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Computer - featuredBeing a reporter, I probably use Google more than most to find people, places and businesses. It’s astonishing how many businesses don’t have websites. A website is the easiest way to find out hours, products, menus, history, location and more.

An Associated Press article confirms that more than half of small businesses don’t have websites:

Fifty-five percent of small businesses don’t have a website, according to a 2013 survey of more than 3,800 small businesses conducted by Internet search company Google and research company Ipsos. That’s a slight improvement from the year before, when 58 percent said they didn’t have a website.

A recent post in City Newspaper lists new eateries. Of five establishments, three list a Facebook page, not a website.

Relying solely on Facebook is risky. Not everyone is on Facebook. The social network can be clunky to use when you’re in a hurry. You’re locked into Facebook’s format. You’re also at the mercy of Facebook’s whims, which include making it harder for your posts to show up in customer news feeds. You also risk making the first thing that comes up in Google about your business a Yelp review, which could be good or bad.

Facebook wants businesses to pay for exposure in customer news feeds. So why not invest in a website you own and control? For less than $100 a year, you can set up your own WordPress blog and domain name. That’s what I did when I first started this website. It was not hard. Later, I got something fancier. There are many freelancers who can create a nice design for anywhere from $250 to $1,000. You may even know a friend or family member who has coding and design expertise.

For many customers, the first impression of a business will not be when they walk in the door. It will be when they type your name into Google.

 

Links of the Day:

 

– Rochester refugees say they’re targeted for robberies and violence. They are preparing to go to war.

– Why is 7-Eleven cracking down on franchises? 

– The guy Colorado authorities held up as the poster child of driving-while-high was actually super drunk.

– “Secondary drowning” and fear-mongering.

 

About My Rant…

 

On Facebook, I slammed the School #58 addition as ruining the historic building and out of character. I understand that experts say the goal isn’t to “match” the old building, but the School #58 design struck me as plain and ugly.

This weekend, I visited my alma mater, Cornell University, for the first time in five years. I was floored by a humongous science building tacked onto an old, stately building in 2010. It reminded me of the School #58 design, albeit on a much grander scale. It made me think about my Facebook post.

I have very mixed feelings about both the Cornell and School #58 additions. My gut reaction was, “gross.” I would have preferred separate buildings, with some kind of nice connector. Or an addition built out of sight. Maybe it will all just take some getting used to.

 

School #58

School #58

 

Cornell University

Cornell University