Looking for an accountant? Need a solicitor? The number for a local takeaway? Google it. Whether you’re a business or a consumer, more often than not, your first port of call for information will be the internet. As a business therefore, it doesn’t make sense not to have a web presence.
When embarking on a web project, the first question you need to ask yourself is who will be building the site? A web design agency will handle all the technical aspects of build and will also be able to create a custom-built site that supports all types of content including video and animation. But it comes at a cost.
Alternatively, you can build your own site using template-based systems to which you add your own content and pick a colour scheme. Design is more restricted than custom-built sites, and they don’t always support all types of content, but they cover the basics. On a technical side, there’s a few things you need to bear in mind so here are some of our top tips:
- Domain name and hosting: you’ll need to check the domain name you want is available, register it and then host it on a web server.
- Research: take a look at other websites. What do you like? What don’t you like? Check out your competitors too. This will help you understand what you want from your website.
- Plan: develop a site map that has simple navigation. Users prefer as few clicks as possible to find the information they are looking for, but in general don’t like scrolling.
- SEO: search engine optimisation is the technical term for getting your site to rank higher in web searches. This can be one of the trickiest parts of developing a website that performs well. Read up on keyword optimisation, meta data and inbound and outbound linking, all of which help make your website more visible. You will also need to register your site with the big search engines, something the industry calls indexing.
- Drive traffic: don’t rely solely on search engines. Include your website on all marketing materials, add to your email signature and promote through social media.
- Report back: use reporting systems such as Google Analytics that track how visitors arrived on your site, which pages they visited most and where they stayed the longest, allowing you to tweak your site accordingly.
Websites can be a valuable resource for generating new business. It’s worth investing a little time, and money if you can spare it, at the outset to get it right and make sure your website is working just as hard as you are.
Posted by the Secret Businessman