Is your business one of the nearly 50% of small businesses that don’t have a website?
If you said yes, it’s time to change that. You may think that everyone knows your business or that you don’t need a website because your business has been around for years.
People expect to see a business website, and if you don’t have one, potential customers are less likely to trust your business. That means they’re going to go elsewhere.
That’s enough to tell yourself, “I need a website!”
Read on to learn what you need to do to set up your website and get more customers.
1. Set a Goal for Your Website
If you follow this tip, you’re going to avoid one of the top website mistakes before you build it. Before you do anything else — give your website a purpose.
A website is so much more to your business than just a brochure or a piece of information. It’s an opportunity to generate leads and build relationships with customers.
When people visit your website, you have to think about the one action you want them to take.
The entire design and content of your site will drive people towards that one action. For example, you may want people to schedule an appointment or get a quote when they visit.
You can have a call to action on each page to encourage people to take that one action.
2. Outline Your Marketing Plan
How will people find your website when it’s set up? It’s not something out of Field of Dreams, where people will show up just because you built a website.
You have to market your website. Don’t get too intimidated, it’s not as bad as it sounds.
Marketing is a matter of reverse engineering. You have your goal for your customers. Now it’s time to examine the steps they’ll take to get there.
That’s a big part of your marketing plan.
Here’s an example of how it can look. You have an HVAC business. Someone schedules a service appointment from your website.
Let’s backtrack. How did they find your site? They found it from an online search. That makes ranking in search engines a priority. Think of the other ways people will find your site and write them down.
There’s much more to marketing than your outline. You have to deeply understand your target market, how they look for your products and services, and why someone would go with your business.
Understanding these things will give you a leg up on the competition. You’ll be able to have a highly targeted digital marketing strategy and the right messaging that resonates with your audience.
3. Setting Up Your Website
You’ll need three things to set up your website – a domain name, web site host, and a platform to run your website.
It’s not as complex as it sounds. Here is how each piece works.
Your domain name is your website address. For example, refugemarketing.com is the domain name for this site. You have to purchase a domain from a domain name provider.
Next, you need a place to host your website. When you click on a link or type in a web address, you’re requesting a bunch of files from a web server.
The web server serves your website’s images and web files, where your browser puts them together to form the final product of your website.
Hosting means that you’re renting space on a server. It’s much easier to rent space on someone else’s server than to have your own.
The final piece of setting up the basics of your website is your website platform. Back in the early days of websites, you had to code websites yourself.
Now you can use a platform like WordPress that enables you to build a website without having to know code. Most hosting companies are set up to work with WordPress, allowing you to install it with just a click of a button.
4. Designing Your Website
Once you have the basics of your website set up, you need to design your site. Do not overlook the importance of website design.
Yes, people expect you to have a website. They also expect it to be functional and designed in a way that looks modern.
A website that looks like it was designed in 1998 won’t be that impressive and could even drive people away. Your website should be able to tell people what your business is about and provide a great user experience.
Your site’s design could impact the conversion rate. A slow website has been shown to reduce your conversion rate, which means your site could lose customers instead of gaining them.
What do you need to consider in your site’s design? For starters, it has to be mobile-friendly, since most people are using mobile devices to surf the web.
The text on your site also has to be easy to read. People shouldn’t have to squint or be a couple of inches from a screen to read the text.
It also has to be technically sound so search engines can find it.
5. Marketing Your Website
Earlier in the process of setting up your site, you came up with a few tactics to drive traffic to your website.
There are a number of ways to do that. SEO is one way to do that, but it takes a while to ramp up and gain enough momentum to make a difference in traffic.
You can use pay per click advertising, which will put your site at the top of key search terms and drive traffic to your site that way.
You can also use social media marketing, which will drive brand awareness and drive traffic to your site.
Help, I Need a Website!
A website isn’t something that you can put off. It’s too important to the growth of your business. People expect all businesses to have a website and it needs to look sharp.
If you find yourself saying “I need a website that works,” contact us today for a consultation.