10 Website Basics you should know
Statistics show that small business owners (51%) use technology to help with accounting operations. However they are not utilizing technology for appointment booking and scheduling (39%), customer relationship management (34%), point-of-sale systems (25%), and acquisition marketing (14%). Additionally, more than half of small business owners do not even measure the results of their marketing programs (56%).
So how do you start your own website and use it effectively? Start with the top 10 website basics:
- A domain name.
Dot com websites are far better than .biz, .net or .org. for commercial use. Register a domain with a reputable company that will still allow you full control over your domain name. That way if you need to make any changes there will not be any problems. Reputable companies also offer better support as opposed to cheaper options. Your website needs to be your voice! Make a professional one?
- A website host:
Although there are many free or cheap options available,a web development and hosting company will not limit what you can do on your website and offer great after sales support. They also have the knowledge to help you with your online business growth and give you the best hosting package that is the best for your industry. Remember; you buy cheap, you get cheap. That is the last thing your business can afford!
- Website design:
Use a professional web designer that will provide you with a fully integrated Content Management System, which you can manage yourself. When someone else owns your domain and develops your website for you, your website belongs to them and only they can make changes and manage your content. The most important reason to use a professional web developer is that they can make your website mobile friendly. There is no way around it, as the majority of people use their devices to obtain on-the-spot information.
- Search Engine Optimization:
Search engines use web crawlers to search websites for specific information relevant to a person’s search topic. Web developers and designers use popular links, meta tags and keywords when they develop your site, so that these search engines can easily read the text on your site and refer clients in the search engine. Content is the key to your success!
- Be Creative:
All search engines disregard flashing images and static pictures. Your customers, however, like pictures. The flashing images? Not so much. They want unique, creative content with quality images. You need to grab their attention and still get your message across. The best way to do this is through professional photography and exclusive stock photos. They aren’t cheap, but they are worth it. Stay away from site links eg. “click here to continue to site” or “learn more” buttons. Keep your website simple, unique and entertaining.
Make it easy for visitors to contact you. List your contact details on every page or have a “call to action” button. Many websites offer options like; “click here to have one of our representatives contact you today!” or “”call us now!” The best call to actions are “Download your guide to success now!” or “get your free sample today!” which encourages customers to contact you. A web developer can draw up a contact form which can also serve as an appointment booking and quote scheduling, which can be synced with your current calendar.
7. The Opt-in list:
Over and above the call to action, your website needs to encourage visitors to leave their email address in order for you to build your mailing list. The table are turned and you contact the customer first. A mailing list is invaluable to businesses, as many sales leads can be generated from them. Web development companies know thow to make this the basis of your company’s CRM (Customer Relations Management), as the interaction can be analyzed to provide services/ products better suited to the customer’s needs. Past sales and target audience behavior can also be analysed in order to facilitate business growth. Offer your visitor something of value in exchange for their email address, for example; “Sign up for our newsletter today and get 10% discount on your next purchase!” Staying in contact with your customers will also create future sales.
Online shopping has become the norm. If you have a product to sell, your website needs a Point-Of -Sale system, to enable customers hassle free shopping online. Use a reputable web design and development company that know the ins and outs of e-commerce. Their security, problem solving skills and service will be worth every penny.
9. Get the traffic:
You have your whole website up and running with every possible basic covered. Now all you need is traffic to your remarkable site. The best way to do this is through a proper digital marketing strategy. You will need to incorporate three important elements in order to be successful. a) Paid advertising: Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, etc. provide excellent paid ad services, however their success rate has been debatable. b) Owned: This is the content you share from your website or blog to your social media pages to drive traffic to your website. Every post needs to drive engagement and encourage shares so people will visit your website. c) Earned: To earn traffic means engaging on social media. By engaging with influencers, competitors and customers in a positive conversation, you create brand exposure and establish authority in your niche. Offering discounts, answering questions and partnering with influencers and your brand ambassadors you will generate a lot more traffic than just liking posts.
You need to know your traffic. Who, what, when, how and where is the most important knowledge to have in any business. Google Analytics can be incorporated by your web developer with a simple code in order for you to analyse your digital success. Your marketing campaigns, your customer feedback and KPI’s can all derived from running analytics on your website and social media pages. Grow your business today!