There can be little denying the huge influence the web and tech have had on business over the last 30 or so years. From simple showcase websites to email, Big Data, and e-com-enabled shopping sites, the internet has utterly transformed modern commerce and opened a world of opportunities to companies of all sizes in all sectors.
The importance of having a business website
These days, it’s almost impossible to think of a company that doesn’t rely on tech to at least some degree. Indeed, the web has become such an integral part of today’s commercial landscape that it’s estimated around 70% of all consumer journeys begin with an online search.
Bottom line – if your company isn’t online, you’ll likely be losing out on multiple business opportunities and foregoing the chance to capitalize on untapped markets. However, setting up a business website can often seem a daunting prospect if you have no experience.
Points you should consider for your company’s next website
Whether you’re looking to start a new site from scratch or just want to make a redesign, below are some top tips to help you get started.
Use a website builder or hire a professional company:
With today’s considerable advances in coding techniques and underlying server technology, there is now a huge range of DIY website builder tools you could use to build your next site. The advent of HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) has made it easier than ever for even the unskilled layman to put together a website in a matter of hours.
However, just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should and, taken side by side, you will almost always be able to tell the difference between a basic self-built site and one that’s been produced by a professional agency.
Given your website will likely form the first point of contact between your firm and your customers (both new and existing), you should think carefully about the image it projects. In truth, in most cases, you will achieve far better results by working with a professional web development company.
Domain name and hosting:
If your site already exists, you likely have these points sorted already but, if not, you should spend some time carefully considering your domain name (also often referred to as URL) and your hosting options. As a general rule, you should aim to use the shortest domain name possible (i.e. with the least number of keystrokes) – plus go for something memorable that encompasses what your company does.
When it comes to hosting, your best bet is to search testimonial and customer rating sites like Feefo or Trustpilot to find a firm that comes highly rated. Note – if you choose to work with a professional firm, they will be able to advise you on both these points.
Develop a site map:
Regardless of whether you use a professional company or decide to go things alone, you’re going to need to decide what content you want to feature. Try to think of your pages in a hierarchical structure – almost like a family tree – and prioritize your most important content at the top.
Text and images:
Remember, your site is the world’s window on your firm, so you should try to create the best impression possible. Keep text short, snappy and jargon-free to engage visitors as quickly as possible. Likewise, the images you use should embolden your message and give an additional summary of what your firm can provide potential customers.