Randall Rensch, Marketing Communication Concepts and Copywriting 

An efficient website-building and marketing solution
for local retailers, small businesses, and service providers

If you're a retailer, a small business, or a service-provider thinking about building your first website — or if you're just thinking about building a business — you'd probably rather concentrate on business matters instead of the technical details of planning, building and marketing your site. But a big web developer may be way outside your budget. Here are a couple alternatives, both pretty affordable.



2. Learn more about Site Build It!Consider a new integral concept called Site Build It!  For someone who (a) sells a service, or (b) wants to find a profitable online market niche, or (c) is a retailer or other small business wanting to attract new qualified prospects, this may be your simplest solution.

Already an SBI! site owner? Click here. Otherwise, please read on, to see:
    • the right way for a small business or local retailer
      to approach Internet marketing
    • ways to make your site more than a business card
      without having to make it an online store.

If you've toured the rest of my you may have noticed that I don't link to a lot of products and services. Site Build It! is one of the exceptions, because it's of interest to some of my own clients and associates with relatively small businesses — particularly service providers and retailers.

I know, as a copywriter and creative consultant, that a website should be more than a mere "web presence." It should market you, not just be a photo-and-business-card-with-map. And it can do that, without turning it into an actual online store. How to make your site marketworthy, in record time, at minimal cost? Site Build It!

Got 5 minutes?
Look at Site Build It! now.

The name "Site Build It!" is actually a misnomer, because, although it builds a respectable website for you — pretty much by point-and-click — it also does the marketing drudge work for you, too. And the really valuable thing about it is that it guides you in setting up the foundation for a site that is virtually guaranteed to draw significant traffic from search engine users. In fact, its publisher includes a Satisfaction Guarantee. (Learn more about traffic results.)

Site Build It! does all this...

• Shows you how to brainstorm and identify a productive niche
• Automates the process of analyzing search-engine niche data
• Guides you in developing your Web-marketing strategy
• Hosts your website (you'd pay as much elsewhere for hosting alone!)
• Automates the design of your site, giving you a wide range of look-and-feel options (or you can create and upload your own)
• Guides you in optimizing your site for search engines, following essentially the same principles I describe on my SEO page
• Submits it to search sites
• Maintains all of this, month to month
• Provides guidance and automated tools for responsible, effective e-mail marketing
• And more. Much more.
All for what a small business typically pays for hosting alone!

It's a whole bunch of great retailer website packages in one. Yes, you still have to do some serious thinking and planning (why would you not want to?). But Site Build It! guides you every step of the way, so you're sure to cover all the bases, thoroughly and professionally. In fact, it requires a significant investment of your time. But, instead of spending that time learning complex HTML skills, or learning to use an HTML editing program, you'll be spending the time on identifying a lucrative niche, on your site's content (very important), and on other traffic- and loyalty-building projects, such as writing an e-newsletter (SBI! processes sign-ups and emails it automatically). What SBI! does is guide you down a path that's been followed with great success by thousands of other small online businesses, and in the process, it automates the busy-work.

All for roughly what other hosting services charge for web-hosting alone.

If I didn't know better, I'd say it sounds too good to be true. But I know the company, SiteSell.com. Its principal, Ken Evoy, has one of the best reputations on the Internet for integrity and for offering real value. After years of building that reputation in other online ventures, he's turned this product into an even more special labor of love.

Which raises a couple of other important points...

• Although you won't have to learn HTML in order to make SBI! work for you, you can use HTML if you want. SiteSell has made SBI! increasingly capable and flexible, and I expect that will continue. There are many ways to "customize" the results, some authorized, some not. But that negates a key advantage... if you don't want to spend time learning all about HTML and FTP transfers, etc., it makes even less sense learning how to customize SBI. (I'm a Certified Webmaster for Site Build It!, so I can help with that if necessary. But I recommend first using it "straight out of the box." That way, you'll focus on the strategic aspects of content and traffic-building, making the key business decisions only you can make. Then if you still want to tweak the site, you'll know what's really important.)

• Although you may be tempted to save time by skipping parts of the manual — the "Action Guide" — please don't. SBI! is a traffic-building, business-building concept, and success at those goals depends very much on building a sound foundation. If you take things in the proper order, and don't skip steps, SBI! is specifically designed to maximize your chance of success.

Take the SBI! Quick Tour

About what you'll see — as I've just said, Site Build It! is positioned as a way to research and start an online business. (It used to focus on creating an affiliate site — that's a site that guides visitors to other sites, for commissions — but not anymore. If a large portion of your potential visitors are likely to come from search engines, SBI! is an excellent way to realize that potential, regardless of how you then monetize your traffic.)

Even if you're a brick-and-mortar retailer you can just as easily use your new site to attract potential customers, impress them with your offers, products and expertise, and guide those new customers to your "real world" store. Also offer your current customers valuable help online, to reinforce your relationship and encourage repeat sales.

Here are some thought-starters, just for example...

• Promote your store or your capabilities
• Announce and display new products
• Provide categorized lists of gift ideas
• Not only show a map to your store, but show your store
• Give "how-to" instructions
• Provide consumer or product-usage tips
• Post store policies
• Advertise your store's special events
• Encourage visitors to correspond with you, or sign up for your newsletter (online or off)
• Build a responsible email mailing list
• Automatically mail an e-newsletter and archive past issues online
• Offer an online course
• Offer discounts or bonus gifts to site visitors who purchase at your store
• Get new customers up to speed or distribute your loyalty program as a series of automated opt-in emails.
• Link to other sites that sell non-competitive related products
• Link to news sites -- for example, if you're a ski shop, link to the ski conditions

If you have a small service or physical retail business, I suggest you take a look, and see if this is a viable solution for you...

Better yet, try it. SiteSell.com offers a Satisfaction Guarantee. I think you'll quickly see ways that Site Build It! capabilities can make your site an extension of your business, without a major investment in Web design and hosting. It lets you concentrate on exploring the potential business aspects of your new site, without spending a minute more than necessary on the mechanics.

By the way... if you like, I can in that exploration.

Click here to learn more about SBI!