For nearly twenty years, small businesses have created websites to help tell their story to potential customers. These sites are built and organized to share content and a message, but today’s consumers…want more.
For your growing company, your website is more than a digital menu of services or an online brochure, it’s your storefront to the world. Your site needs to be a platform for your marketing efforts and an information booth, keeping it updated is something that today’s customers demand and expect.
When you sit down and decide it’s time to improve your website, there are many things to consider. It’s easy to find a company who can create a site, and many business operators will put a small bit of effort into finding a company to do so. Savvy business owners know that there are many things that should be considered before making that decision.
Here are the top 5:
- Start With The “Why” – your site will have content, but will it have purpose? You can begin with a brainstorming session with a trusted advisor or member of your staff. Is this a platform to help us sell more widgets? Is it to showcase our credentials? Is it aimed at just new customers or for previous or existing as well? Part of this exercise should also include developing a sort of “buyer persona” which lays out the characteristics of your sweet spot customer type. How old are they? Men, women or both? Income level? Interests? Map out your ideal customer and have them in mind when beginning the project.
- Don’t Call Your Niece – Yes, it is true that everyone knows someone in the “web” business but calling a relative or friend to help you develop or update your site is a mistake. If you’re in business for one year or thirty and regardless of if your company is big or small, it’s 2022 and websites can now touch many facets of your business, from payments to marketing, email, social media and so much more. Working with an expert who understands your goals and the technology is very important.
- Skip The “Builder” – Though there are many website builders out there, our recommendation is to work with an expert web development and hosting company. The reason is simple, it’s TIME. Time is all you have, you can spend it learning the ins and outs of Wix or GoDaddy, but I recommend using that time to prepare copy points for the site, collecting pictures or product videos, thinking about FAQ’s, etc. This is in of itself time consuming but will make for a better site and faster launch. Also, once you start a site using a builder, it puts YOU on the hook for the updates, leaving less time for what you need to do in your business, or risking your site becoming obsolete.
- Content is King & Local SEO is Queen – Your website needs to speak to its intended audience, your customers. However, there is another audience, also important, who will be reading your site and that’s Google. Think about Google’s role today. Their aim is to be THE SOURCE for information and to continue their success, they need to bring their users the best search results for the query. So, when you think about your site’s content, make sure you are answering questions about your services using specifics. Think about it like this, a robot will be scanning your site’s content (words, graphics, photos, videos) for information, interpreting that information and then displaying your site’s links back to their users in order of relevance. As a local business it’s important to also list your service area and integrate maps, as Google will also be reviewing content for Distance, meaning are you geographically relevant to the user’s search? Thinking through and planning your content with a professional who understands how to tie it all together in an aesthetically pleasing way is a safe bet.
- Work With One Provider – Your website should be dynamic, evolving alongside your living, breathing company. Working with one provider who can handle all of the following, will ultimately save you time, money and sanity.
Design – your color scheme, layout preferences, welcome images or graphics, this artistic component gives the basis for the look and feel of the site
Development – Building the site into a format that serves all device types and ensures pages load properly and that link structure is sound.
Copywriting – Taking your notes and researching your business to create snappy copy that encourages customer actions.
Search Marketing – This methodology ensures that the site has been put together with the right content for Google search, images have been properly integrated and tagged, page titles and descriptions have been completed
Hosting – Taking your site and launching it to your domain name, ensuring load time is quick, backups are performed and guaranteeing uptime
Maintenance – Consistently making sure that as browsers are updated and new devices hit the market, your site is prepared to adapt, being available for the inevitable server issue, broken link or other technical matter.
Content Updates – Ready to accept and integrate on-demand changes, new product or service info, updating the look, adding new promotions or other changes on a regular basis to keep the site fresh and topical.
Analytics & Security – Analyzing site traffic and origin, counting unique visits, referrer data and other important info on who is finding your site, how they are finding it, and from where. Also, preventing malware or server hacks which are sadly inherent on the internet today.
You are likely in business because you are an expert in your field. It’s what you know, hopefully what you are passionate about. Today’s web is a complicated place, making it work properly for your company and being able to leverage its potential, requires unique skills. Working with an expert web team enables you to participate in the project in a way that informs the process without requiring you to have know-how in all of the specific elements listed above.
If you are ready to engage with a pro in the web development business, an organization with over 100 full-time employees right here in the U.S.A., reach out to OMG National today. Our WebWorx product line has options to fit your goals and your budget!