I have been blogging for over 4 years now. Around 2 years ago I decided to take the plunge and go self-hosted. This was a big step for me as I knew very little about hosting websites, what it entailed, how it worked and everything else that went with it. Making this change was something I knew I wanted to do but also came with a very steep learning curve.
There were a lot of decisions to make as to who to choose to host my blog, what my domain name would be and how much I could afford to pay out. My blog wasn’t my business back then, but my aim was to be in the position I am today whereas it formed part or all of my income and had grown from a hobby into something I am proud of.
So I did it and suddenly I was in charge of my own web presence and I needed to make sure that I had responsive websites that were up to scratch and running in a user-friendly way that my readers would be able to navigate both on laptop and mobile.
There have been a lot of changes, mistakes and progress in these past two years but the main thing that I have been developing over this time is how my blog looks and runs. My blog is solely based online so I need it to be functional and easy to access to people to read when they stumble across it.
Why Small Businesses Need an Online Presence.
These days it isn’t just blogging that need to be online, as the shift in shopping has moved to largely online. To help boost small businesses, it is paramount that they utilise this for their business in the best way possible. Whether you trade online or from a physical shop, most people will do a quick Google search for either you, your line of business or any host of other search terms that could lead new customers to you. Having a web presence would make you easier to find and give them their very first impression of you and what you have to offer to them.
In my day job, I work in retail in an independent greengrocer shop. There are only a few greengrocers like us left in our area so one of the things I made sure to do when my new boss took over was to build our not only our web page but social media accounts too.
Using SEO practices to incorporate some search terms, we now have a site that tells our customers everything they need to know about how to contact us, where we are, the services we provide and what you can expect to find instore.
You may not be able to shop online with us but it gives you everything you need should you wish to find us and shop with us. This is especially important as people make the change from shopping in supermarkets to buying local and reducing plastic waste at the same time by buying fresh and loose produce as and when they need it.
Utilising Social Media.
Hand in hand with having an online presence comes social media. These days, most people have at least one social media account and businesses flourish by using social media alone to showcase and promote their stock and offers. Working in an industry where prices and offers are likely to change on daily basis, we are making the most of being able to keep our customers informed and up to date on any changes before they visit us.
The internet isn’t going anywhere, it is here to stay and small businesses need to make sure they are doing everything they can to build their online presence and use it in the best way possible to generate new sales, build their customer base and grow their business.