business. Don’t just go with the first one you find. As with social media options, it is equally important to research your social marketing options and make sure the size and goals of their business match yours.

About Us

Social Structure Marketing is a small locally-owned and operated business. Our goal with any social media campaign is to make your name or your company’s name synonymous with whatever service or product you sell. And your name can’t be known if your not visible. At SSM we believe that visibility is the key element to success in social media marketing.

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