Developing the website for your business is an exciting experience. A good website increases the credibility of the business and can be integral to the success and growth of your business.
Rebecca Kimber, CEO of website design company Create, shares four important factors to be considered when developing your website.
Why does my business need a website?
Without a website, potential customers will not be able to find you. Websites can be as simple as just one single page with your logo, information about where you are and how to get in touch. It’s very important that your start-up has a basic online presence while you’re busy getting the business off the ground. If your main marketing and revenue will be generated on the web, then you’ll need an effective online presence as quickly as possible.
Here are the top tips to get going:
1. Set out the objectives for your website
What do you want your website to do? Is the purpose to generate sales online through a shopping cart, telephone or to generate leads from interested visitors that you can follow up with?
TIP: These leads can come through a number of ways, via forms on the website, emails, phone calls, skype messages or even live chat facilities – so make sure you are contactable.
2. Capitalise on all visitors
Consider extra ways to capture the interest of visitors who don’t want to buy your product or contact you straight away. Can you encourage them to sign up to a mailing list, register for “special offers” or “find out first” information?
TIP: If you want browsers on your website to stop and read your news and blog content, ask yourself why would they want to? Considerations like these will determine your technical requirements for the website. If you’re using a website designer, special features can dramatically impact the cost so it’s good to know what you really need early on.
3. Plan out the pages of your website
Think about what information you will need to display so that browsers fully understand what your business is about? How can you group pages together so they make sense for visitors?
TIP: Use these questions to structure your website menu to make it easy for visitors to navigate their way around. Need inspiration? Have a look at how established websites and your competitors group their pages and lay out their menus. Before your website goes live, do some research with people who don’t know about your business. Is there anything they can’t find online that you may need to include?
IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to read up on legislation around trading online – you must comply with Distance Selling Regulations as an online merchant and this should be factored in from the start. This guide covers everything you need to know to make sure you are compliant!
4. Build your content
What you say on the site matters as much as how it’s presented – remember potential customers will make decisions about looking further into your site in a matter of seconds.
TIP: It is better to build a few pages well with really great content that conveys the purpose of your business than a lot of pages executed poorly. Half-finished pages with poor photos, or lack of imagery, and bad navigation will not entice visitors to stick around – and that goes for search engines like Google as well. You might want to consider a professional copywriter to help with the message you wish to project and overall website text.
There is a lot to think about when starting a website, but it is also an exciting opportunity to show your product or service. Websites are the most cost effective way of getting your name out there.
TOP TIP: Ensure your visitors are engaged by making your content attractive and easy to understand.
Create have one mission – to make building your website and online shop easy!
5. Make your site search engine friendly
Getting your website spotted online is of course extremely important. If your site is hard to find then how will customers to buy your product or service? This is why search engine optimisation (SEO) is very useful for businesses. By optimising your site for search engines such as Google and Bing, when people search for things related to your business they are more likely to find you.
TIP: Start with the basics. Have relevant url’s for your pages and make sure the titles make sense!
Not sure where to start when it comes to SEO? Don’t worry, our free SEO toolkit for start up businesses has a wide range of tips and tricks to get you started.
As a Start Up Loan recipient you can access an exclusive business offer with Create and build your own website and online store for £5 a year.