Building a new website is an exciting time for business. Fresh copy, new imagery and you have the best intentions to keep it updated. It’s your home on the web; your website is your shop front and you want it to look amazing.
But then reality sets in.
You are busy running your business and have 101 tasks to complete. That website update or blog articles drops down the to-do list. In fact, it never seems to make its way back to number one.
As time passes customers aren’t flooding the website with inquiries so you question the investment you’ve made.
Your website design company is nowhere to be found, after all, they are in the business of designing websites, not supporting them.
You have reached a crossroads. Where to from here?
Why do your customers need your website? What problems are you solving for them? What content do they need from you, their trusted advisor? Getting inside your customers’ minds is essential in developing your web strategy. Your site is a 24-hour shop front that is always open for business. Delivering relevant, timely content to your audience will ensure your traffic, and inquiries will continue to grow.
By beginning with a great website that has clear and measurable business objectives the project will be less daunting and results will come.
Choosing the correct partner in any project is vital. A website is an ongoing continuous improvement journey. The right web design company will offer guidance, direction, and support on this journey. Establishing your goals for the website together and clear objectives along the way will mean your site is an asset and not a liability.
Looking at the track record of your web design agency and their client partnerships are a good indicator. Your agency will guide you on best practices, content, and design while keeping the technical complexities behind the scenes.
a website should help not hurt
Many business websites lack direction because they are built on the wrong platform. Essential updates are complicated or overly technical. Frustration sets in and the best-laid plans fizzle out. A Content Management System (CMS) is the framework your website is built on. It organizes pages and content in a simple interface and adding content won’t be much harder than typing in Word. Here at Web Design Proof, all sites are built on the world’s most trusted platform, WordPress.
A CMS offers you control. Many businesses have experienced the irritation of a designer disappearing and effectively not being able to access or update their own website. Having access to your own site with the right web design agency supporting your updates and security gives you total control over your web property.
The right CMS will evolve with your website and web strategy and keep you in line with current technology.
If you build on strong foundations you will not need to undertake a redesign of your website every few years. You can focus instead on developing your existing design by enhancing and refreshing the look of your website as and when required.
When structuring your website think about the needs of your target market, not your own. Remember that your website is a vehicle for solving the business needs of your target market, not for telling people how great your company is. Your web site visitors will come to that conclusion themselves if you solve their needs.
Align yourself with a web design company who sees themselves as an online advisor and not a producer of websites. They should be committed and accountable to your ongoing success.
We know that starting can be daunting. Start today and begin the process of turning your website into a true business asset.
Maybe your business only has a handful of people, or perhaps it only consists of you. If you are the main decision-maker, technical-support person, paper-shuffler, and everything else, it might seem overwhelming to also need to market your services and build an online presence. If you have never built a website or established an online brand, that’s understandable. But having a solid online presence can be a wonderful key to your future success, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t matter anymore if you are working from home in Oklahoma City or from Timbuktu, with a good plan and a little hard work, you can set up your brand and find new customers online.
A simple static page that describes your services may be enough, but even better is to start building a blog for yourself and your business. This will give you the chance to give more in-depth information about your area of expertise, and also let customers get to know you a little better. The personal touch has great value in finding and keeping customers or clients.
In designing your site, make sure it highlights the most important information about you in a clean, uncluttered way. Take some time in considering the look and feel you want your site to have, and then find a design that fits it. There are lots of design options available to choose from, both free and premium website templates. Don’t be afraid to pay for good design if you can afford it. Or better yet hire Web Design Proof!
With or without a separate website, learn how to use social networks to connect with people. Set up a page for your business on Facebook, Twitter, Google, and any other service you use frequently. This is another area you can post tidbits of information about your business and expertise in a shorter form than most blog posts. It also gives your customers and people who want to know more about your business a way to contact you and ask questions. Again, the personal touch can be a very powerful way to attract people to your business.
One important thing to remember is that whatever you put on social media sites is public, and maybe more public than you think. Always keep your posts and responses polite and professional, no matter what you are responding to. Also, if you maintain a personal account in addition to your business page, remember that you and your business are not really separate, and what you post in one can influence how people see the other. Keep your personal posts upbeat and courteous too. Build respect through your interactions with people, and it will help you build your business success.