For online businesses and those that are looking to begin working on their physical business’s online presence, we have taken a look at some of the best out of the box solutions that should be considered this 2019 in order to get the most out of your online presence.
Having a website designed is the most obvious beginning for any online business looking to create an online presence. Some of the points to overcome when deciding on a website include budget, design style, and the platform you should use.
Website builders are the best solution if you do not have a large budget and also if you are in a hurry. Many website builders are becoming increasingly user-friendly and moreover, niche-specific. Niche-specific website builder platforms come with all the tools you need to operate within your industry. For example, let’s take a look at www.lodgify.com.
This is a website builder designed for people that own a holiday home and would like to rent it out. They can list their property the website builder, take bookings, control calendars on multiple websites their holiday home is listed on, include a blog, add video, and customize the website’s branding. All this is done in a few easy steps and the end result is a fully mobile responsive holiday home rental website.
Going through the entire design process with a website development company can be a headache at the best of time. Website builders have been designed to avoid the headache. On top of this, they also help you avoid spending huge sums of cash on a custom-designed website. E.g., you do not need to pay for the web developers time sending proof of concept, wireframes, and design concepts.
Just take a look at how easy it is to set up a Lodgify website in this video: youtu.be/T5YQtnIgJfk.
Other website builders available include BigCommerce and Shopify, who are the leading e-commerce website builder companies. For blogging Weebly is arguably one of the best sites. For a business website, you have Weebly again, WIX, and Squarespace. Although, Squarespace can be complex.
If you do not have time to learn how to configure a website builder, then this is not a huge issue. You can hire a web developer and their time for configuring a vacation rental website on your behalf will literally be 80 to 90 percent less than a custom website design, and 60 to 70 percent less than if the web dev company designs your website using a CMS such as WordPress.
Facebook Business Pages
Now there are quite a few Facebook haters out there these days. That may be true, but Facebook is most certainly a must online business tool, and it is free. Some people skip having a website altogether and use Facebook business pages as their main website.
Did you know you can create web pages on Facebook?
The Facebook website pages solution is much like a website builder. You create a business page, then you can create product pages, a Facebook store, and you can also create service pages that explain what your company has to offer. In the end, there is absolutely no need to have a website if you are happy just using Facebook.
Now some businesses use this solution, so everything is in one place. In contrast, most businesses would prefer to have their own business website with a domain name attached. In this case, we would suggest using both options.
Some of the advantages to Facebook include the fact that people trust business reviews more than testimonials left on your website. Let’s be honest, when it comes to controlling what goes on your web pages, you have full control, and so you can delete those bad reviews! On Facebook, you simply cannot… If your business is truly offering a good service, then using Facebook business reviews is a must!
Check out these inspiring Facebook designs on www.dreamgrow.com.
Another free and out of the box software solution is Google Analytics. Once you have added the code or analytics file to your website or website builder solution, it will track user behaviour.
Although we have added this as an out of the box solution, you will need to learn how to use this tool to some extent. It is actually very easy to learn and understand, but you can also start to dig deeper into this software tool’s capabilities and simply start to lose yourself.
- Track organic traffic that comes from search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing
- Track social media traffic from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on
- Track direct traffic and repeat visitors using your website URL
- Track traffic coming from a particular website
- Track which pages people visit on your website
- Track when people click on a box (email, telephone, sign up, etc…)
In fact, there is not much you cannot track using Google Analytics. However, keep it simple in the beginning, so you can gather some basic data about who is visiting your website and from which locations. If you want to start digging deeper into user behaviour and traffic analysis, then you will need to hire an expert or take it upon yourself to learn about user behaviour.
Although you could easily make things complicated for yourself using this tool, the reason this is such a good out of the box solution is that you can track the traffic coming from a particular campaign such as Facebook Ads or Google pay-per-click.
One setting that you should take care of the country-specific feature. If you are a company based in the USA and only want to collect data about people visiting from a particular location, make sure that you set up analytics to only display localized data or you will start to collect user data from all over the world, which can be misleading. This is the only drawback to the ‘out of the box’ solution this offers.
Aside from having to learn how to use the tool and make sure that you have the correct country locations set up, this tool is incredibly easy to use, its free if you have a Google account, and there are a wealth of resources out there teaching you how to use this product.
You can add Google Analytics to almost any website. Website builders usually have an area to just plug it in to begin recording data. WordPress has a plugin, especially for Google Analytics. Other than that, if you have a custom-designed PHP website, then you will need to get your web developer to plug in the code or files and start using this tool.
Learning about Google Analytics is easy if you use the right tools. Have a look at analytics.google.com where you will be able to take the Google Analytics Academy course to learn how to use this free and very awesome out of the box website analytics tool.
These Solutions Are Perfect for All Budgets?
To wrap this up, the bottom line is that you do not need to spend thousands of dollars on software or experts in web development and website analytics to bring your business’s online presence into the 21st century. There are plenty of free solutions out there that can save you money.
If money is not an object, the above suggestion could still help. Website builders offer you a faster solution if you are in a hurry, plus all the tools your web developer needs are already available out of the box. You could hire a Facebook expert to give your business added exposure by adding your services via additional Facebook pages, and Google Analytics is a tool used by some of the largest companies in the world (although they use a paid version due to the amount of traffic their website processes.
As far as out of the box solutions go, these are debatably the 3 very best tools that can help any business no matter how big or small the budget is.