6 Steps to help your business develop an online identity and create a website
Building a website that works well for your buisness can be tricky. You need to map out a strategy for the site, you could spend a lot of money and time and not get the return on investment you hoped for
The biggest missteps happen when companies neglect the user experience, you have to think about what your customers want to see and how they understand the information about what you do.
With some preparation and effort you can have a site that works like a top salesperson for your company.
- Understand who, what and how
Asking yourself three questions: Who are we targeting with our site? What information will visitors look for when they arrive? How will they navigate the site?
Think of your ideal customer personas as part of your marketing plan
- Understand how you will use your site
Figure out what it is you want your site to do. Do you want to sell online, capture new sales leads or simply provide information about your company and products?
Maybe it’s a combination of both
- Decide on a platform
There are two ways to approach building your website. You can create a site using a do-it-yourself platform or hire a website developer to do the job.
The DIY route (on platforms such as Squarespace, Shopify) can be less expensive at least appear so. You can create a basic cookie cutter website.
However, it can be much more challenging to optimize your website, including user experience and back-end technical requirements. A website developer may be more expensive, but you will have the benefit of both experience and expertise to ensure your website performs the way you want it to.
- Set your budget
Set a realistic budget for the project. You can get a sense of the cost by speaking with other businesses, trade associations and professionals you work with. You may also consider getting financing if you don’t have enough cash on hand. Remember a strong website is an investment for your business.
- Develop content
Whether you create your own site or hire someone, you’ll need to create content for your site. It should be interesting and informative, geared to turning web visitors into loyal customers. Think high-resolution photos, client testimonials, how-to videos, a blog and social media links. Keep the language relevant and concise, you don’t want turn off visitors with pages full of text and confusing headlines.
Again, think of what your ideal audience will want to see on your website.
- Update regularly and optimize
Online marketing is a continuous process. In any marketing effort, you have to monitor your data in order to continually improve. You can use digital tools (like Google Analytics) to do this. Regularly check how many visitors come to your site and how they interact with it. You can then use the data to test various types of content and design features to see what produces the best results.