The world wide web is a continually growing source of information, and those who don’t yet have a web presence are missing out on massive opportunities. Almost 96% of larger businesses have a website, but less than 50% of small businesses (those with less than 20 employees) have one. If you don’t have a website, your potential customers can’t find you, which means half of small businesses are missing out on sales and enquiries.
Many small businesses state that they are too busy or can’t afford to get a website, however even a simple website will give your business more credibility, and minimise the chance of a client overlooking you. Web design doesn’t have to be expensive, and finding a reputable company that produce good results at an affordable price is not a difficult thing.
If you’re looking to finally make the (wise) investment of an online presence, here are five tips to help you get started:
1. Know your business
Even before you talk to a web designer, you need to have a number of other things in place. Too many times, business owners get their website developed before they have an organised business plan or marketing strategy.
Work out exactly what the goals of your business are, and how you want to achieve those goals through the website. The last thing you want to do is make large scale changes to the website because you didn’t plan in advance, because this costs money.
Also determine how people are going to find your website. Will you hire a professional company to perform search engine optimisation or will you pay for Google Adwords or both? Simply having a good website won’t bring people to it, so make sure you work out your marketing strategy and allocate the necessary budget for this.
2. Keep and eye on your competition
Seeing how your competitors do things online can give great insight into what you should be doing. This is especially true if your competitors are successful businesses. See what works and make sure you implement similar strategies. Technology moves so fast these days so you have to be aware of what’s happening in the marketplace. How else can you expect to be successful?
3. Don’t try and get too fancy
You should be aware of the KISS method that is relevant across many walks of life. Keep It Simple Stupid. Many business owner believes they need all the bells and whistles to make their website a success. But this is where they go wrong. Fancy designs with extravagant features may look impressive but they can take aware from the message you are trying to convey.
The last thing you want to do is distract people out of buying your product because they are hypnotised by a flash animation that is taking up half the page. Having a clean, user friendly layout, with good information and easy to follow calls to action is the best way to maximise leads.
4. List your business in directories
Business directories are a great source of additional traffic. Not only is it free to list your information in most directories, it also means you have more links back to your website. And the more links you have, the higher popularity you will have with Google, which results in higher search rankings.
ou should note, that while business directory submissions are beneficial, to maximise your search engine rankings you should look to build links to your website from a number of sources. These include on blog posts, within articles, on social media, and of course on other standard websites. An SEO plan will implement these strategies and more.
Once a person is on your website, your goal should be to capture their details for future communication. So if you don’t make a sale straight up, you can continue to interact with them and increase the likelihood of making that sale.
Make sure you have a mailing list signup form on your website in a prominent position. Once you have a solid database, you can send out a regular newsletter, providing tips or information to benefit the people on your mailing list, as well as showcasing offers to entice them into becoming a customer.