Building a website might seem daunting and/or expensive, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of things to take into consideration though in order to get the best return on whatever the budgeted investment level is.
The first area to consider is whether to build your own website, or employ someone to do it. Clearly it will be cheaper to do it yourself, and there are plenty of platforms out there (WordPress etc) to use, but assuming that the budget is there, employing a leading web design agency like Blue Whale Media to do it for you will work better. They have offices in many locations across the UK like Manchester. It’s also a common myth that it costs a lot to employ someone to do it for you. It’s way less expensive than most people think, and, when done professionally, should quickly give the organisation an extremely worthwhile return on investment.
Whilst choosing whether to do it yourself or employ someone else, it’s also vital to ask the very basic question “what is the website for”? Knowing what the goals are will then help to drive relevant content, making the website work as hard as possible.
Whether the selected option is DIY or professional, it’s important to remember that the content can (and should) be updated regularly so that visiting customers are getting up to date information. Furthermore, it’s important to include eye-catching headlines and information to make each page work at an optimal level, so as to maximise conversion from page visits to sales.
In order to get people to find the website in the first place, it’s important to consider SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This is the process where key words and phrases are used in the website’s text that are most likely to be picked up through a potential customer typing a search into Google. Get this right and the organisation’s website appears closer to the top of such searches, meaning more visits to the site, and more sales.
Headlines at the top of pages need to be punchy, communicate clearly, and offer potential customers what they need. This will get them to read on, stay on the site, and give a higher conversion rate between visits and sales.
Speed is also of the essence. The website needs to load quickly. It is important to test that. People browsing the internet often want to get things done quickly, so being forced to wait for a slow page to load is not ok. Potential customers need to access the pages quickly and find what they need when they get there. It’s also a good idea not to use too many fonts, so that a consistent, tidy approach is achieved. These fonts should ideally be used across other company promotional materials to help create a totally consistent marketing approach. The finished article should also be checked for spelling and grammar, as errors in these areas will damage the organisation’s image.
Photography is also important when building a website. After all, a picture paints a thousand words. Investing in professional photography will help here if budget allows, in order again, to maximise the customer experience when they visit the site. It will also show that the website is owned by a business who are serious players in the marketplace, professional, and with pride in what they do.
Assuming the business can have an online ordering presence, building in the facility for customers to place an online order will also prove invaluable. This can also lead to pages featuring special offers, and the possibility of hooking all this up with existing customer e-mail addresses, so that those customers can be targeted with bespoke offers. This can all be built in so that the customer gets an email with a link to the offer page, so all they have to do is click on the link to be in a place to take advantage of the offer in question.
Another consideration worth bearing in mind is the possibility of building links to websites that offer complimentary services in your own industry. So, for example, if the website is for a bakery specialising in wedding cakes, it may also work well to build in links to wedding dress retailers, florists, venues etc – with each of those organisations featuring a link to the wedding cake shop itself. This way, complimentary, non-competing businesses from the same industry all gain momentum from each other’s websites. It’s worth considering when building the website in the first place – and can also be added in or adapted later.
Building a website is a critical area for all businesses, as is constantly re-visiting and freshening the content once the site is up and running. Following the guidelines above gives a great start when thinking about what is required to build a website initially.