Without a good website, you could be wasting some amazing opportunities for your company. For many companies, their website is the best marketing tool they have.
A website can essentially work as one big advertisement. And if your website is good enough to keep people hooked, then you can advertise to them for extended periods of time.
No longer are you reduced to thirty-second television spots. No more are you restricted to a small banner on someone else’s website.
No further must you try to get people’s attention in those five seconds before they can skip your ad before a YouTube video.
Though all of those things can be important, they don’t compare to getting a user on your website and supplying all the information you want to give.
Here’s how to begin your quest to crafting a great website for your business.
Plan your website thoroughly – on paper
Don’t just buy a domain and start adding things piece by piece as you go along. You need to have all of your goals clear and set when you embark on this journey.
There are, of course, the things you’re going to put on your website to consider. But before any of that, you need to sit down and work out why it is you want a website.
“Because the Internet told me I needed one to succeed” isn’t good enough, I’m afraid! You need to list specific reasons.
An obvious one is to get more sales. Don’t leave that unwritten – write it down and start planning accordingly! And what else?
Do you want your website to exhibit your personality? Maybe you want it to make people laugh. Whatever the goals are, write them down.
Consider going open-source
There are a lot of tools you can use for website creation. Unfortunately, many of them tend to be very expensive.
There is also the chance that a developer or content creator will have difficulty using them. They can be very closed-off in terms of modification and licensing. By paying a large price to get website creation software, you could be stuck working with one web company you end up not liking for a year or more.
Thankfully, there’s open-source software for you to consider. With open-source software, you’ll generally have the license to use that software in absolutely any way you want and for any purpose.
Most open-source software is free. But if you find something that requires payment, it will still be much cheaper than using closed-source software.
A 2008 study showed that companies save an estimated $60 billion a year by using open-source software. Of course, those numbers will have increased by now.
WordPress and Drupal are probably the most famous open-source examples for web creation, but there are many others.
Figure out what you’re doing in-house and what you’re outsourcing
Will you be writing all of your own content or will you be handing some of those responsibilities to freelance writers?
Do you have master web coders and designers under your wing or will you be looking for external help for web development and design?
There are risks and benefits to going down either route. One thing I would suggest is to not be too tempted by the money-saving opportunities found in doing things in-house.
Content creation and web design can certainly be smoother if you oversee everything directly, it’s true. But your website needs to be of the highest quality, so you need to be completely confident that your own employees are up to the task.
Can they compete with the best out there? If you have any doubts, you may want to consider leaving it to the professionals. It could pay off tremendously in the long run.
Get wise about marketing
Once your website is out there, you need to find ways to get people to actually see it.
Completing the crafting of the website itself isn’t the end of your journey! Not by a long shot.
You now need to enter the often fascinating and sometimes strange world of Internet marketing.
You need to research Internet marketing techniques thoroughly. You may have heard the terms before while idly browsing the web. Google Adsense. Search engine optimization. YouTube advertising.
You need to look at all your options and figure out what is going to be best for your company. Things like search engine optimization (or SEO) are going to be pretty vital for any company. But other options like YouTube adverts might not work as well for your company as it would for others.
Research all your options to ensure you’ve got a thick marketing skin once your website is launched!