The short answer is yes; you need a website. But if you still need to get one and you’re trying to decide whether or not it’s worth the investment, there are other ways for your business to get started. Moreover, having a website is crucial for small businesses. But what if you don’t have one? What are your options?
A website can be expensive, especially if you need more funds to pay for it. That’s why so many small business owners decide not to invest in a website and instead use free online tools as an alternative.
Starting a business is exciting. But it can also be overwhelming. So, if you’re a small-business owner who doesn’t have the time or money to create an entire website, don’t worry—there are still alternatives!
Explore five options for promoting your business without an official website. Therefore, if you’re considering starting a new business, you may have heard you need a website. And while this is true for many companies, it’s not the only way to go.
OPTION #1: BUILD AN ONLINE STORE WITHOUT A WEBSITE
Many people start their businesses with no website at all. Instead, they build an online store on a platform like Shopify or Bigcommerce. It allows them to create quickly and easily without worrying about making the site themselves. Moreover, building an online store is the first thing to consider if you still need to get a website. It is the most basic form of an e-commerce website. In addition, it allows you to sell products directly. If you’re not interested in starting a full-fledged online store, you can create one with an online store builder.
Benefits of building an Online Store without a Website
Creating an online store without a website has become increasingly popular in recent years. Thus, creating an online store without a website might be a cheap and practical approach to selling your goods or services online.
Here are some of the benefits of building an online store without a website:
- Many online platforms offer free or low-cost options for creating an online store.
- With online store platforms, you can quickly create a store and start selling your products or services within hours.
Easy to use:
- You can easily customize, manage inventory, and process orders.
- It allows you to be more flexible in your business operations.
Tips on Optimizing Your Product Listings and Make them Stand-out
Optimizing your product listings is crucial to stand out in an online marketplace, even if you don’t have a website. Here are some tips to help your product listings shine:
Choose the right platform:
- When selecting an online marketplace, consider which platform best suits your business needs.
Use high-quality images:
- Your product images should be clear and high-resolution.
- Avoid blurry or low-quality photos, as they may turn off potential customers.
Write compelling product titles:
- Use descriptive and keyword-rich titles that accurately describe your product.
Optimizing your product listings with these tips allows you to stand out in online marketplaces. Therefore, it attracts more customers without a website.
OPTION #2: USE A THIRD-PARTY SITE TO SELL YOUR PRODUCTS
To avoid building your e-commerce site, you can use a third-party platform to sell your products. You won’t have to worry about hosting or maintaining the site or setting up an online store from scratch. However, there are some tradeoffs with this approach.
You can use a site like Etsy or eBay to sell your products, but this can be more challenging for beginners. In addition, if you’re selling on a platform where customers already have accounts, they may not be as inclined to make an account with your brand. So the second option for selling your products online is to use a third-party site. Again, there are many different options available, including Amazon and eBay. These sites allow you to sell your products without creating an online store—which can be tricky if you start.
Top Third-party Sites for Online Selling
- Amazon is one of the most popular third-party marketplaces for online selling.
- It allows businesses to list their products and reach a large audience.
- It has over 185 million active buyers.
- It offers a wide range of categories for sellers to list their products.
- Etsy specializes in handmade, vintage, and unique items.
- It has over 81 million buyers and sellers worldwide.
- Shopify is an e-commerce platform allowing businesses to create online stores.
- It offers a variety of features to help enterprises to manage their sales and grow their brand.
- Rakuten is a Japanese e-commerce company that operates in over 29 countries.
- It allows businesses to sell their products online and reach a global audience.
Tips on Optimizing and Managing Sales
Optimizing your product listings and managing sales is essential for the success of your online business.
The following pointers will help you manage your sales and improve your product listings:
Use high-quality images:
- Use clear and well-lit photos that showcase your products from different angles.
Write compelling product descriptions:
- Product descriptions must be informative and precise.
- Use descriptive language to highlight the key features and benefits of your products.
Optimize for search engines:
- To find the most popular terms in your niche, use programs like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush.
III. OPTION #3: UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA
The third option for selling your products online is to utilize social media. It can be a great way to start, as it’s free and easy—the use of social media as a way to promote your products. In addition, consider creating an email list so you can reach out to the customers directly.
Social media is another excellent tool for selling your products.
There are several ways to use and promote your business on social media, including:
- Instagram or Pinterest
Tools and Resources for Social Media management
Social media is becoming a crucial part of every company’s marketing plan. Here are some top tools and resources for social media management:
- With Hootsuite, you can schedule posts, track engagement, and monitor brand mentions.
- A buffer is a tool that allows you to schedule and publish posts and analyze your social media performance.
- Canva allows you to create stunning visuals for your social media posts.
- With Canva, you can create custom graphics, infographics, and social media templates.
- With Later, you can also track engagement and analyze your Instagram performance.
Creating Social Media Strategy
Creating a social media strategy is an essential step for any business. By including these elements in your social media strategy, you can develop a comprehensive plan that effectively reaches your target audience, achieves your business goals, and drives success on social media.
Here are the top most common elements of a successful social media strategy:
- Define your goals
- Identify your target audience
- Choose the right social media platforms
- Develop a content strategy
OPTION #4: CLAIM YOUR BUSINESS LISTING ON GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
You may build a searchable business listing on Google Maps using the Google My Business platform, which will show up when customers look for businesses nearby. Furthermore, Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to claim your business listing and manage it from anywhere. Moreover, you can also add photos, videos, and other information about your brand. In this way, people can quickly learn more about what you offer.
How to Claim and Verify your Google My Business
Claiming and verifying your GMB listing is crucial in improving your online visibility. Ensure accurate information about your business appears in Google search results. Optimizing your GMB listing and regularly monitoring it can enhance your online reputation.
Here’s how to claim and verify your GMB listing:
- Go to the Google My Business website
- Enter your business information
- Verify your business
- Optimize your GMB listing
- Monitor your GMB listing
Best Practices for Responding to Reviews
Responding to customer reviews is critical to managing your online reputation and building customer loyalty.
Here are some best practices for responding to reviews:
- Respond promptly.
- Be professional and courteous.
- Address the specific concerns.
- Thank the customer.
OPTION #5: CREATE AN HTML LANDING PAGE
Using HTML is the best approach to constructing a landing page to grab leads. A well-designed HTML landing page can help you generate more leads. Additionally, making an HTML landing page is a beautiful place to start if you’re searching for a way to promote your company and increase traffic.
- HTML is the best option for creating a landing page on your website.
- An HTML landing page is a standalone web page containing only text and images and no links to other pages on your site.
- It allows you to control where readers go after they click on any of the links within your content.
- You can create an HTML landing page using any content management system, such as WordPress or Squarespace.
- Lastly, the goal of your landing page should be to get people to sign up for your email list or purchase something from your online store.
Landing Page: How it Differs from a Website
- A landing page has a design with a specific goal or conversion, distinguishing it from a website.
- A website typically serves a broader range of purposes, such as providing information about a business or organization, showcasing products and services, and offering various ways for visitors to engage with the content.