Taking into account that the vast majority of people spend a substantial amount of time online, on their phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and traditional means of reaching out to customers, such as print catalogs and brochures have died down, it is extremely important to have an official Website for your business for three key reasons
1. A Website establishes credibility – you can showcase your work, portfolio, case studies, testimonials, products and services and offer interactive demos; a Website helps demonstrate what is unique about your business.
2. A Website makes you available 24/7 for both regular and potential customers to visit, including when your store or office is closed.
3. A Website makes it possible to target a wider market through SEO optimization, when potential customers are searching for similar services or products.
Now that we have you convinced that a Website is indeed important, let’s talk about some do’s and don’ts, because chances are you are overwhelmed with the thought of setting one up.
2. Make your site user-friendly by creating navigation bar, bucket your content by theme and directing the focus and flow of information.
3. Add business reviews to your website homepage to establish trust.
4. Keep it clear, simple, distinct and high quality – use a proper balance of typography and images.
5. Most importantly, plan properly on paper by making a site map and gathering all of the content you need and saving it into one folder.
6. Make sure you provide detailed information about your background, experience, contact information and other credentials that give you credibility in the eyes of potential customers.
Image Courtesy: GeekWebDesigns.com
1. Don’t make it hard for visitors to find what they are looking for or they will leave within 10 seconds. Do NOT make users think, wait or read endlessly. People have short attention spans, and first impression really is the last impression.
2. Don’t undervalue the power of strong SEO – your competitors are becoming savvier day-by-day (remember that!).
3. Don’t forget to test your Website in different browsers and on mobile devices.
4. Don’t use illegal content and make sure you have the rights to use images you have selected.
Image Courtesy: CreativeCuriosity.com
So, how exactly do you go about building your first Website?
1. Purchase a domain name and also check if social media handles are available for the same name, to ensure branding consistency
2. Decide if you want a static or dynamic Website.
> Static Websites are quick and cheap to develop and host. However, they require web development expertise to update and content can become stagnant and un-useful for audiences.
> Dynamic Websites are much more functional, easier to update and offers new content to keep audiences returning regularly (which helps with SEO rankings). However, dynamic Websites are slower, more expensive to develop and cost more to host.
3. Determine if you want to learn how to build a Website on your own through free resources like Wix and WordPress, or if you want to hire an agency or freelancer to do the needful for you, given they bring expertise and additional ideas to the table, taking the stress of learning an entirely new skill set off your shoulders!
4. Pick between WordPress or HTML –
> WordPress has a lot of advantages, such as it is easy to update, the templates they offer are very professional-looking and powerful and it offers full control and ownership to you at all times to easily update content. However, it does require a bit of learning and maintenance.
> With HTML Websites, the requirements and maintenance are pretty low, although you cannot really make any updates if you wish to later on unless you know HTML/CSS, which is not really practical at a beginner level. Even small tasks like adding new pages, updating old content and uploading videos/images will require a Web developer, making it a tedious process. Furthermore, if your business grows and you want to add features like an online store, blog or subscribe button, you will need to coordinate with your Web developer, and often times they will push you to mitigate to WordPress, making this a costly affair in the long-run.