Are You Really Invisible Without a Website?

Disclaimer: I feel compelled to put this disclaimer first… I personally feel that you MUST have a website if you run a business — of any kind.

I hear an advertisement on the radio pretty much everyday from Verizon Small Business (in coordination with Intuit) that has a catch phrase of “If you don’t have a website, you are basically invisible”. And I will disclaim again, I generally agree. However, if you are the type of business person who is just dead set against having a website for whatever reason, there are things you MUST do to help make yourself visible. (yes, that is a capital “MUST”).

Get Listed in Google Places

If you have a place of business (retail, office, warehouse, etc), you MUST be in Google Places.  You may hear it called Google local, or local business directory, or Google maps (not technically correct, but you may hear it). What is it? If you do a search that Google determines is a “local” search, you are likely to see a map with pins representing local businesses that match the searched term as well as a text listing of the these local businesses. In the following screen grab of a search I did for “Richmond va SEO Company”, I have highlighted the map and the listing.

The results do not always show up in this exact format, but the basic data is the same. You MUST be in this list.

So you are thinking… why is this important? It is important because you do not need a website to be included in Google Places. You need simply to claim your listing to be listed. Once you claim your listing there are many things you can do to optimize your place listing to help it rank(there are many pages of these places), but more importantly, there are things you can do to make your places listing a “sales” pitch for people who are looking for what you have to offer.

Any SEO company that is not living in the dark ages can help you with this process if you find it daunting.  An obvious choice is my Virginia SEO company. :)


Create a Facebook Page

With well over 500 million users, there is a good chance that you are a member. You want to know a more important fact? There is a huge chance that many Facebook users are potential customers for you.  You MUST have a Facebook page for your business. Just like Google Places, you do not need to have a website to have a Facebook page.

What can you do with a Facebook page? At the most basic level, you can provide your business information to potential customers. This is surely not an optimal use of a Facebook page, but it is a start.

What should you do with a Facebook page? You should use it to engage with potential customers.  Post status updates about sales, events, new products, new services, provide discount codes, and just generally engage your customers. If you have regular customers, you can encourage them to “like” your page by including a link to your page on receipts, in your email signature, on business cards, and any other printed items that you distribute. Don’t be afraid to also ask your Facebook friends to “like” your page.

The dynamics of using Facebook to extensively market your business is beyond the scope of this post. With just a little research, or with the help of your SEO company, you can come up with a plan to grow your fan base and build a nice viral type marketing environment at no cost or minimal cost.


To reiterate then, while I strongly encourage you have a website, there are things you can do to make sure you are not invisible in the case you choose not to have a website. Is this the optimal way to take advantage of the Internet? Of course not. But you can still use these strategies to increase your potential customer base.


Filed in: Business, Feature Articles, Website Monetization Tags: , ,

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