When you’re trying to get a business off the ground, the cheapest and easiest way to get your name is through creating your own website. If you’ve never made a website before, it can be difficult deciding how much information to include, and how it should be set up. There is a lot of pressure to get it right, because your website will be a reflection of your business, and a bad website isn’t a good advertisement.
If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few recommendations for your company website.
The first thing you must do is come up with a URL, as this will be the basis of your website. Your domain name is also your brand name. People will come to know you primarily through your URL long before you start networking and making face-to-face contacts. Your domain name must be catchy, it should contain no awkward spellings to avoid accidentally taking people to another website, and it should end in .com if possible, as most people are conditioned to type this into a URL.
When you’re designing your website, you need to make sure it won’t be too cluttered, and that it will be easy for users to find what they’re looking for. Having a clear, and user-friendly website will go a long way for improving your SEO, because Google considers the content and structure of a site when it ranks for search. Make a mock-up of your site, and run it by a few friends to see if they understand it and can easily use it. It also can’t hurt to run it by someone proficient in software and coding. Check out this website to find someone who can help you optimise your website.
Good hosting platform
There is no bigger nightmare than having your website hacked, and it could cost you customers. Make sure your host platform is reliable, and that they have a proven record of keeping hackers out. You should also update your content management system regularly in order to keep ahead of any hijackers.
This is the first thing people will see when they look up your website. Keep it clear and simple, but make it a summarisation of what your business offers. This can include a big headline, and a slightly smaller sub-headline. Do you want them to contact you first, or subscribe to a newsletter for more information? A short call to action will make this clear.
The important thing to remember is that none of your selling should happen on your home page. Hardly anyone wants to buy when they first arrive at a website, and shoving a shopping basket in their face from the very beginning won’t encourage many of them to return. Instead, just give them short, digestible snippets of information, and encourage them to keep browsing the site for more information. Here are some more tips for building the perfect home page.
Social media integration
Every company these days benefits from having a social media account to get valuable feedback from their customers. Social media is great for connecting to potential business partners and customers, and it’s also free advertising. Integrating these platforms into your website will help boost your SEO, improve your business' footprint on the social web and build your following across numerous social platforms. It is worth maintaining a presence on at least three of the many social platforms available, but only as long as you actually maintain your content. Once you decide which platforms you’ll use to promote your business, you'll keep your brand top-of-mind and keep users engaged. Social media is not going to leave us anytime soon, so it’s worth the investment in time.
If your website and your marketing campaign are successful, you’ll soon have people wanting to do business with you. In which case, you should make sure your contact information can easily be found on your website. It’s a good idea to make the contact details available on every page so that visitors don’t have to jump back to the home page if they are suddenly inspired to get in touch. You should also include more than one way to get in touch; email and phone are both good options.
Once you’ve made contact with potential clients and business partners, be sure to keep in touch with them outside the website and social media. Getting in touch by SMS text messaging is easy, convenient, and available to everyone.
Mobile friendly version
Smartphones and mobile devices are incredibly convenient, and most people browse the internet when they’re out and about. If you want to drive up your website traffic, you need to make a mobile friendly version of your site so that customers can stay updated even on their morning commute.
If your business is going to be reliant on word of mouth to get off the ground, then it would greatly benefit you to have customer testimonials on your website. Honest words from others help make your products or services more tangible to customers who are visiting you online, and help your potential customers to build trust in you, especially if you are new. More importantly, they help shoppers to confirm whether your product or services meet their needs.
Even with testimonials, customers will still have questions about the products and services you offer. Clarify any potential questions with an FAQ page, and use customer feedback to add to it as needed. It will save you from having to give different customers the same information over and over again.
Things you DON’T need
Keep your website simple. You don’t any background music, any videos that play automatically, or anything that could potentially slow down your loading time. You won’t get any repeat visitors if the website loads too slowly, or there is too much unwanted noise or flash. People visit business websites to get a service without any extra hassle, so that is what you must provide.
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