6 Champaign County Small Business Web Projects Worth Outsourcing
The worldwide web has come a long way over the last couple of decades. And small businesses have too. These days, more and more companies are using the web for many aspects of their operations. Some businesses even use it as an all-in-one tool!
Here’s the point: the web is an invaluable resource for small businesses, and if you’re not taking advantage of it, remember that your competitors are. Of course, not all of us know everything there is to know about the web, and it can be overwhelming to think about all the web-based projects we should be working on when we don’t have the time or expertise to do them well.
That’s why you should consider hiring out your web projects. Not only will it ensure they’re planned and executed effectively, but it will allow you more time to focus on growing your business! Below, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce has listed seven projects to outsource to pros.
1. Web Design
Let’s start with the most fundamental web project: building and maintaining a website. Hiring a professional web designer is the quickest and easiest way to get a top-notch site up and running, and a designer can also make sure your pages stay up to date while you focus on the business tasks you’re best at.
Sit down with a designer to discuss what you need from your site, such as whether it will have an online store or primarily be informational. Also, determine how much control you want over the site and how much money you’re willing to spend on creating and upkeep the site. As you’re gathering information to share with the designer, combine like information into singular PDF files. Any PDF merge tool can help with this. Plus, they are easy and free. Once you have content gathered and combined, it will be easier to show the designer what you have in mind and to send them that content to be integrated into the site.
You’ll also need to choose the right web host for your needs. Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix are some of the most user-friendly website builders on the market. And WordPress offers a popular, free content management system (CMS), though it has a paid version as well.
Another important aspect of your website is the domain name, which is what people will type in the web address field to type or click to go to your site. You want your domain to be the right length and related to your business name.
Once you get the foundational elements in place, it’s time to start creating content. Here are a few pages to focus on for your site:
Launching a professional-grade website is a complex process. But the ultimate goal is to create an attractive site that aligns with your brand and encourages your target audience to learn about your business.
2. SEO Optimization
After launching a functional website, you’ll need to make it easy for your target audience to find. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in, the process of strategizing your site’s content to attract more users and appear in higher places on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Take time to write a list of questions your customers are asking (through web searches). Then, produce content on your site that answers those questions and provides additional information related to your industry. Your content should contain keywords, meta tags, meta descriptions, and other elements. Link building is another SEO practice that can drive more traffic to your site. SEO is constantly changing, and working with a content writer is the surest way to keep your site filled with relevant, SEO-friendly content.
The way people shop has drastically changed over the years, and more consumers than ever are finding businesses and making purchases via the web. The success of Amazon, Etsy, Groupon, and other companies is proof.
It’s important to offer customers the option to purchase from your company online, even if you run a brick-and-mortar establishment. Consider hiring an e-commerce specialist to incorporate an online shopping element into your company.
You could either sell directly from your main inventory, dropship industry-relevant to customers (meaning you don’t keep a physical inventory) or take one of several other directions. Plenty of easy-to-use tools can help you add e-commerce, but working with a professional will prevent you from having to spend time and energy learning to establish a successful store.
You’ll be hard-pressed to maintain genuine success in your business without a steady cash flow. And one of the most common reasons businesses struggle with cash flow is that their customers don’t pay on time. You can prevent that from happening with a free tool. For example, an invoice generator will save you time and money. Once you’ve designed your template, you can quickly edit it for each customer and send out the invoice after each sale.
You can also invest in an invoicing program to keep track of your invoices and expenses. There are plenty of great ones on the market. Just choose the one with the features that best suit your needs.
4. Data Analytics
Large corporations have been using big data to improve their processes and make better decisions for many years. But today, medium-sized and small businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the online information available to them.
You can use data to build models for virtually all your business processes, and you can learn what is and isn’t working in your strategies. By learning to distinguish between valuable and irrelevant information, you can equip your team to make critical decisions, establish realistic goals, and predict future problems.
Overall, data analytics can help your company reach new heights. Plenty of tech tools are available to entrepreneurs, but hiring a data scientist or expert to teach you the ropes could be worth the investment.
5. Content Writing
One of the most important components of a small business marketing plan is content writing. If you want to grow and expand your reach, it’s crucial to regularly produce original and unique content on your website and social media accounts. Great blogs, articles, whitepapers, and social media posts will help establish you as an expert in your industry. If the content is SEO-friendly, it will drive more traffic to your site.
The key is to know exactly who you're writing to. All of your content across all your platforms should be written with the purpose of attracting your target audience. And since email marketing is still an effective method of promoting a brand, it can help to have good email and newsletter copy.
Unless you’re an experienced writer who can quickly hammer out posts and articles, this is definitely an area for hiring a professional. A content writer can provide you with quality blog posts, copyediting, social media content, and more!
6. Social Media
As mentioned, posting on social media is a vital component of any healthy marketing strategy, but you must come at it with the right approach for your activity to help your brand. For example, you must establish realistic, challenging, and measurable goals and ensure all of your content is of the highest quality. It's also essential to maintain a deep understanding of your target audience so you can speak directly to their needs and preferences.
You'll also want to schedule your posts. Too many companies post content erratically, but without structure, it can be difficult to engage your audience. It’s OK to be a bit spontaneous, but you need to post at least every couple of days if not every day. Moreover, be careful not to post too much; one quality post or promotion per day on most platforms (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) is usually enough.
Investing in Your Business’s Future
Now is the time for your small business to take advantage of the web. Keep the web-based projects above in mind as you determine what types of professionals to hire. Though it will come with upfront costs, take advantage of free online tools and know that the growth your investments can bring your company will make it well worth the investment!
If you’re ready to grow your business with the help of great local resources and partnerships, join the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.
This Hot Deal is promoted by Champaign County Chamber of Commerce - IL.