These days, it’s pretty tricky for your business to stay afloat without a website. It’s the digital era after all, and customers rely on websites to find information about your business, your whereabouts and your contact details. Since businesses rely heavily on websites, it’s important for yours to reflect your business personality, be user-friendly and completely professional. An outdated site, or one laden with annoying adverts, for example, is off-putting and can turn prospective clients away from your company within a matter of seconds.
So, how do you build a great website? First up, you must think carefully about your brand and ask several crucial questions. What you need to build a website for? What information should be included on your site? Who are you intending to attract? Do you have a budget? Do you want to design it yourself, or do you want a professional web designer to take control? Think of your website as the ultimate marketing tool. For many modern businesses, in fact, it’s not just a major source of custom but the only source. You too can achieve a successful website for your brand; follow our Do’s and Don’t’s to get you on the right track.
Call to Action
You have an offer on your product or service; but simply having a top banner on your site advertising ‘Bonus – £5 Free’ isn’t going to cut the mustard. Where, exactly, is the the page with £5 Free Bonus? Cut out the digging process for your customers and take them directly to the offer with ‘£5 Free Bonus – CLICK HERE’.
Set Yourself Goals
Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely). For example, increasing sales by a realistic percentage, or figuring out your business budget and sticking to it. Overspending because you set unrealistic goals such as winning big from playing slots online is simply setting you up for a fail.
Browse Competitor Sites
Before making a start, take a good look at your competitors – particularly the successful ones. Is there a common theme amongst their websites? Try to figure out what is currently working amongst your competitors. Don’t ever directly copy another website, but there’s no harm in taking inspiration and adding your personal twist to create your own fantastic website.
Focus on Content
A beautifully designed website is nothing without content. Gather your content together early on in the process; have stock photographs, descriptions, articles, etc. prepared.
Learn About SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of gathering traffic to your website by organic search engine results; in other words, when done well, it assists in helping your site rank high on a Google search engine results page. If you’re a complete newbie to SEO, a short course may be beneficial. Knowledge of SEO is invaluable as one marketing’s highest ROIs. Do it well in the beginning, and you’ll have more time to concentrate on other areas of your business.
Consider Mobile Users
Many websites are accessed via mobile and smartphones these days, therefore it’s vital not to overlook a mobile version of your website. If somebody is interested in your business, but can’t read your desktop-optimised site well on their smartphone, chances are you’ll lose their custom. Create a website with a built-in mobile version, or consider developing an app.
Use a Website Designer
Unless you already have good web designing skills, get a professional to do it. You might be concerned about the cost, but consider this: your website is often the very first impression of your business for many prospective customers. It’s imperative that that impression is a positive one. Let a web designer work their magic – after all; they know best. It can be the greatest investment for your company.
Remember Your Budget
That being said, there is also likely to be no need to blow your budget on a website. There are many fantastic web designers out there who don’t charge the earth. You’ll need some cash set aside for advertising and marketing, and also, you can make improvements to your website as your business grows.
Adobe doesn’t support Flash on mobiles any longer, so if you can avoid using it, do. Potential customers are not going to spend more than a minute or so on a site that they are struggling to load on their mobile device, and you could lose a lot of potential business.
Don’t Link to Social Media… Yet
You’d be forgiven for thinking that links to your social media business pages is a great way to drive traffic and give the impression that you already have an established network. However, if a customer clicks a link to Twitter and sees that you have just a couple of followers and no posts, it could result in the exact opposite impression. Invest time in building up your social media platforms, gain new followers and engage with them regularly. When you have healthy social media activity; add the social media icons to your growing website.
Focus on Your Audience
Being a people pleaser on your brand website is not going to work. It’s a fact of life that we cannot please everybody, so don’t try to add items to your site in an attempt to attract every type of customer. Figure out your main audience, and focus on what appeals to them. You could even add a testimonials section to your site so that others can share their experiences.
Fantastic websites aren’t built overnight. They take weeks, sometimes months to build. Be prepared to be patient and wait, for the results will be worth it in the end.
OK, so you’ve waited, your great website is now live and you sit back and wait for customers to flock in. They don’t, and you wonder whether it was worth all the effort! You have simply set yourself up for disappointment there; even the greatest websites in the world take time to build up visitor numbers. Be patient and focus on promoting your site to attract people.