According to an INC. article, about 60 Percent of small businesses do not have a website. Of those, about 12% have Facebook pages, leaving a lot of business relying on word-of-mouth or Social Media alone to get their business known in the market.
While Social Media is a great tool to help promote your business to more people and an amazing way to connect with the right audience, without a website to drive them back to, your efforts will prove minimal in completing sales.
For those who are digitally-challenged, no fear! Creating a website does not have to be a daunting task. The benefits will definitely be worth the effort ! Below are some tips to help you get started:
Start with a Plan:
Outline your purpose & goal for the site.
- Your site should tell a compelling story about your business, explaining who, what, when, where, how and why.
- Define & market the critical needs your business is set to solve to your target audience – Imperative to always know your audience!
- Describe your products and services in detail, outlining how superior they are to the competition.
- How will your customers reach you & who is responsible to respond? Help make finding you easy!
Do your research & network
Check out what your competitors are doing, as well as ask other business professionals to get ideas on how to build your website. These are a great resource to keeping up with your competition, as well as new digital offerings.
Meet with your friends, colleagues and your customers to get their opinion on what would be useful to see on your site, then ask them back to give their input on the site once completed. These individuals will soon become your advisors and brand ambassadors.
Register a Domain Name
Choosing & registering a domain name (www.companyname.com) is important. Choose a name that is familiar and easy to remember. Always do your research to ensure there are no copy rights or patents to site or product names. That will save you a LOT of time and money.
DIY or Expert?
Today, there are many Do-it-Yourself website services that allow you to build your own website, such as WordPress, WIX & SquareSpace, to name a few, and provide hosting services in their package, but if you do decide to hire a professional, be prepared with your website purpose and goals.
Based on your website goals, a true Professional should work with you to pick a website theme, providing recommendations to improve functionality to fit your website goals. Recommend asking your Professional to provide mocks/wireframes of site for you to sign-off on prior to them building it out. It will ensure you are both on the same page.
Also strongly recommend asking for a timeline and a hard deadline for website’s completion, which is imperative as you will evidently have additional changes and needs throughout the project. Remember to bucket your additional asks into Nice-to-Haves vs. Necessity. Also, ensure it is clear in your contract on costs related to updates/changes to help you stay on budget.
As your business evolves, so should your website. Continue to make site improvements based on your trends as a way to promote continuous growth. If you are providing a Service or selling Products on your site, keeping an active Blog is a good way help your site appear in Google and other searches.
Your website is your calling card and without one, well don’t expect anyone to call!
If you still need help, reach out to a Digital & Business Strategy company, like EC-OPs Consulting, who can help guide you through the process.