Consider these 7 Alternatives to a Website for your Local Business
Small businesses face crunch time in taking decisions in almost all those aspects where they have more than one choice. For those who think there is no other choice than having a website for the business, then they are wrong. The internet provides good alternatives that can decently do the work of a website, and businesses don’t need to shell out even a penny.
A website is not an exclusive thing whose work cannot be done by other options. If any of those options fulfill your needs of having an online presence, it is recommended to give them a priority over making a website; atleast in the initial stages of the business. Some of them are:
Google My Business
The all-in-one Google listing management is a very cost-effective and failsafe alternative for a website. Starting a Google My Business page will open up many options, many features which can be of immense benefit for your business. Apart from the usual listing of business information, you can make use of Reviews, Google posts, Google Insights, Photos, and build a basic, DIY functioning website.
You will be able to promote events, blog content with images and call-to-action, promotional offers, etc. with the help of Google Posts. They will appear in the search engine result page in the top right-hand corner in the knowledge box besides the map. You will be able to track all the analytics using Google Insights. Your business and posts will also get reviews.
If you are not satisfied with the GMB page, you also get an option of making a free basic website which will be SEO & mobile friendly and have the provision to add call-to-action.
If you consider the fact that Facebook has over two billion active users on it, you can well imagine the potential and the reach your business will get there. A Facebook business page is feature rich for marketing, easy to use, and holistic in management. You can engage with customers, attract new customers, run ads and promote them directly to the target audience. You can also build a brand for your business with the help of the reviews feature of Facebook.
List your business on the many online directories that are present, like Foursquare, YellowPages, Yelp, etc. It optimizes your online presence and is also best to give accurate results for local search queries. Having precise business information across the whole web is crucial for any company.
Name, address, contact info, working hours, etc. all such data about the business should be known to anyone who requires it, quickly and easily. You can take the help of expert tools like Review 360 which manage all your listings in one single UI.
Instagram Business Profile
An Instagram business profile is another good option to use instead of a website. With a growing engagement rate of about 50% every year and an active user base of about 500 million, you will never go wrong here. You can create posts and propagate them as ads among the users. Besides that, you can add call-to-actions like ‘Appointments’, ‘Directions’, etc. An amazing way to build leads without spending a penny. You can also add links to any other above mentioned account in the Instagram Bio.
A blog (weblog) is a website where you can add any type of content, from plain text to rich media, and you don’t need to have any knowledge of website building. Anything you add on your blog will show in reverse chronological order. They are usually free to use, some of the popular ones being blogger.com, wordpress.com, and tumblr.com.
You can add your business name, info, logo, images, etc. One advantage of having a blog page for your business is that by adding content on it regularly, you will do better in results in the Search Engine pages. Besides that, at any time you wish, you can convert the blog into a full-fledged website.
Today there are review sites for many types of products. They perform really well in search engine results and are first priority solutions for reviews for many people. Having your business presence here will always benefit you as they present an unbiased service of reviews. Although the reviews are completely out of your hands, still you get to know the honest opinions of customers.
There is Zomato for restaurants, TripAdvisor for travel, Glassdoor for general businesses, Angies List for local trades, various review sites for Tech products and gadgets. You can also sell your products online via general e-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart, etc.
Other Social Media
Besides Facebook and Instagram, quite a number of social media sites exist which will give a good exposure and strong online presence to your business. Some of the notable ones are Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. The process to set up and use a business account on these sites is similar to Facebook/Instagram.
Make sure that you are using a uniform business logo and photos on all social media. Post regularly, follow, like, share, comment, respond to comments, in short, be active and make full use of all the features of the social media. It will take some time for you to establish your business on social media, but the efforts will totally be worth it.
Once when you seriously feel the need for a website, all the above alternatives will be of great help in promoting your website, specific links in it, etc. These options will help you save precious capital which you can invest in other activities to grow your business. Later on, with enough experience, business growth, position, and cash, you can make a great looking and performing website for your business.