All businesses should have a website but where do you start? As you may know, running a successful website takes a lot of marketing and design know how. It also takes a lot of time. This article will explore what it takes to build a website that gets results and where you should start.
It’s time to start asking questions.
When deciding on the next course of action, you should ask yourself a few questions about your goals. This is where you should start because asking these questions will help you come to the best conclusion for your business.
1. What do I hope to get out of my website?
This is the most important question because it will help you make the right decisions to achieve your goals. Maybe you want your website to bring more clients to your doors. Maybe you want your website to promote your latest e-book that you created. You might also use a website to educate your leads by running a blog.
If you know your goals for your website, you can develop a strategy that works for you. That doesn’t mean you will immediately meet your goals but you will have an idea in mind as to how to achieve them.
2. What special features do I want my website to include?
The answer to this question will help you decide what tools you should use, what you should learn, and if you should hire a professional. If you want a blog on your website, you need to find a platform that allows you to easily post new content to your website. If you want a system that allows customers to book appointments with you, you’re going to need a website solution that can achieve this.
The features that you want to include in your website will directly affect which program you use to create your website or the cost of hiring someone to do it for you.
3. Do I want to rank high in search engine results?
C’mon, everyone wants to rank high in search engine results. The answer to this question will determine if you should introduce a digital marketing firm in to the mix.
A crucial part of website design is the search engine optimization performed on a website. It isn’t just about making your website a pretty page. That pretty page also needs to be search engine friendly and drive more traffic to your business.
4. What kind of marketing will I be implementing to see success with my website?
This question kind of ties in to question three but it is an important one to ask. Search engine optimization builds organic traffic. That is traffic that you don’t pay for but just comes to your website based on your SEO efforts.
Planning your marketing strategy alongside your website will help your business see more growth and return on investment. If you invest in pay per click advertising, you need optimized landing pages on your website that help increase conversion rates.
If you want to see a return on investment, you need to implement marketing tactics in to your website. Every small part of your website design is important. The colors of your website, the use of prominent calls to action, and advertising are some basic starting points.
This is the time to decide if you should take the time to learn how to build the website yourself or if you should introduce a web design and digital marketing firm in to the mix.
5. How will I maintain my website once it is complete?
This is a question that many people don’t think about until the end of their website design project. Every website, no matter what platform they are built on need maintenance and updating.
Google prefers websites that stay updated with fresh content regularly. You are going to need a solution to this problem.
You also need to take security in to consideration. If your website is operating on a content management system like WordPress, it needs to stay updated and protected from malware. Website management is important because it keeps your users safe, your brand growing, and your website climbing the ranks on Google.
Now that you know your goals, lets talk strategy.
Now that you have some goals in mind and you know what you want, it’s time to make some decisions.
Will you hire a website designer or will you go the DIY route? This is the most important decision and here are some more questions that you need to ask before deciding.
1. Do I have the time to learn the ins and outs of website design and digital marketing to actually get results with my website?
These skills take a long time to learn and if you’re like most business owners, time is a precious commodity. You need to ask yourself if going the DIY route is going to be the best strategy to reach the goals you set earlier.
It can take years to learn what makes a website work. It takes a lot more than reading some articles and getting to work. To build a successful website without the help of a professional, you would need to be a jack of all trades.
Your website needs compelling content, search engine optimization, marketing driven design, and a myriad of other elements to make it successful. You would be the content marketer, the social media marketer, the website builder, the search engine optimizer, and more.
If you own your own business, you are definitely smart enough to learn these things on your own but do you have the time to invest in it?
2. If I do decide to go with a professional design company, what should I expect of them?
When looking for a website design company, there are a lot of things you should expect and ask about. In our article about hiring a professional website designer, we give you questions to ask a web design company before hiring them.
A web design company should do a few basic things for you when building your site:
Design a website that compels users to contact you or complete an action that is beneficial to your business.
Get all of the information about your business across in an organized, eye catching way.
Optimize your website so you show up on search engine results pages.
Link your social networks to your website to drive more traffic to those channels.
Ask for your input and create a website that accurately depicts your brand.
Implements tracking software like Google Analytics to track traffic and website success.
Provide online marketing advice or lead you to someone who can help with this.
Web designers and digital marketers do a lot more but these are some bare bones basics.
3. I decided to hire a website design company but what kind of digital marketing tactics should I implement?
This is a huge factor in the success of your website. It would be nice if you could see success buy simply throwing a website up online but that just isn’t how it works. The truth is, you need a marketing website design that gets results.
Here are some tactics you and your website designer can use to grow your website:
Ensure that your business is present on local directories like Google My Business, Yelp, BBB, etc.
Create social media profiles on digital platforms that your target market is on and engage with them.
Create content in the form of blog posts, videos, white papers, etc to draw more traffic to your website.
Encourage current customers to leave reviews on Google and other directories to boost local SEO.
Run Google AdWords advertisements that lead to a landing page and encourage users to complete a simple action that benefits your business.
If you hire a website design company that specializes in digital marketing, they should be able to develop a digital marketing plan that works for you. Be sure to take their advice and collaborate to get the results you’re looking for.
When it’s time to start building your website, be sure to ask a lot of questions. Ask yourself about your goals and then figure out a strategy to meet those goals.
If you decide to hire a website designer, ask about digital marketing and how your website is going to benefit your business.
Hire a firm that you can trust with your money and take their advice. Building your home on the web is important and you should constantly invest in it. The web is always evolving and keeping your business active and with the times is a surefire way to see business growth.