Every business on the planet needs a website. The question is " How much website do you need"? Meaning, do you need an ecommerce store or an Internet brochure?
If you are in the business of selling things on line, then a ecommerce website is needed. If you only want your customers to see that you really exist and allow them to do their homework on your company before they hire you, then a brochure is needed.
Either way you have to begin the process of fact finding, gathering your content, determine the page names and so much more.
Here is a quick guide to help you put it all together if you are hiring or doing it on your own.
- Connect with a designer that knows both design, development and Internet marketing.
There is a big difference between design and development. Web design requires a graphical individual that can create the layout, colors, look and feel of your website. The development side requires the ability to put the design into action and make it live online. Not to mention programming. If you need your website to function and do things like fetch you the morning paper and change your oil, then a programmer will be needed. It's equally important that you connect with someone that has Internet marketing experience. The need to understand all aspect of the design process as well as how to convert visitors in to customers/prospects. To assure you have the right team, ask lots of questions about development, design and Internet marketing.
- The next step is to pick the right domain name if you can.
Try to grab multiple domains for your business if you can. The first one should be the name of your business and the next one should be what you do. If you provide widgets then ABC widget company.com is find. However, if you owned widgets.com, you would have all the traffic you could ever handle every time someone types in Widgets or New Widgets or Chocolate covered widgets in Google.com. The domain counts for a percentage of traffic.
- Determine the long term cost of web maintenance.
After the website is up and running, what will it cost you to control the content? Yes, you will need to control the content, change the pictures, update the blog etc. The more changes to your website the greater the chances are that you make it to the front page of Google, Yahoo and Bing. Keep the content fresh and they will recommend you. Keep it relevant and they will move you up and up and up until you are the top 10-20 website for your specific category. Remember the old marketing saying for web 2.0. In order to make $1 million you need to give $2 million in perceived value.
- What's the strategy for capturing leads and keeping your customer engaged.
The company or individual that has the biggest mailing list wins. Why? Because when you have a new product you will be in a great position to email your customer base to see if they are interested. Stay in front of your clients and keep them on a drip marketing campaign. Let them get an email from you ever 2-3 weeks or whenever you have something of value. Let them know about it.
- Finally, consider the scalability of the system you are using for your site.
When you are working hard, you will grow your business. Somehow you just get luckier with hard work. When you do, you don't want to have to start all over again when it comes to your website. Make sure you can update your website on your own and you can upgrade the website to do what you want it to do. The pain that it takes to set up the website should not be repeated just because you need to add a store, a mailing list, tracking or mobile compatibility. Your website should be mobile because soon, the search results only display the site that are most relevant and those that are mobile enabled. 40-50% of all searchers are searching on their smart phones and Ipads.
Best Of Luck.