Everyone says that your business needs a website.
Every web developer in the city has cold-called you and offered to build you a site. The phone company has attempted to up-sell you on adding a website to your display advertisement in the telephone directory. Your nephew has even offered to build one for you. But you’ve resisted, because why do you need a presence on the internet? You don’t even sell a product. You’re a service business.
These are all great questions, but I’m going to tell you a secret. You don’t need a website, because you already have one. In fact, you probably have a dozen of them. Google (a verb meaning, use Google to search for something) for your business name and city. What does your search return?
Woah, there you are.
Lack of Control
And guess what? You don’t control these websites!
Google has a listing for your business with your company name and category. They also include your telephone number, address and even a handy little map to help people find you. Scroll down and they might even include reviews that they’ve found written about your business on other sites.
Yelp is one example of a popular business review site, but there are a hundred different sites where your former customers can describe their experiences with your business and your future customers will review their comments before they make a decision to do business with you.
Scrolling down the search results, you might also find your business mentioned in other websites and blogs. Has your business ever been mentioned in the local newspaper? Nearly every small newspaper in the country makes their archives available online. When your business was mentioned in print was it positive or negative? If it was positive, congratulations! Those accolades will live on, on the internet, forever. To a lesser degree than a business review site, but not an insignificant one, the article will offer a positive description of your business for potential customers to use when deciding whether or not to trust you with their business.
Unfortunately, though, we all know that bad news is what sells newspapers. Small businesses are disproportionately written about negatively in the press. If your business has had the bad luck of being under the ire of a local newspaper reporter, your potential customers have a negative article to add to their mental image of your business.
If you’ve ever been mentioned in by a local blogger, you know that bloggers can live up their vitriolic reputation. If you’ve ever kept a blogger waiting for longer than they thought necessary you’re probably mentioned negatively online.
My point is that your small business doesn’t need a website. It already has one. It’s not a matter of putting some information about your business out onto the internet like it’s the Yellow Pages. Instead, you need a comprehensive plan to market your offline business online to counteract the ever growing tide of negative reviews your business doesn’t deserve.
Create a Website That You Do Control
To take control of your online reputation is actually relatively simple. The trick, is to generate more internet content about your business on the internet.
Think of the last time you purchased something from Amazon. After finding the product you wanted to buy, you undoubtedly noticed the ratings and reviews from other customers at the bottom of the page. If a product has lots of five-star reviews, you’re much more likely to buy it than if it just has lots of one-star reviews.
But, what if the product ONLY has five star reviews? This is a problem. Because there’s not a single item on Amazon, even the absolute best, most useful product they sell, that someone wasn’t disappointed with. Take a quick peak at the top rated products on Amazon.
The Nikon D700 is the highest rated camera on the site. It has 211 five-star reviews, thirteen four-star, two three-star, one two-star and two one-star reviews. Obviously the camera is awesome, and if you’re in the market for a $600 Nikon digital camera it’s probably the one to buy. But even it has two one-star reviews.
So what does this digression have to do with building a website for your business?
If all of the information online about your company is positive, your prospective customer is less likely to believe it. But, if there’s some negative info, and a ton of positive, high quality information about your company, the suspicious customer, and let’s face it, that’s all of us, is more likely to actually believe the good.
Introducing IM Creator
So, now you know why to put more information about your business online. The next question is how. Well I’ve got you covered there too.
IM Creator is what’s called a ‘content management system’. That’s a fancy term, for a website builder. But, truthfully, there are dozens of website builders online, including Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly, that all do pretty much do the same thing. Some of them require that you have more design sense than others, and some require quite a bit more technical know-how than others, but they’re all pretty much the same thing.
On the other hand, IM Creator is much more than just a website builder. It is simple and elegant way to create a website. It’s built in templates and designs are absolutely beautiful.
And it is so simple. If you can type, you can create a website with IM Creator. All you have to do, is to simply choose a template style, enter in your content, and click publish. It really is, that simple. If you want to get more fancy, you can drag and drop in photographs, maps, videos, etc., all without any technical ability required.
The best part is, you can do this all for free. In fact, IM Creator doesn’t even require to register until after you’ve finished building your website and are ready to publish. Paid plans are $7.95 per month.
If you’d like to see some samples of websites built with with the #1 website creator, IM Creator, take a look at this collection of sites built with it. The featured sites change monthly, so be sure to check back from time to time.
White Label Solution
If your an entrepreneur and want to offer your clients a one-stop-shop of website, hosting, email and domain, IM Creator also has a self-branded white label solution.
IM Creator’s website builder can be fully integrated into your brand identity, from logos and colors to customized integrations.
They will provide you with a branded product, ready for new clients who want to build a website.