CHICAGO — Having a company website offers a wide variety of benefits to a small business like a laundromat, including further establishing its presence in the marketplace, informing customers about store location and operating hours, and marketing the ways in which it serves its area.
Yet, fewer than 30% of laundromats advertise their store using a website, says Brian Henderson, citing a 2020 Coin Laundry Association survey.
“Having a solid, clean website with easy-to-scan information about who, what, where and why someone should visit your laundromat will raise your website to the top of local search listings on Google,” adds Henderson, whose Wash-Dry-Fold POS firm began offering website creation services last year based on industry demand.
Besides discussing the benefits of having a company website, Part 1 of this article examined the elements of such a site; let’s continue.
Dennis Diaz, president of Spynr, an online marketing services firm that works specifically with laundry businesses, cautions against allowing website content to become dated.
“Content on your website doesn’t need to be refreshed daily, but it should always contain timely and relevant information,” he says. “I suggest that if you have a blog, post content at least within the month we’re in; there’s nothing worse than going to a page with neglected posts from last year.”
“A blog or news section to help with online search rankings was a nice idea a decade ago, but these days, it would be best to focus on timeless content for your site; something that does not have a time and date stamp on it,” Henderson says. “If there is content on your website that clearly has not been updated for years, then it detracts from the confidence a customer would have in the current accuracy of the information found on the rest of your website.”
Security is a must, and a company website has to be protected against potential hackers.
“Many web hosts provide a cheap or free SSL certificate for your website, which means traffic to and from your site is done through an encrypted connection,” Henderson says. “Enable two-factor authentication (that thing where they text or email a code to you when you attempt to log in) for your web host administrative page and website editor if possible. In this modern era, passwords alone are often not enough to keep everything secure.”
When a laundromat considers website creation, he says the most common mistake is thinking that only having a Facebook page is enough and that a website is not needed.
“It is more like a ‘yes, and’ situation,” Henderson says. “Yes, claim free listings such as on Facebook, Google Business, Yelp and many more local business listing websites and have your own website. Your website is your central hub of truth that you fully control. When you set up camp on free business listing websites, then you are sitting on land that you do not own and it is subject to changes that you do not control.”
“If you’re looking to create a website, make sure the design is customized and tailored to your specific needs,” says Diaz. “There are many mistakes that people often make when developing their own site for the first time, which include not matching goals with designs; they may find an attractive template but it does not have elements needed in order to convert customers effectively.”
Websites can be “challenging, technical beasts,” Diaz says, but don’t worry about getting the design just right the first time.
“Make sure you’re telling a story that is clear and speaks to people as well as customers. A great website connects above all things else, so make it easy for them.”
Missed Part 1? You can read it HERE.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].