Need to create a website for you business? Do a quick Google search and you may be overwhelmed by the options. You could hire someone to build one, do it yourself from scratch, or use one of the many free or paid tools to help a coding novice build their own website. This list is a small compilation of some of the best website builders out there. Hopefully, once you know the features of each, it’ll help you to decide which one to use!
More than 27 percent of the top 10 million websites use WordPress, and for good reason. It is a free and open source content management system, and can be run through WordPress’s own server. When you sign up to create your own WordPress site, you can choose from templates (three shown below) if you don’t know much code. You also have the option to write your own HTML or CSS code for your site, making it perfect for a more do-it-yourself personality type.
WordPress is fully customizable, with some features easy to use without code, and some requiring code changes. Since the site is used to handling large amounts of web traffic, your website won’t crash if you have a traffic spike. It also comes with analytics tools so you can monitor your site traffic. The more informed you are about who’s visiting your website, what they’re using to access it, and how long they’re staying there, the better you’ll be able to meet your audience’s needs.
WordPress sites are SEO optimized, so they’ll show up closer to the top if someone does a Google search for your business. Social sharing is easy with WordPress, so your audience can quickly hit a button and share your web pages on their own social media, helping you to reach a growing audience.
A good option for a frugal DIYer, WordPress’s free price tag and easy to use design can be enhanced by knowing a bit of code.
Coming in at 12 dollars minimum per month, Squarespace is the most expensive website builder we are highlighting in this list. But with that price tag comes quality. Squarespace shines with its high-quality, minimalist website design. The templates are dominated by clean lines and look professional and sophisticated. The content on each site is delivered very quickly, giving your Squarespace site an edge over slower sites on pages of search results. Security is also a top priority of Squarespace– they offer a SSL certificate to each website every year, keeping security watertight for you and your users.
For the small business owner, Squarespace has its own set of goodies. There is no limit to the number of products you can offer or sales you can make via your website. Merchandising is easy, with drag and drop inventorying, and the checkout is sophisticated, giving you the ability to add coupons and customized shipping fees by location.
If you have the money to spend on exceptional design and eCommerce services, Squarespace would be a good choice for you and your business.
Weebly is a web-hosting service that can be free or paid. The paid version starts at 8 dollars per month. Weebly is one of the easier to use web hosting services, with its simple drag-and-drop feature to design your website. It offers templates if you’re not design oriented, and you’ll have the capability to check on your website and edit it from a Weebly mobile app, shown below.
Weebly offers SEO tools and professional email creation – so your site will be easy to find on Google, and your contact information can be customized to your business (email@example.com). There are analytics with site traffic stats, allowing you to monitor your audience’s traffic.
Weebly is another good one for hosting E-Commerce, as it allows for easy inventory management, customized shipping, and coupon code capabilities. There is no limit on the number of products you can sell through your Weebly website, making the site good for online stores selling either physical products or services.
Wix, like Weebly, can also be free or paid. If you want to use eCommerce or remove ads, consider the paid version, which can be very affordable at $4.50 and up per month. Wix combines professional looking, high quality templates with drag-and-drop capabilities.
One of Wix’s key selling points is its ADI, or artificial design intelligence. This software can use your previous design choices, or your answers to questions, to create even better designs and layout for your site.
Wix uses an App Market that will allow you to search for the best app to perform a function on your Wix site – i.e. an app that will embed videos for you. E-Commerce is also easy with Wix, which will allow you to sell your products through your Wix website.
Wix’s best strength is its customer support. There are help/support buttons everywhere when you’re editing your site, so if this is your first website or if you just need help getting your photo formatted, the Wix team is easily accessible.
If you aren’t so sure about web design but don’t want to spend too much money, Wix is a good option for you, with its ADI capabilities and E-Commerce capability.
We hope this list helped you discover what’s out there in terms of website creation. Maybe you realized you have a need for tools you never knew existed, and good luck with your website!
Last week we told you how Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram can help you build your brand with your target audience. This week, we’re covering Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Twitter has over 300 million monthly active users, and it’s easy to create a company profile and begin tweeting. Most companies use Twitter as a platform where they can share content and interact with customers, network, and manage their brand. Twitter is a more social interaction based service, so if your business model requires constant customer interactions, Twitter might be right for you.
Since many public figures, minor and major celebrities, and other brands use Twitter, connection with influencers is most important here. If you want to reach your target demographic through the other people they follow, Twitter is the platform for you.
More resources: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/twitter-marketing/
With 500 million users, LinkedIn is a platform catering to professionals, providing a networking space online. If your product or service would be useful to businesspeople in professional settings, LinkedIn would be a perfect social media site to advertise your content.
Since users self-input their position, full name, location, and more, LinkedIn ads can be targeted specifically to certain demographics. If you want to reach, say, high-level business development professionals, LinkedIn provides a service to target them specifically and can be very affordable – as low as $10 per day.
More resources: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/linkedin-ads-guide/
At 100 million pinners, Pinterest is a platform that allows users to curate content, or “pins,” on various themed “boards.” The main benefit for brands here is that Pinterest acts like a search engine, so users searching for content like yours will be able to find it.
Favored by women and heavily image-centric, Pinterest’s demographic will be likely to buy concrete visually-oriented products, such as jewelry and home goods. Pinterest users also use the platform for advice and ideas, so if your product can be condensed to an infographic, it would do well with the Pinterest crowd. Below, company DesignMantic created a dos and don’ts infographic for web design. Clicking the pin would take the user to their website, driving traffic for their services.
With analytics available for businesses to see how well their various pins are doing, Pinterest allows for brands to play around with content and see what gets the most engagement. If your product or service is visually oriented and you want users to be actively searching for content like yours, Pinterest is a great platform for you to use.
Marketing on social media may sound simple, but with so many platforms it can be difficult to decide where to spend your time and marketing dollars. With social media playing an increasingly large part in brands’ marketing, it is important to have a strategy.
Each social media platform has distinct strengths and weaknesses for marketing, along with a sometimes highly specific user base. Knowing the main demographic for your product or service and choosing a social media platform that will provide the most targeted marketing could make or break your brand. Here are the six top social media sites, and who their user bases are:
Snapchat has over 1.5 million daily users, most of whom spend over 30 minutes on the app each day. With the vast majority of users under 36 years old, Snapchat is best for reaching younger demographics, who tend to prefer more interactive and interesting ads. Regarding gender, more than half of Snapchat users are female, meaning that brands that tend to have more female customers, like cosmetics or jewelry companies, may want to look into Snapchat marketing.
Snapchat allows marketers to create ads that will show up amidst users’ stories, allowing thousands of potential views. With Snapchat’s “window into people’s lives” format, ads on Snapchat should follow this model. Personifications of the brand, using phone cameras and first person POV shots, will lend themselves well.
Snapchat also offers users specialized filters to place on their photos, which marketers can engage with when creating their ads. Brand-created filters can be placed into Snapchat’s rotation and used by the Snapchat users themselves. Above, the (RED) campaign’s Snapchat filters can be seen in action. Needless to say, the more engaging and relevant the ad, the more eyes it will gain.
More resources: https://blog.hootsuite.com/snapchat-demographics/
With 79% of Internet users logging onto Facebook daily, this social media platform has one of the potentially widest reaches of all. However, the demographics of users vary almost as much as that of Internet users in general, so a more targeted approach is necessary when marketing to Facebook users.
Fortunately, with Facebook’s ad targeting service offered to advertisers, users can be broken down into demographic segments, or even broken down based on their hobbies or interests. With just a few moments spent choosing interests or groups that your customers belong to, Facebook advertising can be highly effective, with up to 89% accuracy in targeting potential buyers.
With over 400 million daily active users, Instagram is preferred more by millennials. With it, advertisers can upload permanent pictures and videos along with a short caption.
With its algorithmic newsfeed, Instagram advertising shows up similarly to Facebook ads. But with its younger, hipper user base, Instagram is the platform to use if your target demographic is mostly aesthetic-oriented millennials. Keep in mind that for content to stand out on Instagram, it must be almost excessively photogenic, so if your brand specializes in visually oriented products, Instagram is the platform to put your energy into.
More resources: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-vs-snapchat/
Interested in hearing about the other 3? Check out our break down Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest here.