So, you have a business? Why do you need a website? What are the benefits?
In the digital age we live in today, it is imperative to have an online presence and be visible to your potential customers.
You have an online presence 24/7
Having a website means that your customer can find you, anywhere, anytime, even outside your business hours.
Your website will continue to find new customers even when you sleep!
It offers the user the convenience to access information in the comfort of their own home without the pressure to buy something and when they want it.
Also, most businesses have websites so there is every chance that you are losing customers to your competitors if you don’t have a website.
Social Media is not enough.
Social Media is a great platform, but you don’t own it. It can be taken away at a blink of an eye.
What would you do if Facebook or Instagram closed tomorrow? How would your customers find you?
How easily are you found on Google?
When someone type into Google your niche, where do you rank on Google? The answer is probably not very high at all if you don’t have a website.
Having a website means you can be found easily on Google. You need to do a bit of work on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and include the keywords that you want to be known for, but you will at least appear on websites ranking
You can have a professional email address
Having a website means you can have a profession email address using your domain name. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
You will appear in local searches.
You can register on directories with your website and contact details. When someone then searches “website designer near me” your details and website will be delivered.
It’s what your customers expect.
Customers tend to expect businesses to be online these days. If you had heard of a company the first place you go would be online to check them out and their credibility. Before people buy from you, they want to get to know, like and trust you. Make sure you include website reviews and testimonials.
You can learn more about your customers
You can find out who your typical user of your website is through analytic tools. These include how they found you, what they like.
You can then adapt your business to maximise purchase or contacts through your website.
Find out how you can work more with me
To learn more about how I can help you build your outstanding website contact me.
So, you want a website but don’t know where to start? You are in the right place!
Let’s begin with…
What do you want to get from your site?
Ask yourself these questions to help you decide the format of your website…
Why are you building a website?
What do you want to achieve?
What are the benefits for you?
What are the benefits to the user?
These are some of the things that a website could help you to do….
Build new relationships. Whether you are looking for customers, investors, fans, followers or just want to connect with others who share your interests then having a website can help you attract them from all over the world!!
Improve customer service. If you already have a business, you can make it easier for your customers to contact you. You could publish manuals or tutorials online, take customer enquiries . Using the web can offer a degree of customer service around the clock.
Enhance your reputation and profile.Do you want to share your knowledge and be seen as the expert? Share articles or videos. Maybe your videos could be tutorials or explaining how things work. Get creative, sharing your music, photos, videos and stories can help gather feedback and build interest in your ideas.
Sell, sell, sell!!This is probably your main reason why you want a website. The web makes it easier for people all over the world to buy from you.
Improve you customer service.You may have an existing business it can make it easier for you to answer your customers enquiries. You could structure a form for the customer to submit to you if they have any queries. You could also publish manuals and tutorials online so they are readily available for your customers. You are then able to offer a round the clock service.
Understanding your visitors
It is so important to have a good understanding of who is going to be visiting your website. You can not create a website that pleases everyone. It is so important to have your ideal client in mind before you start your business.
You use this work in your branding, your messages and everywhere you promote your business. Ask yourself the follow questions to try and start to understand who your ideal client would be…
Are they male or female?
How old are they?
Do they have children?
Do they work? What do they do?
How much do they earn?
How much disposable income do they have to spend with you?
What are their interests?
Where do they travel?
How experienced are they with using the internet?
What device do they use to browse the internet? Smart phone? Tablet? Desktop?
Where do they use the internet? At home? Work? On the move?
There are many other questions you can ask to get a more in depth view on you ideal client. You need to have a very clear picture of what they look like.
Create a sitemap
A big challenge when creating your website is to where to put all the information you want to include in an organised way.
The most important thing is that it makes sense to your visitors. It should be possible for your visitor to be able to find what they are looking for without having to click through all of the different sections on your website to find it. They will give up and move on to a website that is easier to use.
Think like a customer. Don’t use jargon that you may understand but they may not be familiar with. Try and use simple language.
Make sure the sections are related to each other, similar way to a road map.
One approach to work this out is to write the section names on sticky notes and then arrange them in a sequence that makes sense. You can easily add, remove and reposition the sections by moving the sticky notes.
Hosting your website
It is a big decision where to host your website. If you have a developer they will be able to guide you on this.
A website is made up of files that are stored on a computer that people can access over the internet. This computer is known as a web server.
A hosting company rents out a server or more popular a some space on a shared server.
When you have space on a shared server the monthly costs are tiered according to:
Storage space The amount of space all of your website files occupy.
Bandwidth How much data you can send over the internet each month.
Choosing your domain names
Each web page has a Unique Resource Location (URL). For example www.griggsdesign.co.uk/blog/where-am-i-going-wrong.html
Let’s break this down..
The domain name. This is the address of the website which is used to find the server that hosts the files. All of the files on the same website starts with the same domain name. In the example above the domain name is griggsdesign.co.uk. The co.uk is the domain extension.
The folders. These are where the required file is on the server. In my example above the folders are /blog/. This means the file is in within the folder “blog”.
The filename. This is the specific web page. In the example above the filename is where-am-i-going-wrong.html. This is the filename with the extension html. This explains what kind of file it is.
When deciding which domain name to buy there are some points to consider.
Any hosting company will tell you if a domain is already registered or not.
It is usually easily and cheaper to buy your domain name from your hosting company.
Keep it short. Don’t forget your visitors have to type it in.
Make it memorable and avoid words that need to be spelt out.
As soon as you have worked out which domain name you want, buy it!
It seems with this pandemic going on the focus on businesses has turned to the internet.
Is your website up to date?
Do you still feel the excitement and love for your website? Maybe you feel embarrassed?
Take a look, is your information current and relevant?
If you own a shop, could you be selling your products online? If you already do this, are they your current prices?
Here are some things to consider when thinking of changing or updating your website.
How far up on Google search engine are you?
If you haven’t updated anything recent and it is just sitting there stagnant then Google won’t rank your website very high.
Have you thought about blogging? If you blog on a regular basis then your website will have new content on it and will be ranked higher in a Google search.
Does your website mirror your business?
You are getting high recommendations from your business, but your ideal clients don’t see that in your website. It can be confusing to them if they see your business on social media platforms and then when they come to your website it looks like a completely different business. Keep your branding consistent.
Is your website mobile responsive?
More and more people are looking for businesses on their phone or tablets. Your website needs to scale down and have a different layout for a mobile than it does for a desktop computer.
Is your website slow?
Did you know that we have between 3 and 7 seconds to grab the attention of our clients? If your website is slow at loading the client will click off and go elsewhere.
Are your clients booking you through your website?
On your home page you need to have a snappy headline telling them what you can do for them. On your home page, above the fold (before they have to scroll) have a Call To Action button. Tell your clients what you want them to do. “Book Now”, “Call Now”, “Shop Now”.
Does it look outdated?
Technology moves so quickly so something that looked amazing a couple of years ago could now look outdated. Your business may have grown and evolved but has your website grown with you?
Does Google know that you are there?
Can your business be found on google by more than just your business name?
Search engines, like Google, have robots called crawler or spiders that discover new sites. You need to make sure that your is Search Engine Optimise (SEO) ready. Google looks for high quality content, especially your Home page. It needs to help users immediately understand what your website is and about and how it meets their needs.
Make sure you use internal links to other pages on your website. Think of your website as your home and you are the hostess and need to show them around your home.
You have this brilliant idea about staring a business……..
Business Ideas brought together
…..but where do you start? In 2017 I had the idea that I could learn a new skill and leave my pharmacy job and work for myself! I had a massive brain storm and came up with the idea of building websites!!
I have always loved computers and any technology! I enrolled on a Software Development course with Code Institute. I studied every evening and weekends for a year and completed the Diploma with a Second Class Honours. I was thrilled!
I have gradually been building my audience on Facebook and Instagram over the next year.
First thing you need to do is to get yourself in the right mindset. I came across an amazing Business Coach called Bethan Davies. Bethan has taught me to overcome any money mind blocks I had. The sky really is your limit!!!
I am Sarah and I am website designer and developer.
My mission is to share my tips and advice with you to help you build your own business and website! I want to help as many businesses as possible, especially working mums, to spread their word and help them grow, maximising their potential by using the powers of the internet.