I know I need a website but where do I start?
If you’re on this page then you have already established the fact that you need a website, which is a very important step toward generating new business leads.
In this article we will cover some of the important things you need to consider in the initial phase before you get to developing the website.
Let’s start with a blank canvas. We will write down what are the important things we want our website to contain, what information will we want to provide for our would be customers?
Here are a few examples:
- Information about our company and why they should choose us
- The services we provide
- The products we sell
- The areas we service
- Our trading hours
- Images of our work
- Easy way to ask for a quote
- Our location details and phone number
Ok now that we have the main areas, let’s look at how we can formulate these sections into pages. Do we need to have each one of these as a page or can we consolidate some of this information?
Here is an example:
Home / About Us: Contains information about our company, a summary of our services, our trading hours and areas of service and a quick quote form for the customers who are in a rush.
Products: Contains information on our products
Services: Contains all of our services
Gallery: Contains images of our projects
Contact: Have a quick quote form and our contact details.
Now that you have a good idea of the structure of your website, its time to write some content for these pages. Be sure to focus on writing informative text, that is easy to read and also keep in mind to focus on including keywords about your products, services, and areas of service.
Let’s start to think about a design & your business identity now. First thing to start with is colour. Which colour best relates to your business or what you do? E.g if your business is landscaping, do you stick with green? or do you go for something different like orange or brown?
Another thing to consider is do you want to build a brand? And by a ‘brand’ we simply mean an identity your customers can relate to and start to familiarise. The easiest way to do this is by having a logo. If you do not have the skills to design a logo, you can check out our graphic design services and we can put one together for you.
Now let’s have a look what is currently out there, what your competition is doing. Are there any elements you can find which you can take and improve?
Jump on Google and do a few searches for a few different business, just to have a look at a few different designs and structure of websites. The main thing you want to do here is identify things on a website that you like, for example the menu, do you prefer it to be vertical at the top or horizontal on the side. Do you want to have a visual website with a lot of graphics or a clean layout with minor graphics.
Once you find something you like on a website, bookmark that page or write the web address down.
Now that we have a good idea of what we want our website to look like and what it should contain, we should think about how we will drive traffic to the website. Because we can have the best looking website in the world but if no one visits it, its a waste of money. You need your website to work for you and not the other way around. The fastest way to get clicks to your website is through Search Engine Marketing service called Pay Per Click. Most Search Engines offer this service, the most prominent is Adwords by Google. We will not go into too much detail here on how to set up and run a campaign, (although you can actually do this by yourself).
Through Adwords you or a professional marketer is able to bid on keywords e.g $1 for a particular keyword. Now once it’s setup up, your ad will appear on Google. It can appear 1000 times, if no one clicks on it you will not pay a cent. You only pay for what you use ,meaning only for the times your ad is actually clicked on.
Now the initial thought here some people have is “What if my competitor decides to click on me 100 times? Will I have to pay $100?” The short and simple answer is No, Google has protection to make sure this type of activity does not occur and you are not impacted in any way. Basically it records 1 click per user, so if they try and click multiple times, over and over, Google will not count these clicks and will not charge you for them. Moving on, Pay Per Click allows you to target as many or as little keywords as you like, and you are also able to control your budget, which means you can set you daily budget (Keep in mind that most service providers have preset packages to select which are relevant to each industry, so you may not be too selective with them).
The other thing to consider here is SEO, which stands for search engine optimisation. Which basically involves a professional working on a regular basis to tweak your website to make it show up on Google in the organic section. This type of advertising is the best in the long run, but generally will not generate results straight away. In some industries it can take just a couple of months to start to generate good results, for other industries which have a lot of competition online, it can take longer. The best thing about SEO is you do no pay every time someone clicks on you and you are not limited by a daily budget. So if you have good ranking and you are in a good position you can generate a lot more clicks then what you would with a daily budget of $20 let’s say.
Most professionals recommend a combination of both, PPC and SEO, this should be discussed with your web developer.
Find a web developer. There are a lot out there, you should choose someone who you feel you can trust and who you feel has a good idea of design. Get in touch, explain what you are looking to do, Send them your plan and request a quote.
Keep in mind saving money may not always be the best thing in the long run, do not compromise the quality of your website and build something too cheap. As the old saying goes, “You pay peanuts, You get monkeys”. It is better to outlay for a good website so it is built properly the first time round, rather than saving a bit of money only having to revamp later.
Ask the developers if the website they are going to build for you is mobile responsive site, which means that the site will automatically restructure to best fit to any screen size, no matter if its a computer or a phone or an ipad. This helps with conversions from people using mobile phones and tablets. Users hate having to zoom in and out of a website just to read the content. So having a mobile responsive website contributes to a positive user experience and helps with conversion.
Talk to them about additional services like PPC and SEO. A key note here is to make sure they have a good level of transparency, will they provide monthly reports? If so what will the reports contain? Make sure you get as much information as possible.
Once you feel comfortable with the level of detail the developer has provided and you feel comfortable with what you are getting for the price, make the commitment! Get your website up and running and start generating new business! Best of luck, we hope this article has helped you in some shape or form!
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