It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, there is no doubt that a website will be of benefit and is a “must” in today’s competitive market. Even if business is booming, a website can be a great tool for so many reasons.
- By having good content on your website that explains your products or services, you can eliminate the amount of unrelated enquiries you may receive by phone.
- Big and small businesses can look equally as impressive with a professional looking website.
- A website is working for you 24/7 so your information can be found, questions can be answered, no matter what time of the day your customer visits. If I want to know if a business trades on Sunday, the first place I would look is their website.
- And the list of reasons goes on and on…….
PLAN your website beforehand
Website planning is commonly overlooked. Planning will not only save you the time and money associated with rebuilds at a later date, it will also provide the blueprint for ensuring a professional looking website that meets your required goals. Ask yourself:
- What do I want to achieve with my website? Do I simply require an online presence so my business can be found? Do I want to increase sales?
- Do I have key areas that I want to promote?
- How often will it need to be changed?
- Am I able and do I have time to update it myself?
- What can I provide that my competitors don’t?
Look at other websites not just your competitors, but at layouts and designs, features that you like and would interact with. The web developer of the site can usually be found at the bottom of the page and you can link through to their website. Have a look at their portfolio.
Remember, YOU need to provide as much of the content (wording) as possible. Your website designer knows about websites, not necessarily your line of business.
Things to avoid with any website
- Boring content
- Copying someone elses content ( you will be penalised by the search engines)
- Complicated sites that are hard to navigate
Things to include with any website
- If you want to increase sales, have a “call to action” on every page. “Click here to buy” “Phone us today on 1234 5678″”contact us for more information”
- Keep it simple. Be clear and concise about what you are promoting and make it easy for your visitors to find what they are looking for.
- If you are able, write your own content. You know your business better than anyone else, you are the professional in your industry, sharing your expertise will promote confidence in your readers.
Most website companies will give you a “ball park” figure. That cost will vary depending on the complexity of the site you need. Before you even bother establishing that cost, some of the questions you should ask are:
- Have you built any other websites similar to the format I need?
- Can you provide me with references from people you have built websites for?
- How long will it take? (I have witnessed some that have taken YEARS, no joke)
- What is required of me for the duration of the process?
- What platform do you use to build your websites?
- Am I able to have my website hosted with anyone, or does it have to be with you/your preferred host?
- If I host with you, am I able to move the website at a later date?
- Do you provide after sales support?
- Can I update the website myself or how much will it cost for you to do updates?
- What happens to my website if you go out of business?
- What will you do to ensure my website will be found by my audience in the search engines (Search Engine Optimisation)
- What do you do to stay abreast of the search engine updates
Register your own domain name.
If someone else has already done this for you, get control of it back.
Get access to your hosting too. That way you can administer your own email addresses, view statistics etc and not have a middle man to pay when it’s renewal time.
Don’t believe everything that a website developer tells you or you read on a website. Do your homework and will be far better equipped to make the right decision for your business
By having up to date and accurate website will get you better search results, deliver great content to your potential customers and provide the professional look you want to achieve for your business.
Websites by me: