Your website is an essential marketing tool for your business. As well as enabling new customers to find you and view or buy your products or services, it can also keep existing customers informed of news and product updates. You can reach consumers and businesses anywhere in the world – and it can do all of this very cost-effectively.
Here are our top five tips for creating a website for your business:
1. Decide on the purpose of your website
Before you start, decide who you are trying to reach and what you want your website to achieve. Many businesses see their website mainly as a tool to attract new customers, but it can also promote special offers, product launches and share news about your company. You may be looking to sell your products using an e-commerce site.
Think carefully before choosing your domain name; make sure it’s appropriate and memorable so people can easily find you.
2. Business website planning
Whether you opt to design and build your website in-house, use an off-the-shelf template package, or appoint a web-design agency, take time to plan the layout and content. Make sure it includes essential information:
- Product or service information – explain your products or services and why should people buy them.
- Company information – outline what makes your business different from your competitors or other providers.
- Customer reviews – show your customers that other people have not only used your service or product but that it’s worked for them.
- Contact details – how customers can get in touch with you.
- Terms and conditions of your business – show that you take the protection and interests of your customers seriously.
Mobile accounts for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.8 percent of global website traffic. Make sure your website has a responsive design that can be navigated on a mobile or tablet.
3. Design your business website
The average dwell time is considered somewhere between 2-4 minutes, so make visiting your website a visual and enjoyable experience for customers. Create a good balance between text and good quality images on each page and base the design of your website on your business brand identity. Use bullet points to break up large sections of text and draw attention to the key messages you want to communicate. Bullet points are great for highlighting the reasons why they should buy from you.
Videos are useful visual tools to make your website engaging. You can use them to demonstrate products or give an overview of your business, for example.
4. Promote your website
To get the best exposure for your website, consider promoting it on search engines such as Google. Optimising (search engine optimisation – SEO) the content on your site using keywords and phrases can help it achieve good rankings in searches. You can also use online advertising to drive traffic to your site.
Send email alerts to customers when your site is updated or issue regular newsletters to drive traffic.
Promote your website heavily on your social media accounts and vice-versa include links to your social media accounts on your website.
5. Navigate around your website
Once you’ve attracted people to your website, make it easy for them to see what’s on it and find their way around quickly. If visitors find navigating through your site tricky, you could lose a potential customer.
Help them to get straight to what interests them by:
- including an index, menu bar or set of navigation buttons on your home page
- structuring your site so visitors can find what they’re looking for within three clicks
- not overloading your website with too many pages; keep it simple
- including a search form, some off-the-shelf packages feature this
- carrying out some user-experience testing and gather feedback to improve your website
So now you’re almost ready to go, but one last thing before you share your website with the world: test it. Check all your links work, check for facts and spelling or grammar mistakes, and check it works on different web browsers.
Don’t forget to manage and maintain your website once it’s live; keep your content fresh and up to date.