As a small business owner, you probably keep hearing that a strong digital presence is crucial for building your brand and attracting new clients. This is true, of course. Not only do people search for products and services online, but they also base their opinion about a brand on its website and social media accounts.
The era of free website builders and landing page builders makes setting up a website much easier. But it is still time-consuming, especially managing multiple sites, and requires a diverse skill set or an entire team of professionals to do everything right. And what’s more important—not every business needs a complex website. If you aren’t a SaaS platform or a store of the Amazon level (and it’s probably safe to assume you’re not, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this), you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on web development. Sometimes, a simple portfolio or an online catalog with a sign-up form is enough to showcase your products and generate leads.
If that’s what you are looking for, let us introduce you to a simple and creative website builder alternative: interactive documents. In this article, we’ll discuss what a flipbook is, what makes it (in some cases) a great substitute for a traditional website, and how to create your own flipbooks with FlippingBook.
What’s an Online Flipbook?
It’s a digital format for presenting content as online publications with a page flip effect, or flipbooks.. A flipbook is created with the HTML5 technology that makes it as powerful and flexible as any modern website, and allows you to view it in any browser and on any screen. Flipbooks can sometimes be created from scratch, but with FlippingBook you need a PDF file that you can convert into an online flipbook in a couple of minutes.
See for yourself! Flip through this gorgeous flipbook example—it has all the main sections that a website usually has, like the main page, examples, and the 'About us' page. What's more, it's packed with valuable info and is fully interactive thanks to engaging pop-up images and insightful videos. And all this just in three pages!
What Content Works Well as a Flipbook?
Flipbooks are great for presenting all kinds of information that you would traditionally print out: portfolios, catalogs, lookbooks, guides, menus, and more. And the best part is you need absolutely no skills to create a flipbook—only a PDF and an Internet connection.
What Makes a Flipbook a Great Website Alternative?
#1 You Don’t Need to Worry About Web Hosting
When you create a flipbook with FlippingBook, it instantly uploads your content to the cloud and provides you with a direct link you can share. There’s no need to set up and register domains and build everything from scratch. Thanks to the built-in document hosting service, the moment you’ve created your flipbook, it’s ready to be shared with the world. This is a huge advantage if you are pressed for time and don’t have a few weeks to set up and fine-tune your website.
As a bonus, you don’t need to go through tiresome testing before publishing your content. And if you need any help, the FlippingBook support is always there to lend a hand.
#2 Branding and Design Are Easy
Unlike PDFs that have a dull grey background, flipbooks have a clean and professional design that complements any content. So the format is perfect for design rookies! And if you wish to make your content instantly recognizable, you can do so in a couple of clicks by adding your logo, favicon, and brand colors. This way, when people jump to your flipbook from a social media post or a banner ad, they will know you at first glance.
#3 Your Content is SEO-Friendly
Getting your website to the top of search results is a constant struggle. The idea may seem simple on the surface—just write the content that is clear and relevant to your target audience. But with Google constantly changing algorithms and guidelines, prioritizing mobile websites, punishing and encouraging certain practices, getting anywhere near the first page of Google takes lots of effort and expertise.
When you use our tool as a website alternative, FlippingBook does part of the SEO job for you. It takes your PDF content and optimizes it for search engines: it sets the metatags and provides crawlers with clear well-structured content for easy and fast indexing. Here’s our case study and a video guide on flipbooks and SEO if you wish to learn more.
#4 You Can Get Interactive Content Without Coding
Choosing an alternative for a website builder, you should consider interactivity, too, as it is an essential part of any digital experience.. With flipbooks, you can easily benefit from it without touching a single line of code.
FlippingBook offers an intuitive drag-and-drop editor that lets you add videos, GIFs, pop-up images, and links right to the pages of your flipbook. It only takes a couple of clicks, and your visitors can enjoy all sorts of engaging interactive content.
#5 Flipbooks Have a Built-in Lead Generation Feature
The purpose of any website is to bring in leads and convert them into buyers. While flipbooks created with FlippingBook don’t have a ready-to-go tool for online sales, the format still works nicely if you are looking to collect prospects and take orders.
Thanks to a customizable sign-up form you can place on any page of your flipbook, you can achieve two goals:
- Gate your content, leaving a few first pages as a preview. This way, you will turn your ebook or a catalog into a lead magnet.
- Place the lead collection form at the end of the flipbook and turn it into a “Contact us” form to give your visitors an option to reach out to you.
💡According to our research, 90% of emails submitted through the FlippingBook Online lead capture form are valid. Thus, you get high-quality leads right from your flipbook!
#6 You Can Integrate FlippingBook Website With Your Favorite Apps
Some website builders strive to be one-stop shops, providing everything from design to payment management to custom mobile app development. But the truth is, you get the best results when you combine a few of the most effective tools and build the perfect toolkit, tailored to your needs.
Thanks to integrations via Zapier, an online automation solution that lets you connect different apps, you can easily add flipbooks to your workflow. You can use integrations to add the leads you’ve collected to your CRM or a digital marketing platform, or to create new flipbooks automatically.
#7 You Get Content Analytics right on the FlippingBook Platform
Tracking viewers’ interactions with your website is a must. It gives you in-depth insights into your audience and helps make informed marketing decisions.
As with any other website, you can connect your flipbook with a Google Analytics account and gather all the statistics there. But you can also track all the key metrics—views, clicks, session durations, and more—right in FlippingBook.
Bonus: How to Create a PDF?
Creating a website alternative with FlippingBook is easy once you get a PDF with the content you need. However, crafting the PDF itself may seem difficult if you’ve never done it before.
Fret not! You don’t have to be an Adobe Acrobat guru to create a beautiful PDF document. If you’re wondering where to start, try Canva. It’s an easy-to-use design tool that lets you create different types of digital content, PDFs included. You can create a PDF from scratch or you can use one of our free templates if you need inspiration and help.
Creating a digital presence is vital, but building a website can be time-consuming and complicated. If you are not looking to open an online shop, but just need a simple and creative way to present your content, a flipbook is a great way to do this. Ready to try? Check out our free 14-day trial and create your first flipbook today.