Buying a website can be tricky. There are so many options from do-it-yourself or getting your buddy to build it, to using a professional company. What should you go for?
The marketplace really is saturated. From lone intellectual students building websites in their bedrooms to DIY platforms that leave you feeling frustrated, SMEs are rightfully entitled to feel perplexed and maybe even slightly intimidated by the thought of having to ring an ‘expert’ for help. The market is crying out for simplification, real support and partnership to help businesses startup, grow and succeed.
So, why should you bother with a new site? Well, people rely on the internet. Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second, which translates into over 3.5bn searches per day and 1.2tn searches per year worldwide.
If your company is not live and kicking online, these statistics show just how much traffic and potential business you are missing our on. And it’s not going to stop either.
Between 2005 and 2015, the amount of people worldwide using the internet has almost tripled moving from 1,024 million to a huge 3,174 million!
With internet usage continuing to rise rapidly, having an up-to-date, relevant, and easy to access and use website is so crucial for businesses to ensure that you don’t miss out on the mass market.
So, now that we’ve looked at why it’s important to have a good website, let me give you four points that are worth considering before you sign on the dotted line for anything…
What is your unique selling point?
What is it that makes your business different from its competitors? What makes you stand out? Why should I choose you? What’s amazing about your product or service? Make sure that these unique selling points are reflected in your design. When a prospect lands on your homepage, you have just eight seconds to convince them to stay. What are they going to see in that time?
Make sure you clearly state what it is you do and why you do it well. Grab their attention. Don’t rely on them scrolling down a page or clicking through to a different section of your site. Sell yourself immediately; show them what you do and why they should pick you to do it.
How do you want your website to be structured?
What is it that you want your site to achieve? Who is it for? Work out how many pages you think you’ll need for the content you have and consider whether you want to be able to make changes to the site yourself or whether you want a developer to look after it for you.
What content do you want to use?
Content is king and we all know that, but it often gets overlooked when it comes to websites. Have a think about what content you already have available and what you would you need to create.
Do you want to use video, animation, photography? If so, where are you going to get these from?
How do you want prospects to contact you?
Do you want to receive email inquiries, phone inquiries or utilize social media to provide customer service to the prospects who visit your website? Also, have to think about what information you’d need to receive from people when they contact you, you don’t want to miss anything of your site that you end up needing to chase at a later date.
By being prepared with the answers to these four questions, your website project will run far more smoothly than if you approach it without any initial planning and forethought.
Using a professional company
If you have decided to go down the route of using a professional company to develop your site for you, as well as you being prepared, you need to make sure you get certain bits of information out of them.
Firstly, what exactly you are getting for your money? Make sure you know what bang you are getting for your buck. Here are some good questions to ask:
- Is all the functionality included?
- Do you have to pay separately for hosting or is that included?
- Is it free of charge if you want to make minor changes to your site once it’s live?
Secondly, be sure to ask when you need to have collated all your content. By keeping up with the developers time schedule, your website will be designed, built, and set live in the most efficient manner.
Finally, find out when you will need to be available to sign off the website design.
Developers should not set a website live without your permission, so it’s important that they know when you are available to be taken through this. By following this handy hints and tips, you’re putting your business in the best position to get its most valuable selling tool up and running successfully without a hitch.