In case you’re wondering, the abbreviation “DC” stands for the District of Columbia. This is the name of the federal district that surrounds the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. If you run a business in DC, you can register a website with that name to get a free website.
The Different Ways to Launch a Website in DC
While there’s only one way to get a free website in DC, the design and functionality of your chosen site will depend on which type of business you are running. If you’re a traditional restaurant or bar, you might want to consider going with a food-related domain name like “restaurant.com” or “beverage.com” to draw in potential customers. If your business is more tech-related, you can opt for “computer.com” or “internet.com” to establish your digital foothold.
Whether you decide to go with a trendy tech-related domain name or not, the most important thing is that you launch a website that is relevant to your industry. When potential customers land on your site, you want them to know exactly what your business is and doesn’t offer.
Where Should You Focus Your Marketing?
To attract customers to your website, you need to establish a strong presence online. This means you should have a website, you should register your business with the business register, and you should follow good digital marketing practices such as using email marketing and online marketing to attract potential customers to your site.
While you want to focus on drawing in customers through content, you should also maintain a strong social media presence. The most popular social network in DC is definitely TikTok, with over a million users. With so many people on TikTok looking for content related to restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, you could definitely find an audience here.
The Pros and Cons of Setting Up Shop Online
Let’s cut to the chase and get to the good stuff. What are the benefits of setting up a business website?
The convenience of having a website is undeniable. No longer do you have to rely on physical paper flyers to attract customers. With a website, you can use various online tools to find and engage with potential customers. You can even allow visitors to book an appointment or order a product directly from your site.
Another huge advantage of having a website is that you can build your brand online. When someone types your business name into the Google search bar, your website will show up as the first result. In other words, when someone else is searching for your services or products, your website will be the first thing that pops up. This is hugely beneficial because you can develop a brand identity for your company that is completely unique to you.
Let’s not forget about the cost-efficiency of having a website. If you’re creating and maintaining a website for your business, you’re clearly already investing in the technology and staff time to do so. Relying on online tools such as HubSpot to maintain your website means you don’t have to worry about paying for a web designer or copywriter to do all the work for you. The savings alone from cutting out the middleman make it well worth the effort.
There are, however, some disadvantages to having a business website. One of the major ones is that not everyone will automatically assume that you’re a reputable company just because you have a website. Your website doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a safer choice for customers than your competition. It just means that you have a website.
The ‘Unofficial’ Advantage of Having a Website
Even though we just talked about how beneficial having a website can be, we should point out that it’s not always a good idea to have a website. If you’re a small business owner who is just getting started and doesn’t have the money to invest in expensive technology, it’s better to skip the website and go with some of the more traditional methods of advertising.
We mentioned above how important it is to focus on relevant content when trying to attract customers to your website. If you’re looking to cut corners and don’t have the money to spend on expensive ads, you could use content that is unrelated to your industry to gain exposure. This is where ‘unofficial’ websites come in handy. So, what is an unofficial website? Think of all the websites that aren’t directly affiliated with brands or businesses, but try to emulate their design language and brand messaging. These websites are often called ‘parasite’ websites because they tend to latch on to a brand or business and try to monetize off of their popularity.
An unofficial website can be a goldmine if you’re clever enough to recognize what is going on. By implementing subtle design changes and taking advantage of existing social media platforms, you can often make a lot of money without having to spend a dime on marketing.
Take Groupon for example. As the name would suggest, this is a website that specializes in discounts. You’ll typically find discount coupons for various businesses, including restaurants and cafes, across the country.
What makes Groupon different from other websites that offer similar deals?
Most websites that specialize in discounts will have a similar look and feel to them. However, Groupon takes a different approach by creating a faux business website that is virtually identical to the real thing. This means they can show off their coupons to real restaurants and cafes that are already gaining popularity online.
When a potential customer finds out that a popular website like Groupon is offering exclusive discounts, it’s usually because the business they are planning to visit is somehow affiliated with the group. They might have seen an ad on social media or heard about the website through a friend. In other words, the website is essentially doing the dirty work for you by finding businesses that are popular and rewarding you with a discount for the effort.
In conclusion, while we recommend that every business owner and operator should have a website, it’s not always the best option for every industry. If you’re wondering which type of business site to go with, it’s best to look at your existing social media platforms and decide which one you should use to expand your audience. You can also use public tools like Google Trends to easily find the popularity of any keywords or phrases related to your industry. When someone types in “restaurant [insert city name here]”, they will usually be presented with a short list of local eateries, including your business. Don’t forget about the importance of content as we mentioned above. Create unique and interesting content that is useful to your target audience.