This is a quick, informative checklist for business owners and organizations looking to create a new website or redesign their current one. Over 50% of all businesses don’t have a website and many businesses that do have websites have a hard time figuring out how customers can have the best user experience.
A high-quality, well-functioning website is an absolute must in today’s business world. It can market your company, draw in new leads and, in most cases, bring in more sales and revenues in the long term. And for small businesses, it’s even more crucial.
With a limited budget and not much cash for marketing and advertising, small businesses must capitalize on every opportunity they can to increase exposure and improve their brand’s visibility.
A great website can do just that. Unfortunately, many small business owners go about building their sites the wrong way.
They design their site to be a static, boring old online brochure, or they care only about the visual appeal of it – the design, the colors, the imagery, etc.
The truth is your website should be treated as an asset – one that can attract clients and help your business grow. Sure, it needs to be informative, but it shouldn’t be boring or overload the user with data. Yes, it also needs to be visually appealing, but that shouldn’t be the guiding factor in your process.
Unless your site has all the proper components and pieces, none of that matters at all.
Do you want to make sure your small business is making the most of its online presence? Then make sure it has these 10 essential components below. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about establishing a web presence and will point out mistakes to avoid when setting up your website. Even if you already have a website, the information presented will help you achieve greater success by showing you how to correct poorly designed websites.
Understand what a website is: Let this be clear – your website is the engine of your business. It is your virtual office, the first touch point with your users online. For most business, the first experience anyone will have with your business is your website. While I’m sure this is not news to you, many business owners fail to recognize the importance and value of this first touch point.
Set a goal/objective for building the website: Determine the purpose of your website. Is it an ecommerce site designed to sell items online? Is it mainly an informational brochure for your business? Is it a blog that you intend to update regularly with posts? This will be your starting point before the actual website design.
Choose a Suitable Domain name: a domain name is your address on the web, so choose it wisely. There are two ways you can approach this:
- Choose a brand-able domain name such as your business name or
- Select a keyword rich domain name e.g. if you are a photography company you can try a name such as www.photographyagency.com
What should users do on this website: this is the action a web visitor or user will take and predetermined by the objectives for setting up the website in the first place. This action can range from user buying a product, to joining an email newsletter list, to filling out a data form etc.
Provide enough information and contents: What information will your visitors find valuable? Who will be providing the contents? At a minimum, make sure your website shows your business’ contact information such as your company branded email and phone number, as well as any required information your line of business may require such as a physical address. More valuable contents also lead to more website authority and often attract higher rankings in search engine.
Engage the service professional developer: this point cannot be overemphasized. Giving out a business website to non-experts spells doom for your business. You will only end up with a poorly designed website that is not properly structured and not appealing to users. A poorly designed site can make you look out of touch, fail to draw lead producing traffic and create a negative image. If your website is not enjoyable and easy to use, don’t expect to get a return.
Promote Your Website: Think about how your visitors will find your website. Put your Web address everywhere possible including business cards, social media, advertising, and online business directories. Contact expert SEO to get your website indexed and appear on the first page of search engines. Also experiment with paid search advertisements to attract pay-per-click traffic to your website.
Never abandon the site after completion: after completion, a website ought to be updated with new content to make it look fresh always. You need to understand how your website is performing and who is coming to your site. Website analytics can yield great insights into what you need to do more of, or what you need to change.
Do Regular maintenance and backup: this must be your top priority after completion. Not having a reliable maintenance and backup systems is like owing a car without insurance. What if something goes wrong? Periodic updates, maintenance and backup should be arranged with your website developer.
Just having a website isn’t enough in today’s digital world. If you want to have the most successful online presence possible, you also have to build up your visibility elsewhere, too. Here are a few ways to do that:
Get on social media: Start up a Facebook or Twitter page, and start interacting with the movers and shakers in your industry. Update your customers on company news, and keep them appraised of upcoming sales and specials that can save them cash. Search engines value social content very heavily, and it could have a major effect on your visibility and SEO performance.
If you want a great site for your small business, these checklist components are crucial. The will help you draw in more traffic, attract more potential customers and, ultimately, put more money in your pocket over time. Take a minute to evaluate your own business website, and make sure you are covered all your bases today.
Need more help? Want more guidance?