The importance of having a digital presence is crucial to the success of businesses big and small. This includes having a website to market your products or services. Regardless of other marketing methods, creating a presence on platforms that potential consumers use on a daily basis like Google search can strongly benefit you. The key is to create and develop a relationship with new consumers.
If your business entails selling online services or products, having a website is a no-brainer. However, having a website is just as important when you’re not directly selling anything online. Think of it as the first-impression others may have of you or an extension of your business card with more information about you, your brand, and what it is that you’re offering. Keep in mind, while you're creating your website, it should detail your background, experience, and other credentials to give potential consumers confidence in their purchasing transactions.
Creating a website is easier than you’d think and with the help of advanced technology, it’s now more user-friendly than ever. You have the option of hiring a Web developer at a reasonable price using content management software or you can do it yourself to save even more money. Whichever option you choose, here are five tips to help you build the best website for your business by our eWN Digital Advantage team.
Purpose of Your Website
The first step is to decide what you want out of your website. Creating a vision for your website and staying consistent with executing it is important because it will guide you on how to develop it moving forward.
You may want to use it as a landing page where content stays static for the most part to simply provide more information to potential consumers about your services and displaying your credentials if they choose to check out your business online. Or, you might want to use it as a digital publication - think of a blog -where you provide articles and useful information to existing and potential clients. You could also want to directly sell products and services online.
Remember that even if you start static, a website must continuously be updated. There’s so much room for growth so, don’t be alarmed when the purpose of it starts shifting gears.
Tip: Integrate your website into your social media platforms and techniques to boost traffic and awareness.
Choose A Business Website Builder
Depending on what you want to do with your website, there are various software and website builders on the market. Most are free with minimal costs for add-ons, but you’ll want to invest in this aspect as you do in every other part of your business.
If you’re wanting to partake in e-commerce, you should select software designed specifically for that purpose. Check out Magento, osCommerce, OpenCart or VirtueMart. However, if e-commerce is only a small part of your website (i.e. selling branded merch, books, limited edition products), you’ll want to look into software like WordPress and Wix.
Choose a Template and Plugins for Your Website
A template is a pre-made website design that you can add to your website instantly to create a professional-looking website without having to hire a Web designer. If you get a chance to explore the readily ones available on the websites listed above, you’ll notice that they try to cater to as many business categories as possible.
Beyond templates, you may require additional plugins, which are add-ons to provide functionality for your website. There are many free ones, but just like templates, the ones you pay for are more efficient. Whether you want to add e-commerce, write a blog, incorporate videos, provide social media buttons, there’s typically an add-on for it.
This provides a user-friendly website that caters to your targeted consumers. If this is your first website, templates will help you understand the experience consumers have, what they are interested in and how they interact with it. Keep in mind that you can eventually invest in custom-built designs later when you pinpoint what you actually need, instead of what you think you need.
Develop Website Content
This is where your creativity comes in. The content you post must be compelling to
potential and existing consumers while providing the right information and the right level of understanding. Keep it visually pleasing with text and images to pair. Think about it from an advertising perspective.
Make the pages as professional-looking as possible since visual impact and appeal are a key part of any website. Try using stock images or creating visuals yourself versus the typical clipart illustrations. Images of your products, headshots of you and/or your team, and other original graphics will help visitors relate to your brand before diving into all the details.
Populate and Maintain Your Website
Once your website is ready-to-go and published to the public, you’ll want to keep up with the maintenance of it. If your website is starting out static, then updating existing information will be a breeze. However, the more advanced your website becomes, you may want to consider hiring a professional or taking the time to learn the skills you need to execute a vision on your own.
Each of the software programs mentioned earlier in this article provide a control panel that gives you access to all of your material and content. There are help pages that explain more on this. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to learn some tricks from a Youtube video or two. Your website is an investment that should be seriously considered in your marketing strategy and stay consistent with your brand over time.