Time to Put Your Business Card Online?

Ryan Weal

March 09, 2009

I have a lot of friends who run small business. Some run very small businesses. That means their web options can be limiting. Yes, they could go all out and do some social media advertising (which is always a good suggestion) but I think a friend of mine nailed it on the head - he needs what amounts to be a "business card" that is posted online.

Initially I thought this was kind of absurd but after some time I am starting to think that he is on to something. Social media is limited by the form fields big companies place on their sites. As of yet, none have done a good job of tying information together across services like a custom site can. But what happens when you are ready to step up to a custom website but you are not quite ready for a full-fledged multi-page CMS site?

The business case for a really small site

Some say that blogging is the answer but a lot of people who work on their own are not keen to be writing all day or even once a week. A business card is all these clients need... a simple design project and some plain text somewhere on the page so they can start getting into Google's index. Something that will still be there if they forget to post for six months. With a setup like that a business can start defining it's own image rather than leave it entirely up to online commentators.

The added advantage of doing things this way is that the account is not terminated due to lack of activity. It also ensures someone is seriously looking at your SEO and that you can track the results of your campaign(s). That can be important for people that do not work online but see their presence as a distant cousin to their Yellow Pages ad.

Restaurants fall into this category for sure - how many eateries do you love but either do not have a website or have a really terrible one that you can never find? My favourite pizza delivery shop has no online presence at all, except for a few comments on a restaurant review site which happens to have the phone number listed there. It would be great for them to have their name and a phone number somewhere consistent. Even better if it had a menu. That's really all I need to order a pizza... and a one page site would do the trick.

A "business card on the web" would help businesses like these - where they already have some online presence but they want to have some control over their identity. It is a bit of web design, some programming and search engine optimization. That can be beyond a lot of business owners but fairly trivial for those of us who love code.