Before we really get into the meat of what a website could mean for you, we need to discuss KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. KPI is something that can help you see how you and your business is doing as far as sales go. Your ultimate goal as a business owner if to get more sales and, therefore, more revenue. To be able to do that, you need to have some mile markers or check in points in place to know when and how you are meeting your goal.
A website is typically the easiest way to implement measuring systems. However you can do many without a website as well. I like to track customer phone calls with CallRail.com. You can pick a different phone number for each of your marketing campaigns and you will always know if that nickle-ad is generating any calls automatically. Asking each customer how they heard about you is good but typically impossible to track throughout the day.
Now we can get down to what you can do without a website. There are a few ways that you can gather business without having a website:
- Google Maps/Facebook Pages
This will make it so that when someone searches for your kind of business, they can find you. Often they can't outrank a proper website but it is better than nothing. These pages also provide reviews so that when people find you, they can see how other customers have reviewed you. At the very least this should mean when someone Googles your business name your contact information comes up.
- Referral Plan
Most service professionals we work with get the majority of their business through referrals and repeat buyers. This has been and always will be the best source of ready to buy leads. At the very leads asking each customer for a review via the feedback funnel means they are referring you to the entire internet and not just their small circle of friends.
- Repeat Buyers
You have never needed a website to store and keep handy past customers contact information, make sure that you have a way to contact past customers and vice versa. An email can be worth its weight in gold.
If you don't have a website, then you have to do some offline advertising:
- Printed Materials (On-Product, Penny-ads, Newspaper, Door Hangers...)
- Billboard (Truck/Trailer Wraps, Yard Signs...)
We once met a business owner that got the highest returns on marketing we had ever seen just from penny-ads and good street side placement of his product. You can keep yourself busy without a website. When you go to sell the business having a system in place will be more valuable than a website.
- Strategic Partners (People/Businesses that you can refer and will refer you.)
Don't forget to assign a different CallRail tracking numbers to each effort/campaign. No need to keep spending money on something that doesn't get results in the first 6 months.
You can also have events and coupons to draw in customers. Separate details and offers will lead you back to the winning marketing campaign/source.
Have a Website Already, Take it up a Notch?
Now you may be thinking to yourself, "But I do have a website!" when you only have a single page site. The difference between a 1 page site vs. a whole site is that 1 page can't answer all the questions customers may have each of your product offerings. A good site needs to have 6 or more pages with a very detailed page of each product/service.
If you have a website these marketing methods will go further. However you can still do a version of each of these without a website.
- Contact Past Customers (Emails(Newsletters, tidings.com), Calls, Letters...)
- Guest Blog Posting (who says you can't write for other peoples blogs?)
- Writing on LinkedIn Pulse: This is just blogging but it's on LinkedIn. It shares your voice through your articles and helps you sell your business to other businesses.
- Giveaways (social media, physical raffles, rafflecopter...)
- Google PPC Call Only Ads: This helps to get people in contact with you without having to visit your site. I think you have to have at lease a 1 page website but people will never see the site because clicks are calls to you not visits to your website. Facebook is also starting to offer lead campaigns.
- Online Directories: Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie's List... Get your information on more sites/apps when they are looking. Bing pulls a lot of data from Yelp.
If you ask me, I'd say that yes! You really need a website. Websites really help get the word out there about your business and bring in customers. But websites really just amplify / support good marketing anywhere. I hope this was helpful to you and your business!
P.S. Websites can track what got more web form fill outs. We like to look in Google Analytics for SEO, Social Media and Google PPC web form leads. Don't forget that, whichever way you choose to track your KPI, you should ask how your customers heard of you but as a secondary source for the truth.