Every business can benefit from a Web presence. Whether you want to promote your products and services online, sell online, provide a service for your customers online or just provide basic contact details for people that want to get in touch there’s a solution for you.
So, if you are looking to get a web presence or want to update your current offering where do you start?
What do you want to do?
First of all, decide what you want to do online as this will determine the structure of your site and how it is developed. If you just want a basic brochure site then that’s fine and virtually any host will be suitable for you. If you want to add blog or news sections that you can update yourself, an e-commerce section or other interactive content then it’s easiest if you plan this from the start – even if this side of the site won’t be developed straight off.
Then comes the design. If you are having your site built for you then the company should come up with 2 or 3 options for you. The design should represent your business with regards to colours and logo but must also be easy on the eye and easy to navigate.
If you are building your site yourself, take a look at similar businesses to yours to get some ideas and see what works and what doesn’t. Most of the main hosts such as 1and1 and GoDaddy will provide some templates which will get you started but do try to customise them rather than sticking with the ‘out-the-box’ designs.
If you are using a system such as WordPress to design your site, again, there are many different templates which can be used as a base for your site.
You should use a template page to base your other pages on. This means that if later on you want to change a menu or some part of the design, you only need to update the template page rather than every other page individually!
Content is King
So you have a design, now you need to write your content. This is your opportunity to catch your site visitors’ attention and encourage them to make contact. You only have a few seconds to do this so keep it short and catchy but informative. You are better off creating several shorter pages, each about a specific subject, than trying to cram everything on to one or two.
Content needs to be unique for each page and also unique from other online material you may have. Search Engines now recognise identical content and your Search Engine rankings will suffer if you simply copy and paste from other online sources.
Also, remember that your visitors may enter your site at any page of your site so make sure visitors can easily navigate around from every page and that your contact details and call to action are included on every page.
Use images wherever possible but keep the image file size small. Moving graphics and video are great to grab attention but again, keep it relevant and the file size small. A lot of people still have poor internet connectivity and lots of large images and animations will mean your page takes longer to load and the visitor gets a bad experience.
Finally, remember that the beauty of online marketing is that you can change it simply and easily. Keep your site up to date, especially if you promote offers, have news items or testimonials.
If you are looking to re-design your website or would like help getting started, please contact us.