The Little Hen shows the value of a little website
We believe that small business marketing should be more about getting things done than getting them perfect. That’s because growing businesses usually have so many needs and such limited resources, it’s a better investment to get the essentials complete first and focus on perfection down the road.
For instance, when we talk about creating a solid digital presence, for most businesses that doesn’t mean investing $50,000 into a website.
Instead, we think it’s smart to start simple and improve incrementally over time. Aim for competence first, then aim for prominence and excellence as you grow and become more competitive.
What does a simple but effective website look like? We think the site for The Little Hen restaurant in Haddonfield is a perfect case study.
Like the establishment itself, it’s relatively tiny. As of this writing – October 15, 2019 – here’s what made up the entire site:
- Four pages.
- Fewer than 300 words.
- Two images.
An SEO expert would call this website a travesty. “Not enough content to rank!” they would say. And indeed, their website doesn’t rank on the first page of Google for “The Little Hen Haddonfield.”
But this example illustrates a number of points we advocate when it comes to setting up digital presences. See if you can spot them.
First, they have set up their Google My Business page so that even though their site doesn’t organically rank in the search results to the left, their Google page appears on the right with a link to their website.
Second, they’ve set up a number of other no-brainer presences on Yelp, Open Table, Facebook and the Downtown Haddonfield site that all give them greater ability to fill up the first page of Google with platforms they can control.
And third, their site satisfies all the essentials for potential visitors. It explains the cuisine and atmosphere (a small French-inspired BYOB), it lists the entire menu, it includes the hours and location, and there’s a link to book a table.
Would you like, say, photos of the interior and the food? Maybe more information about the owners, and French cuisine in general for the unfamiliar? Maybe details on parking and other things to do in the area?
Sure, all of those things are potentially good ideas, but for relatively little effort, they’ve been able to achieve the majority of value from their website that they likely ever will, in terms of giving most potential customers everything they need to make a reservation.
Not all of our colleagues will agree with this approach. Many agencies would try to talk this restaurant into building a much more grandiose website with all kinds of bells and whistles. But we believe that thinking is based more around the expert’s personal preferences as opposed to the best investment for the business.
So take The Little Hen as a good example – a little website is perfectly fine to get you started and keep growing.
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